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Wellesley Students Upset Over Realistic Statue Of Man In Underwear

An art installation currently on exhibit both inside and outside Wellesley College has prompted a petition from students who find themselves uncomfortable with one sculpture in particular, "Sleepwalker." The statue by sculptor Tony Matelli is on display in a busy part of the campus and more than 300 students at the women's liberal-arts college have asked that it be removed. 

"[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," reads the petition in part. "While it may appear humorous, or thought-provoking to some, it has already become a source of undue stress for many Wellesley College students, the majority of whom live, study, and work in this space."

Lisa Fischman, director of the campus' Davis Museum, defended the statue and its placement. 

"We placed the Sleepwalker on the roadside just beyond the Davis to connect the exhibition — within the museum—to the campus world beyond," Fischman wrote. "I love the idea of art escaping the museum and muddling the line between what we expect to be inside (art) and what we expect to be outside (life)."

What do you think, Instincters? Should the Wellesley campus remove the art? 

(h/t: Gawker)

Comments

In a town like Wellesley and at a very liberal college that would have an art for art's sake crowd, the uproar is a bit surprising, but having seen the statue myself, it looks rather creepy (which is effective, so I am not slamming the work), and it is located near a wooded area on the campus of a women's college, so a different location on the campus may have been a wiser choice.

Oh good Lord. Those people complaining need to get that stick out of their a$$.
 

Excuse me?! They were concerned about sexual assault?! There is a guy, in his undies, standing as still and motionless as death itself, in the snow ... and nobody worries about the fact that there might be poor guy who froze to death. Truly ... People are so f*cking selfish !!
And for coming up with that idea ... I just LOVE this piece of art. It gets people thinking, which is what art should do. Congratualtions to Tony Matelli !!

I am all for shutting down rape culture and promoting public safety for women, but the complaints about this piece are ludicrous. Americans have become so entitled that they expect to shape every element of their reality. Being offended or startled has become the new assault and the impetus for politicizing anything gendered or thought-provoking. Even more, the ways that the male body is framed exclusively as a tool for potential for rape, and then expected to remain clothed and neutered is nearly as damaging as rape culture itself. It limits the scripts with which men are able to construct their identities.

It is a realistic depiction of a man sleep walking - serving up Zombie realness - fierce!

Any other "reading" of it is absurd. Keep it.

I say keep the statue but, please put it in more stylish underwear, the saggy looking tighty-whiteties are the most offensive part of this statue.

I say yes get rid of it, because I want it. LOL. Ship it to my place I could have so much fun with this Art Work in my Apartment building. LOL Moving him around maybe changing his underwear up different days lol

Seriously someone creative thoughts went into this art work and people want it gone SAD is all I can say. If it was the Statue of David would you want to get rid of it?

What babies we have become. Soft, Puritan babies. Ugh.

He is in underwear that shows less than if he were a high diver wearing speedos!  Get over it!  If you were caught sleepwalking would you be fully clothed? Really? And this is a College campus?  Prudes!

A statue of a guy in his tightie-whities along the road out in he open, motionless and apparently asleep.  Not an immediately menacing figure.  I fully understand needs for being and feeling safe and secure in ay environment, but there has to be some limits.  If this were tucked away in a spot where it could be chances upon and mistaken for a live person skulking and prowling about, then there could be concern.  This work of art is placed in an open location where it is obvious and incongruous, the whole point of the installation.  So, no, don't take it down. 

Oh, jeez --- ask Mia Farrow to sign it, too

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