“Flooded Chambers Maid”, an accidental playground in Madison Square Park, NYC, Jessica Stockholder, 2009

“…the uptown end of the central lawn was already crowded with children playing on a multicolored triangular platform that looked as though it had been made from giant Lego blocks. The children clambered up and down, tossing balls, yelling gleefully and digging in a square of blue rubber mulch that lay on the ground beneath this structure. Their mothers and baby sitters lounged alongside them, sitting on the platform or watching from a set of adjoining turquoise bleachers.”
Jessica Stockholder’s installation was intended to be a “play on the concept of women’s work and service work, as well as art making…which incorporates industrial materials and ready-made manufactured objects, and its brightly colored parts combine to create something of a three-dimensional abstract painting in space.”
But it has been quickly adopted as a playground.
“The minute the blue mulch went down…we e-mailed Jessica and said: ‘This is a sandbox. What kid wouldn’t want to play?’ And in fact by the next day a kid had made mounds and had a truck in there.” (The solution: Park employees rake and reshape the mulch twice a day.)”
Top two photos from anaba; remaining images and quotes from an article at the New York Times with photos by Tony Conicola.

3 Responses to ““Flooded Chambers Maid”, an accidental playground in Madison Square Park, NYC, Jessica Stockholder, 2009”

  1. ~Alissa said:

    Of course its a playground!! How could anyone expect anything less?? I always take my kids out to public art spaces and let them find their own amusement of it.

    November 18, 2009 at 5:49 pm

  2. arcady said:

    Thanks for the comment…as a 'viewer' of art but not an artist, I feel frustrated when the meaning is obscure but tend to assume that it's my own fault for not getting it. 🙂 Interesting to hear the perspective of another artist!

    July 27, 2009 at 3:52 pm

  3. Michelle said:

    “play on the concept of women’s work. . .” as an artist myself, I find it SO annoying when artists are this stupid. If the work of art doesn't explain itself, it is a failure as a work of art. But at least it didn't fail as a playground! Serves the artist right.

    July 27, 2009 at 3:06 pm

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