The second in the series of construction installations, PDL set their sights on the Olympic Sculpture Park to explore the identity of a dedicated art space, and the social boundaries of sculpture.
Museums and sculpture parks are sacred. They have an assumed integrity and honesty that rival a national park or church. It is no place for corporate sponsorships, advertising, product placement or sell-outs. They are protected from corruption, sanctuaries of truth and beauty.
If this premise is reasonable, the greatest violation would be exploiting this landscape, pitching a corporate flag in the soil and profiting from the patrons. Only worse would be to disguise this strategic corporate hold as art itself, an Oldenberg exaggeration designed with a service window, a public restroom and plastic bottles of ketchup.
Wake(up)™ proposed a Richard Serra inspired coffee shack, smack in the middle of the sculpture park. Its wavy Starbuck’s cups called out “hey look at me! I’m sculpture in a cup.” We even had the drink specials like the “Serraccino.” So on a nice morning in the summer of 2008, we loaded up and headed into the park. Did I say we got permission from the park? Yeah, can you believe it? We go permission, just for the day.
We slipped into our white PDL jumpsuits at around 7:00 am and swiftly moved the four chain link walls and signs into place. We threw in the job box and some random construction equipment. Then we ate a fantastic breakfast at the Shanty (RIP). Nice hash browns.
By 9:30 am we were back in the park, lounging around with notebooks and snacks. We just held back enough to be unconnected, and listened.
The comments ranged from the predictably critical...
“Oh my God — that’s kind of ridiculous!”
“They’re putting a Starbucks in here?” “That’s…just…weird. And wrong.”
“I’d venture to say that Richard Serra’s sold out.”
“That’s really unfortunate. Nothing is sacred.”
“No way. No way. No way! NO WAY!!!” "It’s just a huge advertisement that they’re passing off as art.”
...to the supportive, or at least optimistic...
“That’ll be nice for the tourists, you know - you walk through the park and get a coffee.”
“…probably all of the proceeds will go to benefit the museum.”
“Maybe this will raise their [Starbucks’ corporate] morale” "
“But you can get coffee right over there (points at the pavilion)!” “Yeah, but people don’t want to walk that far.”
“Wouldn’t it be funny if they had cookies in the shapes of all the sculptures?”
...to the skeptical...
“That’s a really small hard hat area.” ...but the comment of the day had to be:
“Thank God they’ve finally given sculpture some meaning!”
And at 7:00pm, we went back to the truck, donned our white jumpsuits and deconstructed the piece, leaving no trace.