Public art as satire? Earnest attempt to call attention to the contemporary world? Just one of a series of bronze statues about what folks do in parks? via Hyperallergic
It may very well be the first public sculpture that commemorates the act of taking a selfie. The Houston suburb of Sugar Land recently installed a bronze statue of two girls grinning as one raises her smartphone to snap a photograph as part of a 10-piece, citywide public art donation intended to “provide and/or support activities and facilities that enrich the artistic, cultural, educational, and historical character of Sugar Land.”
It’s this situation that the Sugar Land statue—with its ordinary women doing a very ordinary thing—captures, showing us ourselves as we are in the moment, but paradoxically doing so in a way that lingers. Indeed, there may be a kind of associative embarrassment to looking at it, something like that of the #caughtgramming hashtag, which collects photographs of Instagram users who are themselves taking photos. But where the hashtag mocks, the statue is all the more richly disquieting for its willingness to celebrate its two subjects in their normalcy. Instead of dismissing it, we should dwell on its strangely arresting familiarity.