She's a character, she has opinions.

Your art doesn’t trump my safety.

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I am angry. I am angry and I refuse to tone down that anger to make this more palatable for you. Other people around the internet have laid this out in calm and rational ways and have done a fantastic job of getting their point across. And even more people have responded to them with disdain and dismissal. Fuck those people.

So what’s up? The Davis Museum at Wellesley College is hosting an exhibit of Tony Matelli’s sculptures. They placed a sculpture of a man naked except for his underwear on a nearby campus road. We can assume that the museum and Director Lisa Fischman intended no harm. (Fischman’s statement.)

Almost immediately students began asking for the removal of this sculpture to inside the museum with the rest of the exhibit. A petition was started to “remove the uncomfortable and potentially triggering statue put up without student consent.” Read the petition. It’s beautifully written and tells you everything you need to know about the damage this statue has caused and could continue to cause. (Petition.)

Now, here is where all the trouble began. Instead of listening people responded with all that disdain and dismissal I wrote of earlier. Lisa Fischman posted on the petition that she’d seen people interacting with the statue and “[a]rt provokes dialogue, and discourse is the core of education. In that spirit, I am enormously glad to have your response.” But she never addressed the people who have been harmed by this statue, she never addressed the harm.

Let me tell you what excuses are not valid when you are told you are harming someone: I know someone who says it’s okay; but it’s art.

Fuck you and your art. Fuck you and prioritizing your need to provoke over other people’s need to be safe. Move your damn statue inside the free museum where it’s available to everyone who wants to view it and away from everyone who needs to avoid it. Stop thinking your lived experience is the only one and have some damn compassion.

Non ministrari sed ministrare, my ass.


Written by tldegray

February 5, 2014 at 10:42 pm

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