Nature improvises with sculpture

Yesterday we went to visit the De Cordova Museum in Concord Lincoln, where we were looking forward to seeing the museum’s iconic pink pig sculpture along with other exhibits in the museum and its Sculpture Park.

Rounding a curve on the road through the park heading into the museum, we were shocked and saddened to see that a tree from the center of a nearby grove had fallen squarely across the pig, smashing it right in the middle. No expert could have dropped the tree more squarely. It was amazing that, given 360 possible compass degrees that the tree might have fallen, it picked exactly this one.

Later we learned that the tree had fallen just that morning, no doubt because its rooting had been weakened by gound saturated with rain over the past few days.

Then this morning I was surprised to find no mention of the news in blog or the Boston Globe. So I just started uploading a bunch of pictures taken with my pocket camera. The lighting wasn’t good, but there are plenty of shots for anybody to use, should they like, up here at Flickr. If you’re a journalist of any kind, feel free to take and use them.

More about the pig. It is a work of Gail Simpson and Aristotle Georgiades of Actual Size Artworks. Its title is Trojan Piggybank, and it is on loan from the artists. From the writeup two links back:

Originally exhibited in the 2004 Navy Pier Walk: The Chicago International Sculpture Exhibition, Trojan Piggybank comes to DeCordova Museum’s Sculpture Park with a playful warning from its collaborative team of artists, Gail Simpson and Aristotle Georgiades, who caution, “Sometimes things are not what they appear to be.”

From a distance, the large pink wood piggybank appears friendly. A closer look reveals military camouflage colors painted around the snout, suggesting a recent wallow in filth, while imparting an additional and foreboding meaning. The artists intend this familiar military pattern to represent the greed associated with our ever-expanding military industrial complex. This visual stratagem is furthered by grates protecting Trojan Piggybank‘s eyes, and a hatch door on the underbelly hinting at hidden invaders inside. A large silver coin waits at the ready in the piggybank’s slot. As Simpson and Georgiades observe, “The pleasures of consumer culture are accompanied by less desirable social consequences. When we impose one way of life onto another, the bad goes along with the good. The playful piggybank has a hidden agenda.”

No wonder our first thought was that the tree across the pig was itself a sculpture, or an improvisation on the original.

Well, in a way it was, no?

8 comments

  1. Harl Delos’s avatar

    Well, either that, or nature is an art critic….

  2. madame l.’s avatar

    last time i was there it was in lincoln. they have good, if expensive, kids’ classes. you should check out the gropius house which is not too far (also in lincoln) and drumlin farm which has an a nice injured bird sanctuary as well as a farm. last time i looked.

  3. Mike Warot’s avatar

    Here’s what it looked like back at Navy Pier in Chicago.

    http://flickr.com/photos/–mike–/sets/72157604087171588/

    Wow I’ve got a lot of photos in the archive.

  4. Doc Searls’s avatar

    m.l.,

    you’re right. it’s in lincoln. fixed. could have had some fun word play with falling lincoln logs, i suppose.

    we saw the gropius house on the way out. talk about iconic. our house in california has been compared to it, even though its influence is much more along the f.l. wright lines than gropius’. but still. (man it’s hard to write in lower case. how do you do that?)

    and thanks for the advice. we’re up for all kinds of stuff here. cold but fun.

  5. Ike’s avatar

    Something about that just isn’t kosher.

  6. Chip’s avatar

    Doc

    1) pig : is there some sort of cosmic message
    “No man’s life, liberty, or property is safe,” warned Mark Twain, “while Congress is in session.”
    http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2008/03/09/how_government_makes_things_worse/

    2) lower case : ee cummings

    3) drumlin farm … like the glacial formation
    We got drumlins here

    Ciao
    Chip

  7. Daniel Schmitz’s avatar

    Nice photo. i want to visit there. :)

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