Wednesday, January 24, 2007

sculpture park

the much ballyhooed seattle sculpture park is open. i was one of 35,000 visitors (!) on opening weekend, and it wasn't half bad. one of the best artworks on display, kinda ironically, was a temporary installation by iole alessandrini called "greener." she skimmed planes of green laser light over the green grass terraces, and it was very cool. ironic, not only because it is a temporary work, but because after the opening rush the park will close at sundown, and the laser light is definitely better in the dark... in fact i think just about all of the park's features are better at night. i'll post a few photos.

speaking of photos--paul allen's donated claes oldenburg sculpture came with a notice on the bottom of its information plaque reading "sorry, photography of this sculpture is prohibited." after a predictable torrent of commentary noting that photography of things in public view cannot be prohibited except by specific ordinance, a museum spokesperson has announced that the sign was a mistake and they will be taking it down.

this does nothing to address the absurd park rule that the sculptures must not be touched. i'm sorry, but if you design (for instance) a 30-ton steel sculpture described as "interactive" for placement in a park, at what point did you determine that people's fingerprints will ruin your artwork? sure, the accumulated oils and even friction might have a visible effect (what is that, more than a quarter million fingers on opening weekend alone? maybe half a million appendages, counting the tongues of small children...), but how is this a bad thing? and as for other artworks made of stainless steel, or painted steel... that's just silly.


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