"To move the work is to destroy the work." ~ Richard Serra

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Situation Art & the Wake Forest Campus

As I am sitting outside and pondering, musing, and writing about situation and its many applications in the world that surrounds me, a few things come to mind, all of which reside on the Wake Forest campus.
The first thing I wanted to mention was the chain link people who are set at the peak of the small hill in between Tribble and the Benson University Center. They are very much a permanent part of that particular area; they were even caution-taped off when they remodeled Benson. Something like that becomes an inscrutable part of the life here on campus; on holidays people interact with them, including tying red capes on them for Valentine's Day, and likewise events. They are undeniably a fair example of situation art.
The second example that came to mind is the bowl that resides in Davis field also, similar to Carl Andre's work with the cinderblocks, would be fairly unspectacular without the situation that it was placed in. That is, the bowl was originally made so when it was full of water it would appear to have a convex curve at the top. It unfortunately was deemed a drowning hazard and can no longer be filled. The irony is that the bowl is still in the field and is only that, a bowl. It's a very interesting piece, but most of its allure comes from the story/situation that it is in, not just the work itself.
The last example that I want to touch on is the mood swings that are placed all around campus. Each swing has a different mood and is placed in an appropriate spot around the campus. Every person has a different relationship to those swings that are specific to the site they are in; the site an interaction determine the subsequent feeling and relationship that is formed between the viewer/witness and the work itself.
All of these examples are very relevant situation/site-specific works and have a special place here on the Wake Forest Campus.

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