Response to installation

As some of you may have seen, someone anonymously posted a response to my installation right after our class on Thursday. On the sheets of paper are phrases, “Do not appropriate collective grief for your art class” “What grade will grief earn in your art class?” “These names are not our names” and “Does the artist not have a responsibility to erect ethical monuments?” I took the ones down from the wall but left the ones on the ground.

Here are some photos below:


Update: there’s been a response to these responses (again anonymous)


4 thoughts on “Response to installation

  1. I think people can only be offended only if they take this project seriously, and that they know that we are serious about this project. I think to some extent that indicates the success of this project. By the time I got there I only see comments on the floor. I think the person who responded tried to leave a serious comment. “Does the artist do not have a responsibility to erect ethical monument?” question like that is worth asking.
    My issue with these comments though, is the first one “what grade will grief earn you?” I think this comment is personal attack and have nothing to do with the dialog that’s going on.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with Ying. This messages means that your project has been taken seriously which is a good sign. I wonder who this messages come from. I assume it should be from the university itself somehow, as a react to the DP report on the artwork; and we all could guess that university would not be a big fan of this issue getting published and do not like to be center of attentions because of this worrying number of students which your artwork would make people aware of.
    Your project is not about the remembrance and “grief” anymore and it has a more profound message with it, which is caring about our people around us and do not just pass by them easily.


  3. I agree that the response indicates a greater level of awareness and engagement within the community at hand, and I appreciate that someone took the time to express themselves. While their comments were likely borne out of an instinctual defensive reaction rather than contemplation of the work itself, they added to the conversation in an incredibly valuable and stimulating way.


  4. I’m pretty upset about this response. The solid Black Impact type clearly tries to take away from the evident tact and thought that you put into your work in order to shed light on pretty sensitive topics. I think everyone in our class understands/knows the story of the conception of the piece, and know that you definitely didn’t do this ‘for a grade’ or to ‘appropriate grief’. A lot of us chose topics that were tough for us to deal with, whether it was Mana with immigration, me with my panic attacks/anxiety or Sarah with sexual assault, not because we thought we could get a ‘good grade’ for it, but because we saw it as an opportunity to express our thoughts on the matter through this medium. I think that as Penn students we all share the grief for students who have taken their lives. Some, of course, feel that to a deeper degree than others. I think that this piece is just as valid as a conversation about the subject with a friend, attending a town hall to discuss mental health or sending a letter to the university to change their policies. I doubt that those actions would have had the same response as this did.


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