Friday, September 05, 2014

Body hanging from billboard was art

Emergency services called to reports of a body hanging from a billboard in Peterborough arrived to discover the "victim" was an artist's dummy. Laura Keeble created the work featuring a life-like model of a graffiti artist suspended from a billboard as part of an art trail around the city.

After a caller informed police a body was hanging near Mayor's Walk, officers and paramedics attended. Miss Keeble's work, created in conjunction with poet Mark Grist, asks "what's an artist worth?" and features a sculpture of a hooded graffiti artist suspended from the billboard as he paints it. She installed the work on Saturday but within hours both the East of England Ambulance Service and Cambridgeshire Police had been called by a concerned member of the public.

A police spokesman said they were called to reports of "a body hanging from a structure". The ambulance service was informed "a patient was in arrest due to hanging". The rescue drama was captured on a camera Miss Keeble had put on a tree to record "public interaction" with her work. "I imagined images of people poking the sculpture or even applying their own marks to the billboard wall - not on any level the response from the emergency services that we see in the images," she said.

"I am obviously concerned that someone was worried enough to call the services, although if they had gone to see if the 'person' was OK they would have very clearly seen the sculpture was made from expanding foam, sellotape, plaster and spray paint." Both the police and ambulance service said they "occasionally get calls that turn out to be false alarms, as in this case". The police spokesman said while they encouraged people to call 999 for life-threatening emergencies, he added: "They should try and get as much information as possible before they call." The model has been removed from the billboard "to prevent further calls or distractions", he said.


Williamrocket said...

We had a similar thing here in NZ a short while ago. Some 'artist' floated a dummy filled coffin down a river, complete with a sign advertising a company. The police and ambulance were called out, which consumed a total of 24 man hours, use of vehicles and fuel, and meant that if a life threatening event happened at the same time, the police etc would not be able to attend.
I have always been a bit of a rebel (in my head at least) but reckon the 'artist' should have been charged the full cost of the call outs.
Mind you I also think the same of the 'adventurer' that tried kayaking from Australia to NZ only to get too tired to finish the trip, resulting in the Air Force sending an Orion up to first find him and then sending 6 men out in a helicopter to pick him up.
So i end pay my taxes and he gets thousands of those tax dollars spent on him just because he is a self thought hero and a failure ?
The kayak drifted for 2 weeks, causing a navigational hazard.

Williamrocket said...

Excuse mistakes, I speed type.

arbroath said...

Your sped typping id good! :)

I posted about the body in coffin stunt ...