Thanks for this Irwin series, it's been edifying.
Wow, these lenses of perception give me a new perception everytime I look at the fences around construction sites and dumpsters and so on....why it tells me that everything is BOTH an object of perception and a lens of perception....so everything is "art" .... but also not "art, at the same time... and did you ever stop to think that maybe our universe is just a floater in the giant eyebal of a ginaormeous other Being? anyway, this ubiquitous vacuousness also means all wrting about "art" and non-"art" is equally meaningful....Irwin's utter dependence on space: total vacuousness: is to the world of "art" what Miss SC stands for in the world of "knowledge" and "thoughts."
All mediated thru the dialectic of global capitalism, natch.
Thanks for turning me on to Irwin. Next artist please...
I never see anyone in that thing. It's hardly "surrounded" by college kids - more like adjacent to them. It's kind of pointless, ugly, perhaps some sarcastic comment on the functionality of the campus, but totally useless all the same.
I work near this piece and hadn't heard the history. Thanks for that, and for the observations on "an almost edgeless object that fades in and out of view". It's as I'm walking past it that it looks most interesting -- the fading in and out, I suppose, and shifts in color density and opacity -- but as a standing object it definitely seems lacking. Then again, I've wondered how it will look when the trees get bigger.
I've seen this thing several times now, and never knew what to do with it. I can honestly say I have not found it very interesting, and it seems very out of place - it's not on a main walking route on campus. And that "blue" is now a "purple"... suspiciously Husky-colored, if you ask me. The thing always struck me as a mis-guided attempted at UW boosterism. Thanks to this piece I know better now, but unfortunately that doesn't make me like the piece any more.
I loved the Trees in Jail when it lived near the public safety building. It was a joke I was never sure if anyone else ever got.
Same goes with that Monopoly-Man Ruling the World sculpture in front of the valet stand at the Richie-rich hotel downtown.
Nine trees. Check.
Some fencing. Check.
An obscure concept. Check.
Art? Not quite.
@7 Does that Monopoly man replace doors too?
While it may have its "pleasures" for Irwin fans, as a functional work of art it fails miserably. The By George cafeteria is in sore need of additional outdoor seating for those who wish to escape the dank, poorly lit, low-ceilinged misery of its indoor space. The hideous purple mesh surrounding the benches does nothing to welcome someone carrying a backpack and a tray of food. In order to reach a table one must first navigate all the way around the retaining wall (The cement path leading toward the building ends at a wall, as Jen mentions in her article, and a 4-foot drop to the existing outdoor seating area. No stairs. No gate.) Once inside the structure, one feels hemmed in. While it is common for students in other areas to share tables during the busy lunch hour, the compartmental nature of the structure gives one a feeling of being in a small private room, making sharing a table with strangers awkward. The University has essentially ruined its chance to provide a much-needed outdoor option for one of its largest cafeterias. I hope it doesn’t last.
While I've enjoyed all of Irwin's work in your latest series, this piece has struck me as awkward since its days downtown. The fences are too high, and/or the spaces to small. And why the need to tightly mesh off the sections, wouldn't a looser weave and/or a few rails adaquately suggest the divisions? The effect is oddly compressed, both from the outside and inside where the trees only compound the problem.
Sorry, but I'd say re-installation of this piece has the aura of excessive deference to a big-name reputation by local art insiders intent on maintaining their wannabe aspirations in the larger art world. Probably some local MFA's would have used the $300,000 spent resurrecting this at least as well, if not considerably better.
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