Wednesday, October 7, 2009

OPINION: Vandalism

Back in February, we posted an OPINION question about vandalism, asking readers to let us know their perspective on vandalism of art, and especially their thoughts about what may motivate people to vandalize art. We are still open to printing artists' experiences with vandalism.

Recently a sculpture by Leila Bandar at the Vermont Arts Council's Sculpture Garden in Montpelier was vandalized. All the standing loops you see in the image at the left were pushed over. Bandar has since restored the piece on the same site, and we asked her to give us her thoughts about this experience.
-- the editors

It's such a personal thing, really, when a piece gets tampered with. I find my imagination begins to picture the events that would lead up to it. I don’t feel offended, exactly - annoyed, yes, - but not offended. I kind of feel like it's a natural thing to want to play with a sculpture. NOT that I would actually do it - but that the kind of person who WOULD tamper with it, to me, actually has some mis-directed sculptural/artistic/creative energy. I feel a kind of kinship with them.

I want to say - "There's enough cake for everyone. If you're moved to make a statement, move materials, make a point, make yourself visible... GREAT... just don't be so bold as to assume someone else's work is yours for the playing with.” That's kind of the tricky part... taking a kind of "ownership" of someone else’s effort, you know. Like someone drawing on your drawing... and feeling like they are "helping".

But the important thing is that I don't feel like a "victim" and wouldn't want to be portrayed as one because my piece got tampered with.