Internet memes have birthed a subculture of ironists whose art blurs the lines between seriousness and comedy. At times, our countercultural embrace of “cringe,” however sarcastic, is also rooted in genuine appreciation for the subject being memed.
This is exemplified through the late Millennial and Gen Z adoration for the Despicable Me characters known as Minions. These yellow pill-shaped, often annoying, creatures have been a frequent subject of memes for years now.
However, the memeing of Minions may have finally reached its peak. In the small Australian town of Warrack, someone has been stealthily installing scrap metal sculptures of Minions.
How Is the Town of Warrack Reacting to the Influx of Minions Sculptures?
A mystery in a small town in Australia is growing. Residents of Warrack say, sculptures of minions have been appearing in locations around town since just before Christmas. 🤓 pic.twitter.com/utMd8PSfqp— WGN Morning News (@WGNMorningNews) March 22, 2023
Warrack is the epitome of rural. Boasting a population of about 70, it is the last place one would expect quasi-ironic art installations to appear. However, since December, more and more minion statues, all made of scrap metal, have been popping up on random properties throughout Warrack.
So far, 24 sculptures have appeared, as documented by Mountainside Wines’ Facebook page. Mountainside Wines is the town’s only business.
Despite no one necessarily asking for the sculptures’ appearances, the townspeople have responded well to their presence, having a collective laugh at the sheer absurdity of the situation.
“No one wants to find out [who’s behind the sculptures],” says Shane Goninon, co-owner of Mountainside WInes.
Suspicions as to Who May Be Behind the Minions Sculptures
Dozens of mystery minions have popped up in a tiny town and it's got accusations flying https://t.co/U6NZ4zaXw1— ABC News (@abcnews) March 21, 2023
The figure installing the Minion sculptures has been captured on one properties CCTV camera. Unfortunately, they were “dressed up as Santa Clause in a bear suit,” says Goninon.
One thing is for certain: Whoever is behind the sculptures is local to Warrack. This is evident in the fact that the sculptures are customized to be relevant to the person whose property they appear on. For example, the Minion outside of Mountainside Wines is pouring wine into a glass balanced on its head.
Many townspeople believe that born-and-bred local Daniel Buckingham is behind the sculptures. The sculpture that appeared on his property was unique in that it depicted Gru, who, in the Despicable Me movies, is the leader of the Minions.
Is this a signifier that Buckingham is the mastermind behind the trend? Buckingham vehemently denies it, instead pointing the finger at Goninon.
“A few of the people are having a go at us saying we have done it to get more people going to the winery,” Goninon claimed. “But anybody who knows me knows I don’t have any skills in that area. I couldn’t make them to save my life.”