Nils Johnson, Marriane Stella, Han Zhang , Mary Guillan
Proposal-statement of intent
In an act of solidarity with the student movement, we, a group of artists at this university, seek to engage the public in intellectual dialogue regarding the ongoing unrest surrounding the universities budget and administration through the display of public art. We wish to provoke a formal dialogue with the public so that through the abolishment of ignorance surrounding the topic, we can engage in a civil debate through grassroots action by the public. We wish to accomplish this through a sustainable sculpture that will serve dual purposes of educating, and provoking discourse surrounding the topic at hand.
The sculpture itself will consist of an ‘audience’ and a ‘stage’ (consisting of a podium). The sculptures conceptual model is inspired by London’s Hyde Park, and the controversial ‘free speech zones’. The ‘stage’ section will consist of a podium where any member of the public may come up and speak to the simulated ‘audience’ about the issues at hand in a civil, intellectual manner. Simultaneously, the sculpture seeks to encourage public speaking. This act is meant to empower students’ agency and give them a voice, literally and figuratively. The ‘audience’ will consist of nineteen life size replicas of the student protesters spaced accordingly around the podium. The figures will prominently display information regarding the issue at hand. The ‘audience’ serves as a.) a catalyst for displaying information about the issue so as to educate the public, and b.) through an expressionistic life size act of interventionist origin we seek to humanize the people affected by this crisis by maintaining public participation.
The materials that we will use are as important conceptually as they are physically. The figures will be created using a mixture of burlap, wire and recycled materials. The exterior of the figures will be formed using a wire mesh wrapped tightly in burlap while the interior will be stuffed with recycled materials (plastic bags etc.). The uniformity of the materials and figures allows us to conceptually address the solidarity felt among the many students system wide. The podium will be made of discarded wood and covered in burlap.
Our desired location serves to link history with current events. The quad has served as a hotbed for civil discourse and the gathering of politically minded activists for decades. We wish to continue this tradition of free speech. Our goal is to leave nothing but ideas and will work closely to make sure no damage comes to the quad or its flora as a result of our sculpture.
Reception Dec. 6th 11:00am-12:00-lobby reception @ art building, 12:00pm-2:00pm–walking tour of student sculptures.