When Art Breaks…Or Was That Part of the Work?

While I was in DUMBO for the art festival last Saturday, I witnessed someone accidentally knocking over a sculpture. It was the work of Minji Kim, a participant in the 2008 Triangle Arts Workshop.

Before the accident, I spoke to Kim and she told me that the piece was about her difficult relationship with her father. She explained it was one that needed lots of attention. To prove her point, she pointed to one column that was covered with Popsicle sticks inscribed with the words of Sylvia Plath.

During the whole time I talked to her she was looking around nervously.

“How did you adhere the 2x4s to the ground?” I asked.

“I didn’t,” she said. At that point I knew why she was on edge—any small movement could destroy the delicate equilibrium.

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And then it happened. As I walked away some older woman knocked it down as she appeared to be putting on her jacket.

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There was some confusion and people couldn’t figure out what was going on. Kim rushed over and herded some friends to put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

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All I could do was wonder if Minji’s relationship with her father was equally catastrophe prone.


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