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A one-hour artwork in the new Olympic Sculpture Park

A mysterious installation appears. It's a swing that don't mean a thing.
A new work is briefly installed at the Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle. (Greg Lundgren)

A new work is briefly installed at the Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle. (Greg Lundgren) None

Editor's clarification, May 6, 2007: The author of this article was involved in planning the event.
What a lovely day it was Sunday! There was no better place to be on that day, and the view from the Olympic Sculpture Park was just amazing. And then, right around 1 p.m., the most extraordinary thing happened. A team of five walked into the park from the south entrance wearing white coveralls, white gloves, and hard hats. In their hands were an assortment of metal objects and signs. Everything was white. Without a word, they marched single file through the park and defined a work area in the grass. Within minutes they had assembled a perfectly white swing set – well, that was until the title sign went in the ground. The title was in French: Ceci n'est pas une swing set. "This is not a swing set." Well, it sure looked like a swing set. They also set up a-frame signs around the piece, which bore an uncanny resemblance to those employed by the park. The signs asked the audience not to touch the "art." My four-year-old nephew wanted to swing. It was a very confusing moment. Was this swing set sculpture or did this sculpture just look a heck of a lot like a swing? The "art/swing set/thing" is no longer there. The park staff came and said that it had to leave because it was a liability. I didn't understand why it would have been a liability any more than Anthony Caro's "Riviera," but it was a beautiful day and my mind quickly returned to leisure. Within the hour the park returned to normal, and new visitors would never have guessed what had just unfolded. But my nephew is still asking why he was not allowed to play on the swing. Why do kids have so many questions!

Greg Lundgren is an artist and owner of The Hideout, an art bar on First Hill in Seattle. He can be reached at greg@vital5productions.com.


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Comments:

Posted Tue, May 1, 10:53 a.m. Inappropriate

Re-Chaining Hammering Man: Just goes to show that, once again, the Seattle Art Museum is a hoity-toity institution that just doesn't get us. Their beautiful sculpure park could use a little fun, and could be a whole lot less precious.

Raise a salute to the rebels! Re-Chain Hammering Man! Put the 2001 slab back up!

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