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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Kid on a Judd

Posted by on Tue, Jan 28, 2014 at 12:07 PM

Gawker has a post today with a picture of a mom and a dad standing in front of a Donald Judd stack at London's Tate Modern. Their kid is lying on his (?) stomach on the first rung of the stack, his arms crossed under his head. The kid looks, I don't know, 7 or 8. Gawker calls it "crawling all over" the "$3 million" art.

Naturally, commenters are taking it as an opportunity either to hate on the kid, the parents, or the art.

As for me, I had no idea a Judd stack rung could bear the weight of a whole human being. The rungs are hollow boxes mounted so that they stick out uneasily from the wall. I like their physical strangeness compared to other sculptures that stand strong and solid. These are odd. Most people don't like them; Judds seem to absorb a pretty high percentage of the total kneejerk disdain dispensed to 20th-century art today. They seem targeted. So I feel sorry for them, I do, and no, I don't want to see one damaged, not at all.

But it's kind of humanizing to know somebody used one as his own personal little sleeper car. I guess that if it had to happen, I'd prefer it'd happened in some mansion rather than in a public museum.

Thanks for the tip, Mary!


Comments (22) RSS

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AirBuddy 1
Are the boxes hollow? I would figure the mounting for Judd pieces would be pretty well engineered. I don't think he was as much of a Flavin control freak in terms of the setup behind the pieces.
Posted by AirBuddy on January 28, 2014 at 12:20 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 2
It's the first Judd I've seen and it looked like a few shelves on the wall. Are they supposed to be saying something?
Posted by TheMisanthrope on January 28, 2014 at 12:20 PM · Report this
AirBuddy 3
@2 it's from the minimalist period in American contemporary art when everyone got really into space, maaaaaaaaaan. Some of the materials and fabrication processes were really innovative for the time. In terms of how influential it's been, I direct you to the classic "Judd or cheap furniture?" quiz.
Posted by AirBuddy on January 28, 2014 at 12:25 PM · Report this
Multi-million-dollar my ass. It's metal boxes stuck into the wall. If one falls out of the wall, you re-anchor it. It's a boring simple modern sculpture. It's not like he's wiping his ass on a Raphael Cartoon.
Posted by The CHZA on January 28, 2014 at 12:27 PM · Report this
MacCrocodile 5
Whatever you think of the art itself, that is no way to behave in a space that isn't yours to things that aren't yours, even if you are a child. The parents rolling their eyes at the museum for asking the them to get their kid off the art are awful people.
Posted by MacCrocodile on January 28, 2014 at 12:31 PM · Report this
Why is no one saying "Horrible artist"?

If your art can be easily confused for a shelving unit, you're pretty bad at art.
Posted by Tyler Pierce on January 28, 2014 at 12:40 PM · Report this
Philly 7
when your art can be easily mistaken for a jungle gym, it's your own fault.
Posted by Philly on January 28, 2014 at 12:53 PM · Report this
Hernandez 8
@7 I don't blame the kid, it looks like fun. Screw that woman for tweeting "horrible child". Kids are curious and don't magically understand appropriate museum behavior without some, you know, parental intervention.
Posted by Hernandez on January 28, 2014 at 1:01 PM · Report this
That kid on that piece of art is the best thing that ever happened in that miserable exhibit.

Every last one of you was at least once in your life a screechy horrible little shit, no matter what mummy and daddy told you in the revisionist history of your early years. If you're still upset at the kids, or the parents (and god knows you'd have to be an idiot to be so) just remember you have no idea what happened to that kid after they got home. Maybe the mother made him kneel on rice for two hours? Maybe the father beat him so badly that he developed a stutter. Feel better yet about all those awful parents and awful children that neither you nor anyone you know was once like?
Posted by johnjjeeves on January 28, 2014 at 1:10 PM · Report this
It's a museum. It's okay to not like or appreciate the art.

But it's not a playground. Children need to be taught appropriate behavior for different locations. If you want to teach your kid something AND have fun, go to a children's museum where that behavior IS encouraged.

(I'm sure many of you would have a lot to say if the kid was climbing on chairs in a restaurant where you were trying to have dinner. Chairs can be for climbing, right?)
Posted by westello on January 28, 2014 at 1:34 PM · Report this
The Accidental Theologist 11
Yay for the kid! He's ignoring the artificial dollar value and just doing what I'd like to do when some piece of art interests me -- ignore the guards and the guardians, and get close to it. Climb all over it. Slide down the side of it. Fall off it. Fall asleep on it. Whatever.
So it won't last forever. So what? Nothing will.
Posted by The Accidental Theologist on January 28, 2014 at 1:36 PM · Report this
7 or 8? No way. The kid looks to be 4, tops (having a wee one I feel at least semi-qualified to guess). Also, the person who took the photo told off the parents, who told her off in turn. They for sure didn't punish the kid when they got home - as they shouldn't have, since it was THEIR responsibility to control their kid. Kids will want to touch/eat/wipe their noses on anything at all, so it's really up to the parent to see that they don't at that age. And now somebody please cue the "you should've seen what he did to the Duchamp" jokes...
Posted by teamcanada'sforgottenpassword on January 28, 2014 at 1:38 PM · Report this
Looks like Jen called it.
Posted by CATSPAW666 on January 28, 2014 at 1:44 PM · Report this
Douchebags beget douchebags, unfortunately. Whether in a museum or restaurant or movie theatre or wherever, people need to take care of their fucking kids.
Posted by Amanda on January 28, 2014 at 1:56 PM · Report this
Fnarf 15
Ikea LACK.
Posted by Fnarf on January 28, 2014 at 1:56 PM · Report this
@3 That's the most fun internet quiz I've taken in a while. I got 75%.
Posted by David Wright on January 28, 2014 at 2:23 PM · Report this
Mattini 17
Yikes at the issues @9 is working out.

The kid's being a kid. The parents are entitled dicks.
Posted by Mattini on January 28, 2014 at 2:26 PM · Report this
Banna 18
I'm sending my kids to every "what's the big deal" person's house to climb around in their dresser drawers, on their coffee tables and kitchen cabinets.

Doesn't matter if it's a $3M statue or a $30 garage sale coffee table, you teach your kids to respect other peoples' things and stop them when the owner asks them to stop.
Posted by Banna on January 28, 2014 at 4:15 PM · Report this
sirkowski 19
A metal box is better resist to a fucking sledgehammer if it's gonna be worth 3 million dollars.
Posted by sirkowski on January 28, 2014 at 7:34 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 20
Ugh, the Gawker comments. Trashy trash from trashville. Who cares if the art "sucks", be respectful. Kids are unpredictable, but the shameless parents should have left if their child was unmanageable. The child wasn't unmanageable, the parents were.
Posted by undead ayn rand on January 28, 2014 at 8:48 PM · Report this
Nelson Bradley 21
I watched the massive opening-day crowds destroy Carl Andre's Lead Coil floor piece at the Guggenheim Bilbao by simply not noticing it. It took less than 10 minutes to completely flatten it. A testimonial to the power of Gehry's architecture. Hilarious.
Posted by Nelson Bradley on January 29, 2014 at 6:44 AM · Report this
cmonstah 22
In Cuzco, I saw parents put their kids in Inca ceremonial niches. But those are stone, and definitely up to holding the weight of a child. Kind of amazing that this held up.
Posted by cmonstah on January 31, 2014 at 12:15 AM · Report this

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