Boston Art Commission

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  • 80-bac_1x1-split_rock

Anti-Ram Bench

Artist:

Fredrick Reeder

Location:

100 Federal St.  

Location

100 Federal St.
United States
42° 21' 18.3024" N, 71° 3' 22.752" W

Neighborhood:

Downtown

Type:

Bench

Year:

2003

Medium:

Granite and Steel

Collection:

Funders:

Unknown

Description:

Like many contemporary works of public art, this piece changes the way that the space around it can be used. It is, essentially, a barrier, inhibiting access to the wide entranceway of 100 Federal Street. Pedestrians must move around it or slip through the narrow space between the halves of granite. The work was installed after 9/11, in part to keep motor vehicles from approaching the building.

Abstract public works like this one can be polarizing, sparking heated debates about the purpose of art and its relationship with the people who view it daily. For example, Richard Serra’s Tilted Arc of 1981—a 12-foot tall steel wall erected on Federal Plaza in New York City—was removed after local officials complained that the public found it cumbersome and depressing. Serra responded, “I don’t think it is the function of art to be pleasing.”

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