Do not sit on the park bench

This Broken Hill Park Bench installation, created by Canadian conceptual artist Sean O’Keefe, aims “to confront adults to sit as children”. The chain barricade was added later: I know this because I have seen plenty of photos of adults sitting on it without a barricade around it. So when I arrived and found that I was apparently not allowed to sit on it, I felt somewhat disappointed. I wanted to be one of those child-sized adults that this bench was designed for, but I couldn’t bring myself to break the implied rule and step over that chain despite the fact that no-one else was there. The wind had even blown a post over, so I could have stepped over the line without committing the additional sin of ‘breaking in’.

The disappointment has since faded. The barricade seems now to be a natural component of what it means to confront adults to sit as children. For example, when I was very little I tried to climb onto the stool at my Grandmother’s piano. I was promptly removed and told I was never to touch her piano.

Park Bench _ BH

2 responses

  1. it’s a nice sculpture, not sure about how the conceptual part works. perhaps it being behind a chainlink fence is part of the concept. the idea that being an adult and getting back into child-mind is restricted, perhaps that was the idea because otherwise it doesn’t add up why you can’t climb onto it, it looks sturdy enough to hold up to climbers, hmm. i guess it works more or less as both a sculpture and a conceptual piece but it’s no fun if you can’t sit there, i’d have sat there.

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