Blue Human Condition (sculpture)


Artist: Mark Chatterley

Year: 2014

Date of Action: April 23, 2014

Region: North America

Location: Adrian, Michigan

Subject: Explicit Sexuality

Medium: Sculpture

Confronting Bodies: Residents of Adrian, Michigan

Description of Artwork: The sculpture depicts seven human-like, gender-neutral figures in varying standing and seated positions. One of the figures looks toward the ground with the top of its head in the pelvic region of one of the standing figures.

The Incident: While Chatterley's sculpture was intended to depict unity through people supporting one another, residents of Adrian mistook the piece for an illustration of an orgy, dubbing it "The Orgy Statue". Dozens of complaints were lodged, calling the piece "disgusting" and "an abomination." Several parents complained about feeling uncomfortable bringing their children downtown with the sculpture in such a prominent location. One resident complained that the piece threatened his "freedom of sight."

Results of Incident: City Administrator Shane Horn responded to complaints by covering the sculpture with a blue tarp before moving it from East Maumee Street, east of the police department and Adrian Public Library and west of the City Chambers Building, to a less trafficked location away from public buildings.


Feedback on the sculpture was not one-sided, as Horn reported that he received at least one complaint about the city's "caving in" and covering the statue.

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