Art, abstract or otherwise, should have a meaning. It should relate. It should be relevant. It should inspire. It can be controversial, but it should at least represent something.
In Malawi, we have a couple of meaningful art works in form of statues. At the Area 18-Capital Hill junction, there is a statue of a man holding a flywhisk. Anyone who knows Malawi will instantly know who this statue is of, its meaning and relevance. There is another statue at Parliament grounds. Of course, you will need to squint your eyes for a few seconds to know in whose image it was created, but eventually you will know its meaning and relevance to Malawi.
Then there is this indescribable strange thing that was erected at the Parliament Roundabout in our Capital City, Lilongwe. It baffles everyone, foreigners and locals alike. You can spend an entire year looking at it, you will still not decipher what it is. It does not relate to anything in Lilongwe or Malawi, it is not relevant to anything in Lilongwe or Malawi, it does not mean anything to Lilongwe and Malawi, it does not represent anything in Lilongwe or Malawi, it does not inspire anyone in Lilongwe or Malawi. For lack of a better word, it is simply….an erection. It is an ugly erection. And for these crimes against Lilongweans and Malawians, this erection must fall.