It is behavior seen throughout the world on a Saturday night – in fact on every night of the week which happens to have an a in it. There are always a few who have just that little bit too much and end up making a scene, a spectacle and often a mess in to the bargain. Yet in Halifax, Canada, scenes of a drunken nature are not confined to its human denizens: the lampposts are at it too.
On the waterfront boardwalk of the city three worse for wear lampposts can be seen in all their drunken glory. One has collapsed and is lying comatose on the ground while his concerned friend looks on. The third is doing something quite unspeakable in to the sea.
The lampposts are a collaboration between Waterfront Development Corporation and the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. Together they have brought the work of duo Chris Hanson and Hendrika Sonnenberg to the Halifax waterfront. Hanson and Sonnenberg are graduates of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design so there is a local connection.
The three lampposts are actually a modern form of diptych where two pieces of art are joined together. In this case the connection is in the antics of the anthropomorphic trio. The recumbent lamp and its concerned onlooker are called together Got Drunk, Fell Down. The third – the one relieving itself in to the sea – is called (no real surprise here) Fountain. Together they form a diptych called The Way Things Are.
Unsurprisingly, the trio have attracted an equal amount of admirers and detractors but most Haligonians (that someone from Halifax to you and me) are unfazed by the sculpture. In fact, late at night the numbers of seemingly drunk objects seems to regularly increase on the boardwalk. If ever there was a case of life imitating art, this must be it.