Los Angeles-based Sam Durant is a multimedia artist whose works engage a variety of social, political, and cultural issues.
In his latest work Scaffold created for dOCUMENTA (13), he engages everyone to take part in this construction. While children use it as a play structure- adults, perhaps attracted by its architectural novelty can slowly discover its origins and meaning. And some might see a resemblance to constructions in an adventure playground from the 1970’s, the sculpture is actually made up of a combination of reconstructed gallows that were used in executions of significance throughout U.S. history. Through this formal uncertainty there is an attempt to signify both the free play of childhood and the ultimate form of control, capital punishment.
above: Scaffold, 2012. Wood, metal; 33.73’ x 47.47’ x 51.77’; Photo credit: Rosa Maria Ruehling; Commissioned and produced by dOCUMENTA (13)