On ‘The Pathfinder’–
John Robinson’s ‘The Pathfinder’ was originally commissioned in 1973 by Conzinc Riotinto for a new building, but was donated to the City of Melbourne when this building failed to go ahead. The statue depicts an Olympic hammer thrower. Since its installation, the hammer has been stolen (then replaced) a number of times. Today the City of Melbourne no longer replaces the hammer and the statue sits in a permanent state of disrepair. The statue is located directly opposite Victoria’s premier art gallery (the NGV) in the epicenter of Melbourne’s art precinct. Although Melbourne is often billed as a cultural city, this statue has come to symbolize neglect for public art by our governing institutions.
On the afternoon of 13/11/2011 I replaced the missing hammer with a new hammer and renamed the statue ‘Atlas’ by planting a new plaque next to the original (while wearing a high visibility vest and setting up some orange cones).
A postmodern Atlas.