John Buckley’s Untitled 1986

The giant shark sticking out of Bill Heine’s roof in Oxford represents atomic bombs as something bad. Here’s how Heine describes his masterpiece:

“The shark was to express someone feeling totally impotent and ripping a hole in their roof out of a sense of impotence and anger and desperation…. It is saying something about CND, nuclear power, Chernobyl and Nagasaki.”

One of the big differences between modernism and postmodernism is that a postmodernist would never try to rationalize something as absurd as a giant shark sticking out of the roof. But when this was installed in the late 1980s art had to be justified. That’s not just a giant shark it’s a serious political statement. It’s not suppose to be entertaining; it’s suppose to be preachy.

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