Arts Ceci n’est pas une swing set
posted by April 30 at 10:28 AMon
The first sentence of Wikipedia’s entry on swing set: “A swing is a hanging seat, usually found in a playground for children, a circus for acrobats, or on a porch for relaxing.”
Yesterday a swing set was found in the Olympic Sculpture Park. From an email:
And then, right around 1:00 pm, the most extraordinary thing happened. A team of five walked into the park from the south entrance wearing white coveralls, white gloves, and hard hats. In their hands were an assortment of metal objects and signs. Everything was white. Without a word, they marched single file through the park and defined a work area in the grass. Within minutes they had assembled a perfectly white swing set—well, that was until the title sign went in the ground. The title was in French… The sign read, “This is not a swing set.”
The email continues:
Well it sure looked like a swing set. But then again, they did set up a-frame signs around the piece, that bore an uncanny resemblance to those employed by the park. The signs asked the audience not to touch the “art.” My four year old nephew wanted to swing. It was a very confusing moment. Was this swing set sculpture or did this sculpture just look a heck of a lot like a swing? And who is this PDL anyways?
I thought you might enjoy these pictures I took of the event, as the “art/swing set/thing” is no longer there. The park staff came and said that it had to leave because it was a liability. I didn’t understand why it would have been a liability any more that Anthony Caro’s “Riviera,” but it was a beautiful day and my mind quickly returned to leisure.
The email, by the way, came from PDL. (According to that link: “This new artist trio, known as PDL, will spend the next twelve months aggressively creating new works, challenging perceptions of contemporary art, and causing general mayhem in the great Pacific Northwest.”)
It was a beautiful weekend. In France, too.