Granted, this post is mostly for the pictures. So go ahead, indulge your visual synapses.
The subject is a weirdly lifelike statue of a male in his underwear, appearing in the act of sleepwalking. It was recently placed on the campus of Wellesley College in Massachusetts as part of the sculptor’s exhibit at Wellesley’s David Museum.
According to Talking Points Memo, students have started a petition to have the sculpture removed:
Zoe Magid, a junior at Wellesley, started a Change.org petition demanding the statue be removed from campus because many found it disturbing.
“The statue of the nearly naked man on the Wellesley College campus is an entirely inappropriate and potentially harmful addition to our community that we, as members of the student body, would like removed immediately,” the petition reads. “[T]his highly lifelike sculpture has, within just a few hours of its outdoor installation, become a source of apprehension, fear, and triggering thoughts regarding sexual assault for many members of our campus community.”
The petition had 319 signatures as of early Wednesday afternoon.
This is interesting to me. I went to college back in the dark ages, at a small, private, co-ed university. While in many ways we were really tame compared to college students today, one thing we would have done is see this sculpture for what it is: a fantastic opportunity for hilarious sabotage.
Within “just of few hours of its outdoor installation” on the campus where I matriculated, the sculpture would have been sporting all manner of, er, decorations. It probably would have had to be put behind glass at what passed then for our arts center, to keep it from being “tagged” and tattooed by some of our more creative “Greek” brethren. If the administration and students had been able to come to an understanding that it could remain installed outside, unmolested, we would still no doubt have adopted it as a mascot and draped it festively for big football games or the basketball tournament.
And, of course, having one’s picture, or one’s organization’s picture, taken with the statue – which within 24 hours would have had a nickname – would have been as obligatory as snowball fights or straggling political protests on “The U.”
It’s a study in the intractability of human nature that what happens at a women’s college is so very different.