The Trial of Tilted Arc

Shu Lea Cheang

1989 | 00:55:00 | United States | English | Color | 4:3 | Video

Collection: On Art and Artists, Single Titles

Tags: Architecture, Artist Portraits, Interview, Politics, Visual Art

The artwork on trial is Richard Serra's public sculpture, Tilted Arc, commissioned and installed by the U.S. government in 1981. Four years later, a public hearing was held to consider the removal of the sculpture from its site in Federal Plaza in New York City. In documenting the climatic General Services Administration hearing, The Trial Of Tilted Arc is a thought-provoking indictment of the state of the arts. At issue is the validity of a contract between an artist and the government, the freedom of artistic expression, and the "public's" involvement in designing the visual environment. The dialogue/debate between the art community and the bureaucrats has described this site-specific art work in terms ranging from "masterpiece" to "mouse trap."

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