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The Sleepwalker

This article talks about a little incident happened at Wellesley College in February. According to the article, students at Wellesley College were complaining about a statue of a man created by an artist named Tony Matelli. It is a very realistic-looking statue of a man who is almost half-naked. The statue was describing a sleepwalking man wondering around the roadway. It was part of Matelli’s exhibition called “New Gravity”, but the artist decided to display this particular artwork outside the building. The purpose was to challenge people’s expectations by extending the exhibition to the outside the building. The museum director explained that it was meant to evoke the response, even if it is horrifying and uncomfortable. But since Wellesley College is a Women’s college and the sculpture was displayed in a highly populated area, many students found it upsetting and even signed a petition to remove the statue.

I’m not saying that art that makes people uncomfortable is bad. As art is subjective, just because you don’t like the work doesn’t mean that others also won’t appreciate it. And you can’t always expect to see beautiful and comfortable sides in every artwork. But in this case, I don’t think it was a great choice. Since it was not displayed inside the building, many students might not be aware of the fact that it was part of an exhibition. It could make the female students feel unsafe, especially for who have experienced sexual assault. What do you all think?