The mayor may not support a statue of Robocop for public display in Detroit, but the citizens sure seem to be enthused. According to MSNBC.com, The “Detroit Needs a Statue of RoboCop” campaign met the 50,000 dollar mark through a website called Kickstarter.com which allows users to fund their favorite art projects. The criticism has been that the money will be wasted on a movie depicting Detroit as a crime infested nightmare–a future dystopia. However, if you’ve seen the movie you know that the tribute is apt because Robocop not only kicks ass on the streets but also goes after the corporate criminals who are fueling the street crime. Add to that the emotional plight of Robocop realizing his human origins and the loss of his family and the statue represents more than just an eighties sci-fi film. After all, our hero mythology is now primarily found in films and, as much as I would like to recognize Nobel peace prize winners, the sight of Robocop will probably do more to lift spirits in a struggling economy than something that looks out of place in a city dedicated to the automobile.
This campaign is also the vote of the people as they are putting their money where their mouth is and leaving the government out of the funding. A post on The Great American Pixel makes the argument for the statue as part of the public arts effort which will lead to more projects reducing the blighted areas of the city. Possibly KISS is next.
I know some readers are rolling their eyes, but is it really that strange to put up a statue to film mythology? Are the Greek Gods that adorn numerous publics works in America, not to mention the classic art of Europe, superior? Detroit is a gritty, car manufacturing city and Robocop seems more fitting as techno-public art than Zeus, an abstract sculpture or some ego tribute to a past local government official. We still don’t seem to recognize that America’s mythological hereos include film and comic books and they are very unique to the United States with the likes of Superman, Batman, Spiderman and Ronald Reagan (wait, was he real? Hard to tell with the conservative worship going on).
I’m thinking this is a damn good idea.