No Recess Please

Jim West, No Recess Please, 2018, Steel, Sand, Marble, Brick, Fiber, 14’ x 6’ x 8’ (4.27m x 1.83m x 2.44m), Collection of the Artist, Pittsburgh, PA

This playground is a monument. A cenotaph. A tribute. And “recess” is a metaphor, for the loss of innocence. A child’s swing left empty, hanging motionless and still, in recognition of a life once lived, and a life that has been lost. An I-beam forms a gallows, on which a building has been perched. The reenactment of a tragedy. A homage to a child. The sculpture tells the story, without the need for words, of a little girl who came, and went, but who will never be forgotten.