The performance art that Henry Docter, the Phantom Planter placed above the Dupont Metro station escalator last Sunday had a short-lived tenure but also announced that he had returned to make D.C. residents smile. Only one quote on the clear hanging box above the escalator was visible from our photos, but as it turns out, the distribution of the quotes was quite ingenious. The comments (which he had lifted from a Washington Post piece on the flowers) that had spoken ill of his work, he placed on the interior of the box as those were the ones he deemed the opinions from "Inside the Box." The ones that spoke praise were placed on the exterior as they were "Outside the Box." We have all of the quotes after the jump.
Inside the Box
· "We find this intrusion an intolerable provocation"?..
· "We cannot allow this 'phantom planter' to inspire others."?
· "We value community input, but flowers attract rats."?....
· "We can arrest and imprison this 'phantom planter' ?
· "Problem solved. We have regained control of our territory."?
· "Every step unauthorized by bureaucratic process is a step toward lawlessness"?.."You can't just beautify Everything."
Outside the Box
· "We need more beauty in our surroundings, more creativity in our citizens, and more humanity in our government. How can Metro possibly think we need less?"
· "Flowers delight the eye and enchant the soul. Metro wants its escalators
to be descents into the soulless depths."
· "Beautification of civic space should be applauded, not crushed."
· "Flowers are beauty and life. It doesn't matter if they are given to us by the wind, by birds, by official planters, or by a random Johnny Flowerseed."
· "When did they make urban beauty and civic kindness a crime?"
· "Metro should nurture flowers instead of mindless bureaucrats"
· "Metro having an Art Director is like Daffy Duck having a Minister of Culture"
· "Metro seems to deal with most problems by asking "What would Joseph Stalin do?""
· "Almost daily, Metro reminds us that government has the capacity to do good, do evil, and do stupid."
· "Laws are supposed to keep us from hurting others—not from helping others."
· "Metro can't properly run our subway system yet they can swiftly kill flowers."
· Metro pulled out his flowers, but guerrilla gardener pops back up in Dupont Circle [WaPo]
· All Phantom Planter Coverage [CDC]