The sculpture, entitled “Sleepwalker,” has made some students at Wellesley College in Massachusetts “a bit uncomfortable, but the president of the prestigious women's school says that's all part of the intellectual process,” states The Associated Press on Thursday.
Sculptor Tony Matelli created the figure at the college's Davis Museum, but an online petition has been started, carried by change.org, that requests that the statue be removed and placed inside.
The petition, which has been signed by 556 supporters as of the writing of this particle, reads:
The sculpture of the nearly naked man on the Wellesley College campus is an inappropriate and potentially harmful addition to our community that we, as members of the student body, would like removed from outdoor space immediately, and placed inside the Davis Museum. There, students may see the installation of their own volition.
Lisa Fischman, the Davis Museum Director, responded to acknowledge the concerns, and while she has yet to make a final decision, offered the following on the petition’s web page:
Matelli's Sleepwalker -- considered up close -- is a man in deep sleep. Arms outstretched, eyes closed, he appears vulnerable and unaware against the snowy backdrop of the space around him. He is not naked. He is profoundly passive. He is inert, as sculpture. But he does inspire narrative. He appears to have drifted away from wherever he belongs and one wonder why; one wonders also how he has gotten so lost, so off course. He is a figure of pathos, and one that warrants measured consideration. Perhaps he carries metaphorical weight.
Freshman Bridget Schreiner told The Boston Globe she was "freaked out" when she saw the realistic man wandering through the snow in nothing but his tighty-whities.
“This could be a trigger for students who have experienced sexual assault,” was Schreiner’s thought.
The exhibit is due to remain up until mid July.