Father and Son Fountain
1-7 Broad St, Seattle, WA 98121, USA
Father and Son is a fountain part of the Olympic Sculpture Park permanent collection. Finished in 2006 by internationally acclaimed artist Louise Bourgeois and is comprised of stainless steel, aluminum, water and bronze bell. Installed in 2007, it stands on the west end of the Olympic Sculpture Park at the intersection of Alaskan Way and Broad Street.
The sculpture includes models of a nude father and son reaching for each other but the other is obscured by the water. The artist explains that the nudity and obscurity represent vulnerability and the way male familial relationships deteriorate. Each figure will be obscured by water gushing over their surface as Louise Bourgeois described the work in her proposal. The volumes of water will be on a timer to mark the 24 hours of the day, accompanied by the ringing of a bell. On the hour, the water will be lowered to reveal the son. At the next hour when the bell rings, the water will rise hiding the son, while the other mound of water will descend to reveal the father. The figures when revealed will seem to float in the air above the water. The fountain has been victim of a prank common to water fountains, dish soap, which creates very large amounts of bubbles. This sculpture is particularly vulnerable to corrosion from this because the detergents in the soap react with the metal in the sculptures. Bourgeois' representation of father and son portrays a vulnerable and poignant situation, as the two face each other with arms outstretched, striving to overcome a seemingly insurmountable divide.
|Father and Son -2007 Louise Bourgeois|