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Revenge of the Sculpture Garden?

by Jerome Weeks 17 Jul 2012 11:41 AM

Critic Christina Rees takes the oft-suggested solution to the Nasher Sculpture Center-Museum Tower controversy (just build a big mirror) to its entertaining end – as a kind of grand community barn-raising and public sculpture project. And we all get a nice suntan.


A number of people — bloggers, commenters, writers-of-letters-to-the-editor — have suggested, in the case of the Nasher Sculpture Garden vs. the glare from the Museum Tower, turnabout is fair play:  Just build some sort of giant, reflective device to bounce all that heat and light right back at the offending tower.

But Christina Rees on Glasstire saw it as an opportunity for a kind of public sculpture project-avec-community barn-raising, all of this based on Brainfood artist Erik Schuessler’s original proposal (above). The former critic and current curator of Fort Worth Contemporary Arts, Rees works out possible contributors/collaborators (“Next, we hire Cam Schoepp, Greg Kennedy, Greg Ruppe, Chris Powell, and Tom Orr to begin execution. Those strapping, creative men, with their gantry cranes and pickup trucks and body harnesses and tool belts would start gathering materials from all the metal and material donators”) — plus a band to play and dads to grill steaks.

But countering the rather sweet-revenge-like sentiment this “Modest Proposal” evokes, Rees does add this original suggestion — substantial benefits for the Museum Tower and its residents:

I mentioned that everybody wins. Including Museum Tower. Here’s how. People in Dallas seem to enjoy being unnaturally tan. The buyers of the condos facing the Nasher now have a guaranteed, year-round tanning salon IN THEIR CONDO UNIT. All they have to do is stand at the window. Or maybe anywhere in their apartment. Hell, I don’t know. It’ll be pretty bright up there. … Also, the kitchens of the Tower restaurants don’t even have to buy ovens. The heat’s already on site, always at the ready, like an Aga. Delicious pizza. And if that’s not a guaranteed selling point for Dallas clients, I don’t know what is. The realtors could charge more for the units facing the Nasher. …

Can you imagine how cool Dallas would be if we went through with this? We’d be the new… Marfa! Well, at least other cities’ newspapers would stop writing about how lame our new arts district is.