Many students are claiming the eerily lifelike sculpture titled “Sleepwalker” is making them feel uncomfortable and some have even gone as far as to petition college President H. Kim Bottomly to have the sculpture removed.
“Sleepwalker” was created by artist Tony Matelli and is part of an exhibition at the college’s Davis Museum. The sculpture features a man in an eyes-closed, zombie-like trance and it has been placed outside in a populated area of the campus specifically to get a reaction and to connect the indoor exhibition with the world beyond.
Many of the students complaints are that the sculpture is a “source of apprehension, fear, and triggering thoughts regarding sexual assault” for many. However others, find the sculpture disturbing in a good way, in that it is intentionally meant to be off-putting, as it is a guy in his underwear placed in the center of an all-female college. Most just find it to be down right freaky.
It appears that the sculpture is doing exactly what it was intended to do and according to college President Bottomly “The very best works of art have the power to stimulate deeply personal emotions and to provoke unexpected new ideas, and this sculpture is no exception. The sculpture has started an impassioned conversation about art, gender, sexuality and individual experience, both on campus and on social media.”
The full art exhibit will open this week and will run until July 20th, so it looks like the tightie white man is there to stay…at least through the summer! He won’t be stuck in the snow for too much longer…we can hope!