Recently while in St. Catharines, Ontario (near Niagara Falls) on the campus of Brock University, I had a little time to kill and decided to take a few pictures of some of the artwork there.
Although popularly known as The Bullet around campus (in the past it was called the Rhino or the Cannon), this piece is actually titled She Wolf. It was installed at the university in 1992 as part of the Teutloff Collection (Lutz Teutloff is a director of a commercial art gallery in Germany and an art collector). The exterior of the sculpture is clad in copper and the interior is wooden. The piece was sculpted by Ilan Averbuch who created it to represent a head turned on its side where you can see inside of it, the hollow interior symbolizing an empty mind. It was also intended to symbolize a weapon. The name She Wolf was given to it as a reference to the story of Romulus and Remus. They were the sons of Mars, god of war, who were raised by a shewolf and went on to become the founders of civilization. When it arrived, it unleashed controversy among members of the university community. The Fine Arts department was unhappy that it wasn’t a Canadian piece and the Women’s Studies department wanted it removed because She Wolf in Latin means prostitute. Others complained that the piece had a “sinister appearance” to it. For a time, She Wolf was attacked with graffiti and removing it without destroying the copper cladding posed a challenge. Nowadays, this piece is still much talked about but for other reasons. The hollow sculpture is well known around campus as a popular location for young lovers and drunken partying despite the fact that the wooden interior makes for an attractive environment for wasps. Check out more about this here: http://www.brocku.ca/brock-news/?p=7719 Personally, I am not offended by this piece but I don’t find it interesting, provocative, or attractive. From my experience, none of the students seem to know what the sculpture is supposed to symbolize and view it as an odd addition to their campus.
This is another piece from the Teutloff Collection, presented to the university in 1988 and was also sculpted by Ilan Averbuch. It is called The Path of Possibilities (note: a postcard from Brock University calls this The Endless March) and was placed at the main entrance to the university to symbolize the many paths and choices lying in front of the students as they embark on their futures. I suppose I’m not a big Averbuch fan because this is another piece that I dislike. I find it a very strange piece that looks like animals in bizarre poses and I cannot figure out how it has anything to do with a path of possibilities.
These are just two of many pieces on the Brock University campus but they were the only ones nearby when I was hanging out there. Next time I go back, I’ll check out the rest of the artwork and share those with you as well.
For additional information on the Teutloff Collection, follow this link: http://www.teutloff.net/brock-university_en.php
Clearly, art is subjective and the fact that I don’t care for these pieces doesn’t mean that others don’t find them fascinating. What do you think? Do you like them? If you do, what do you like about them? Perhaps your opinion will give me a new perspective on them and help me to find some appreciation for them.