Antoni Gaudi has his stamp on Barcelona. An architect and with a penchant for what is now referred to as Catalan Modernism. His attention to detail and in his designs extended to use of wrought iron, ceramics, glass and more. One of his popular contributions is Park Güell, located on Carmel Hill. It was built during the years of 1900 – 1914. Its beginnings as a housing development failed and the area was then turned into a park in 1926. In 1984 it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site (classified as part of the works of Antoni Gaudi). Today people flock to see its buildings, statues, pillars and more. I do know that I will visit this place should I make my way to Barcelona. The curves, vibrant mosaics and bold structures are reminiscent of candies and fairy tales. I expect I will be taken with the wonder of the design.
How often does a prank end up becoming an official art installation? Well at least once. Here in my city of Vancouver that exact thing happened. It was just a bit fun that ended up becoming permanent after the locals in the neighbourhood thought it fitting to the area.
Back in 2012 a then mystery prankster decided to replace an official park sign with one that mimed the exact signs posted by the Vancouver Park Board, but with a different name. Guelph Park in the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood was, according to the signage, now given a new name – a cool name – a name to reflect a long standing sculpture by artist Michael Dennis. The name placed upon this fictitious park placard was “Dude Chilling Park”. Since the sculpture resembled ‘a dude chilling in the park’ it was a suitable change. Alas, the false sign was removed by officials, much to the disappointment of the neighbourhood. So much so that a resident of the area set up a petition to garner support. It worked. With 1,500 signatures in favour of reinstating the sign, Parks Vancouver did just so in 2014. And there you go, sometimes a prank goes awesome!
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons – User: The Interior