It is an odd experience living in a town where buildings are continuously being deconstructed, the construction cranes are there but they are really deconstruction cranes slowly but surely pulling buildings to bits.
Cranes have amassed throughout the CBD and the other day their presence reminded me of one of my favourite paintings, The City Rises (1910) by Umberto Boccioni. The first time I saw this work was while studying 20th century art 101 under Jonathon Mane-Wheoki at the University of Canterbury. It was reproduced in Robert Hughes The Shock of the New, the one and only text which we were strongly urged to purchase with what little money we had as students back then.
It's a brilliant painting - men and horses toil away in back-breaking unison, building a brave new world with all the energy and force they can muster. It was also one of those works that, having only seen reproduced in books or crumbly old 35mm slides, I was totally awestruck when I finally came across the real thing. This happened unexpectedly at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in the mid 1990s when the painting suddenly appeared before me as I glided up an escalator. It would have stopped me dead in my tracks but the escalator kept pushing on towards the work - an experience I'll never forget. Bring on the day when Christchurch's demolishing has finished and the city rises.