Central Indiana Community Foundation president Brian Payne has an op-ed in this morning’s Indianapolis Star. The CICF is the lead funder on the suspended — and possibly kaput — site-specific Fred Wilson sculpture project titled E Pluribus Unum. The headline on Payne’s op-ed is “Let’s keep connecting on sculpture project,” and he uses his piece to call for greater dialogue around Wilson’s proposed E Pluribus Unum sculpture.
The op-ed is richly ironic. Nine months ago CICF said it would hold a series of community-wide conversations about E Pluribus Unum. Last month Payne [at right] told MAN that CICF has has organized no such ‘connecting’ events.
It’s also odd to read Payne urge people to ‘connect’ after Payne told MAN that he did not talk with Wilson before announcing that Wilson’s sculpture, designed for a specific site, would not go there. As I reported here, Wilson heard of Payne’s decision through two third-parties, including from a journalist.
Payne’s spin about CICF’s decision is no less striking: He writes that CICF “recently announced the removal of the City-County Building as a potential location for the artwork.” Wilson’s artwork was commissioned by the Indianapolis Cultural Trail (and effectively from CICF) as a site-specific work. If you unilaterally eliminate the site for a site-specific work, you are left merely hoping the artist will stick around to work with you on another project.