“At a time when the Occupy movement is launching its own utopian community, Cape’s benches are perfect,” writes art critic Roberta Fallon, commenting on the Artblog about Francis Cape‘s 20 spare poplar benches at Arcadia University Art Gallery.
“The benches invoke the tradition of free speech and communal discourse,” said Arcadia’s Gallery Director Richard Torchia. “The effect of the benches on the room is to create a secular sacred space…full of the possibility for speech and for listening to speeches.”
At the lecture before the show’s opening Nov. 15, Cape began with a reference to the Occupy movement and went on to talk about his benches. “The benches are about the way we live,” he said. Referring to Bill Brown’s thing theory, Cape explained that benches are things and not objects. “A thing has been around a long time. Things are part of the fabric of society. They have a social factor.” Objects, according to this theory, are what gets mass-produced and ultimately thrown away.