Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sam Durant

Of the many stellar works at Documenta 13,  I think Sam Durant's sculpture Scaffold, located within the Karlsaue park, resonates with the themes we've been discussing in class.  

Durant states:  
Because of the intricacy and complexity of this structure, it may not be immediately apparent as to exactly what its origins are or how it is to be used; while children use it as a play structure, adults, perhaps attracted by its architectural novelty can slowly discover its origins and meaning. While some might see a resemblance to constructions in an adventure playground from the 1970’s, the sculpture is actually made up of a combination of reconstructed gallows (or scaffolds as they were once called) that were used in executions of significance throughout U.S. history. Through this formal uncertainty there is an attempt to signify both the free play of childhood and the ultimate form of control, capital punishment.

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed the artist's own comments on the work. When I approached this piece, my first thought was "how fun!" Which became "how dismal!" after realizing the true nature of the construction. I was pleased that the artist recognized the joyful, playground aspect of the work alongside its morbidity.