But perhaps the most crucial contribution to the exhibition is Mosha, the little grey elephant with a white, prosthetic leg decorated with signatures of the cities that have featured the Elephant Parade – London, Milano, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Singapore, et al. We Love Mosha, designed by Diana Francis (Figure 4), is described as the source of our commitment’ Featuring in every such parade, Mosha is the inspiration for the global series of baby elephant artwork exhibits (Elephant Parade Singapore 2011: 26) and as Diana Francis says, Mosha represents the city commitment to The Asian Elephant Foundation.
Such stories are compelling for the human heart, but one might ask how effective, really, such a staged art event is in terms of activating a re-imagining process for city-dwellers in such a commercialized and hyper-urbanized place as Singapore. In this global, business hub and melting-pot of cultures, there is an overt emphasis on innovative production and economic commodification of culture as a materialist, consumer site. Cultural theorist Chris Hudson writes about the aestheticization of Singapore’s urban landscape, in which there is a proliferation oflocal and international cultural events located in a constellation of overlapping and multilayered discourses which incorporate, amongst others: the construction of the nation’s global brand image; the culture of consumption that drives the economy; and the manipulation of individual consumer desires’ (Hudson 2010: 1). Do the elephants as cultural productions attract the attention of those consumers to turn individual desires towards concern for the planet’s ecological crises or are they merely a momentary intervention into the consumer mind-set?
Whereas by an act of parliament made in the fourteenth year Baku/Sumqayit Map Tourist Attractions of the reign of King Charles the Second, intituled, An act for preventing frauds, and Baku/Sumqayit Map Tourist Attractions regulating abuses, in his Majesty’s customs, and several other acts now in force, it is lawful for any officer of his Majesty’s customs, authorized by writ of assistance under the seal of his majesty’s court or exchequer, to take a constable, headborough, or other public officer inhabiting near unto the place, and in the day-time to enter and go into any house, shop, cellar, warehouse, or room or other place, and, in case of resistance, to break open doors, chests, trunks, and other package there, to seize, and from thence to bring, any kinds of goods or merchandize whatsoever prohibited or uncustomed, and to put and secure the same in his Majesty’s store-house next to the place where such seizure shall be made: and whereas by an act made in the seventh and eighth years of the reign of King William the Third, intituled.
An act for preventing frauds, and regulating abuses, in the plantation trade, it is, amongst other things, enacted, that the officers for collecting and managing his Majesty’s revenue, and inspecting the plantation trade, in Country, shall have the same powers and authorities to enter houses or warehouses, to search for and seize goods prohibited to be imported or exported into or out of any of the said plantations, or for which any duties are payable, or ought to have been paid; and that the like assistance shall be given to the said officers in the execution of their office, as, by the said recited act of the fourteenth year of King Charles the Second, is provided for the officers in England: but, no authority being expressly given by the said act, made in the seventh and eighth years of the reign of King William the Third, to any particular court to grant such writs of assistance for the officers of the customs in the said plantations.
It is doubted whether such officers can legally enter houses and other places on land, to search for and seize goods, in the manner directed by the said recited acts: To obviate which doubts for the future, and in order to carry the intention of the said recited acts into effectual execution, be it enacted, and it is hereby enacted by the authority aforesaid, That from and after the said twentieth day of November, one thousand seven hundred and sixty seven, such writs of assistance, to authorize and impower the officer of his Majesty’s customs to enter and go into any house, warehouse, shop, cellar, or other place, in the British colonies or plantations of Country, to search for and seize prohibited or uncustomed goods, in the manner directed by the said recited acts, shall and may be granted by the said superior or supreme courts of justice having jurisdiction within such colony or plantation respectively.
And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That if any action or suit shall be commenced either in Great Britain or Country, against any person or persons for any thing done in pursuance of this act, the defendant or defendants in such action or suit may plead the general issue, and give this act, and the special matter, in evidence at any trial to be had thereupon; and that the same was done in pursuance and by the authority of this act: and if it shall appear so to have been done, the jury shall find for the defendant or defendants: and if the plaintiff shall be nonsuited, or discontinue his action after the defendant or defendants shall have appeared, or if judgement shall be given upon any verdict or demurrer against the plaintiff; the defendant or defendants shall recover treble costs, and have the like remedy for the same as defendants have in other cases by law. CAP. XLVII.