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The Flying Pigs: Situationist art collective Aberdeen City Council have got avant-garde plans for BHS

Concept images showing the new frontage of the redeveloped BHS site in Union Street
This apparently utopian vision may be unsettling for some Aberdeen locals

Here are the latest wisecracks from Aberdeen comedy sketch group, The Flying Pigs.

J Fergus Lamont, Arts Correspondent and author of If No One is Watching, is it Still News?, The Nine, and The Battle for Scotland’s Eyeballs

You find me giddy with joy. I have my ticket for the long awaited resumption of theatrical presentations in the city, and I look forward to the first performance in over a year at Aberdeen Arts Centre. Soon I shall be seated in my own socially distanced “pod” to witness a production which, by its title, I expect to be an uplifting piece about the hallucinatory effects of domestic isolation. I simply cannot wait for Artie’s Singing Kettle.

The Flying Pigs

In the meantime, I am delighted to see that the visual arts remain vibrant. You may not have heard of them, for they have garnered little or no publicity, but the increasingly prolific situationist art collective, The Aberdeen City Council, have announced proposals for a market-style space with pop-up stalls for local traders within the former British Home Stores building on Union Street.

An exciting proposal to be sure, but what caught my eye was the stunning image produced by way of illustration of the concept.

I found this apparently utopian vision, with its complete absence of bins, concrete roadblocks, crash fencing and traffic cones, unsettling.

This is a cityscape rendered in such exquisite detail as to make Renoir lay down his brush. A wooden pergola projects out from a gleaming building, proud and dynamic, into a street lined with mature trees. Above, a cloudless sky of cornflower blue and, strolling in the avenue, fashionably dressed, athletically proportioned, smiling passers-by.

What does it mean? I gazed upon it for a full 10 minutes before I came to the staggering realisation that what was depicted was the top of Market Street. I found this apparently utopian vision, with its complete absence of bins, concrete roadblocks, crash fencing and traffic cones, unsettling.

Perhaps it depicts a time when the effects of global warming are irreversible? When people are slim because of food scarcity and anoraks unnecessary as the planet boils away to it’s fiery doom? But, then, why are they smiling?

Needs more drizzle, a wheelie bin or two and perhaps a seagull eating a sandwich

No doubt the artist intended to inspire us; but by creating this idyll – so near to reality, yet so far from our experience – he provokes a quite different, but no less profound, emotional response. No matter what becomes of the BHS building, this is a picture of a day which will never, ever come.

How I wish he had included just a hint of drizzle, a wheelie bin or two and perhaps a seagull eating a sandwich from the Co-op.

I wept.

There’s an awful lot of democracy about at the moment, isn’t there?
Given the axing of the usual exit polls, we asked some of our regulars how they voted.

Struan Metcalfe, MP for Aberdeenshire North & Surrounding Nether Regions

Call the cavalry: Taran-tarah! Here come the Tories to save the day! As soon as we’ve sent the Frenchies back to Calais with their tails between their jambes, we are coming to save the Union!

Good to see we’re still so jolly popular in the north-east. We must be, Sky News says that’s where Hartlepool is!

Jock Alexander, rural affairs

Social distancing rules meant I wisnae allowed tae shak the hand o’ ony o’ the candidates hinging aboot ootside the polling station. A pity, as I usually get clarted in dubs especially.

Scottish Election 2021
Votes are counted for the Scottish election 2021

Wi’ that small pleasure denied me, I opted for a postal vote instead. However, fit wi the vagaries o’ rural service, I dinna expect my vote tae arrive in time tae be coonted.

However, there is a chunce that the een I sent aff in 2016 will be there by noo, just in time tae gie Kezia Dugdale’s campaign a much needed boost.

Tanya Souter, Lifestyle Guru

I da ken aboot youse, but I think wir democrastic institutions is assolutely vital. So even though I wisnae sure foo tae vote for, I daen it in person, in spite o’ the virus.

Of course, I wis wearing a face covering fit meant I didnae need tae wash the lower half of ma coupon afore I went oot, and by saying different names and turning my mask inside oot I wiz able tae vote seven times.

Kevin Cash, King of the Grips

I wiz delighted wi’ the recommendation that voters bring their ain pencil tae the polling booth as it gave me a chunce tae shift the box o’ Staedtler Noris HBs I’ve hid in my press since I liberated them fae Craighill Primary in 2007.

Unfortunately, time and the damp in my press hiv nae been kind. I’m nae saying a’ the the leads his gone saft, but dinna be surprised if Aiberdeen South and North Kincardine hae an unusually high number o’ spoiled ballots.


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