Abutting the entrance for the uptown 1, Canal Street train, currently sits an outdoor exhibition of art. Surrounded by a chain link fence that suggests a construction site, this large, open space has become an exhibition/public park. The works and space constantly play with the surroundings and questions boundaries and art.
The NYTimes recently blogged about the occurrence of vandalism on one of the pieces currently exhibited. see the blog here . Someone gratified “This is not art” on Pompey’s Folly by Ryan Taber.
The graffiti has now been removed from the piece, but a feint black cloud of where the big letters appeared stands in their place. If this work had been exhibited in a museum, one with walls and security guards, this offensive graffiti could have never occurred, yet in this outdoor setting it did. This raises questions about society’s notions of art and its assumptions and understandings of it. This is an explicitly outdoor, public art event and space–temporary museum if you will–do the same rules of museums and behavior apply? Is art only art when its in a “museum?” Should the graffiti have stayed on the piece?