A grand jury to ponder the arboretum statue? Please
The Kansas City Star
A group opposed to the controversial statue in the Overland Park Arboretum says it will gather signatures to convene a grand jury, which will look into whether the statue violates Kansas law against promoting obscenity to children.
Putting this thing in the arbortem was a dumb idea — it would be right at home in a museum of contemporary art — but pressing for a grand jury? Even dumber. Opponents are overreacting, trapping themselves in a ridiculous position. Here we have a made-to-order story for the national media. The rubes in Kansas, they’re at it again!
Artist Yu Chang says her work, entitled “Accept or Reject,” deals with the tendency of women to objectify themselves. But the lurid, in-your-face quality of the piece is out of place in an arboretum.
The city seems to have dug in its heels, arguing that this is ART, dang it, and that’s it. It’s protected by the Constitution and all that. Well, it may be art but art isn’t fungible. Some pieces speak more deeply than others and “Accept or Reject,” in my opinion is pretty far from being great art. To hold a mirror up to the world’s crassness and vulgarity, it exhibits those qualities itself. I think Yu Chang is engaging in political commentary as well as art, and those two two usually don’t mix well.
“Accept or Reject” doesn’t belong in an arboretum. But the opponents’ decision to pursue a grand jury will only generate copy for journalists and bloggers, without accomplishing much else.