created by Phoebe A

8 Mar 2010

Site Specific

Top & bottom photographs: Tilted Arc, Richard Serra, 1981 (Federal Plaza, NYC)

Richard Serra's Tilted Arc attempted to reinforce the 'art in public places' approach New York was experimenting with in the 1980's.

..."the controversial sculpture showed up the hypocrisy of the "public" plaza as a cohesive and unified social space by negating the utilitarian or functionalist mandate for public art with an obtrusive and "useless" object..."

It was a monument that caused huge controversy (how could it not!), so much so that immediately after its erection a trial commenced, to decide whether it should be taken down. 8 years later it was cut into three and removed from the Federal Plaza, where it was taken to a scrap yard. The discrimination against this sculpture provoked many questions regarding the role and freedom of the artist in an increasingly liberated society, government funding and the publics role on deciding the value of art.

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