Flak over sex chair sat­is­fies cre­ator

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By TASHA BLACK

Rau­mati artist Ja­son Beca knew the sex chair he built for Porirua’s Pataka Mu­seum was go­ing to cre­ate a stir.

But what me­dia who cov­ered the story have not picked up on, he said, was that the $100 bills cov­er­ing the chair, called Alice in Won­der­ful Land, have the words ‘‘root of all evil’’ writ­ten on them.

‘‘Money is the root of evil; it’s passed around in the seed­i­est places of the world. That’s what I have been try­ing to por­tray.’’

The chair, which has one cam­era, two mon­i­tors and a hole in the seat of bul­let-proof glass, caused con­tro­versy when Maori Party co-leader Tar­i­ana Turia took of­fence at it.

Beca said he knew of only a cou­ple of com­plaints to the mu­seum, but art was con­tro­ver­sial and an ex­pres­sion of free­dom of speech.

‘‘If you don’t like it, you don’t have to look at,’’ he said.

‘‘ Ev­ery­body has their opin­ion and I re­spect that, and if they don’t like it, that’s it, I’m not wor­ried.

‘‘The more they write into the pa­pers, the news and the TV, they’re just fu­elling it.

‘‘ They’re do­ing what I de­signed the piece to do.

‘‘I just let the com­ments blow in the wind.’’

The chair, the third he has made – the oth­ers have sold and were a lot less po­lit­i­cally cor­rect, he said – was built to pro­voke thought.

Beca, who grabbed me­dia at­ten­tion with a Dr Who Tardis bed he made last year, said ev­ery­thing was very po­lit­i­cally cor­rect these days.

‘‘I knew that it was go­ing to at­tract at­ten­tion, be­cause all the things I do I try and do that.’’

Asked where the idea came from, he replied, ‘‘just my head’’.

Peo­ple could make what­ever they wanted to make of it.

‘‘A kid could stand in front of it and be none the wiser. They’d just laugh at it and think, ‘Oh, a chair with cam­eras in it’.

‘‘And then some­body who is a lit­tle bit ma­ture could look at it and think, ‘ Oh that’s in­ter­est­ing, what’s this all about?’ It’s still just a chair at the end of the day.’’

Asked if he liked the me­dia at­ten­tion, Beca said he just liked peo­ple to see the fin­ished prod­uct. ‘‘It’s just an en­joy­able piece. ‘‘I bet you 99.9 per cent of the peo­ple that look at it will just laugh and just think, ‘Yeah, that’s pretty cool’.’’

Beca said he liked to hop be­tween projects. ‘‘I don’t build sex chairs all day. ‘‘I just like to build crazy things be­cause that’s ob­vi­ously what the world wants to see.’’

He would say noth­ing about what’s next in line.

‘‘I’m build­ing some­thing at the mo­ment in the garage that will do ex­actly what the chair has done . . . a lit­tle bit more PC, more for the sci-fi boys and girls,’’ he said.

‘‘They will love it.’’

Photo: DO­MIN­ION POST

Art or not: Ja­son Beca and the erotic chair that some peo­ple took of­fence to.

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