• Parents of Donald Judd-Climbing Child Speak Out
  • Posted 17 months ago by Jack Lowe · culture · 22738 Views
  • A couple of days ago people were shocked to hear the news that someone's child had been using a Donald Judd sculpture at the Tate Modern (worth $10 million USD) as a climbing frame. Now, the parents of the child have spoken to the London Evening Standard about exactly what happened.

    It turns out the girl's parents, Kait Bolongaro and Stuart Trevor, are the founders of the AllSaints fashion label. They said that they weren't with their daughter, Sissi Belle, at the time and that she was actually accompanied by her aunt and uncle. In the interview they go on to apologise for the mistake, but justify it by saying the sculpture seduced their child over.

    "It's not right, but they were just interested. Their only crime was to be seduced by a ladder of jewel-coloured shelving. Sissi has always been anti-establishment but she would never hurt anybody… There are some beautiful statues that they have climbed, the Henry Moore at Liverpool Street, ones along the South Bank where they are interactive and the Diana Memorial.

    Our children have been to all the museums and all the galleries in London and abroad. They have been all around the world and are extremely intelligent and educated and just happened to slide in the bottom of what looks like a row of shelves.

    They were on it for a matter of seconds, they weren’t climbing all over it … Our children are not horrible, they are the most cute and intelligent girls at the top of their class in school and they are obsessed with art. They have the upmost respect."

    What do you think? Bad parenting or a reasonable reaction to the artwork?

    • I mean, you can't blame the parents because they're not there but the aunt and uncle don't seem to be doing anything about it, stupidly.
    • Ryan Posted 17 months ago · 151 Reply
    • isnt art about perception, the kid saw it as a fun interactive object. rather than some dull boxes glued to the wall that only hold any value because the "artist" said so i think a great piece would have an exhibition of images of that kid climbing on famous artworks
    • Nick Posted 17 months ago · 154
    • nigga you in a museum, don't touch the artwork its the one fucking rule
    • please Posted 17 months ago · 134 Reply
    • if i was i kid, i'd probably (want to) do the same
    • jelephants Posted 17 months ago · 163 Reply
    • How a child sees art, is art in is purest form anyway, no perception, no bullshit - if this kid wants to climb on it then fair play. However it may have been good manners on the adults part to perhaps interject, still.
    • Celibatewives Posted 17 months ago · 146
    • Hmm. I think it's important to have some experience when looking at art. I mean, I understand where your coming from, but how far do you go? Is a babies' experience of art even purer?
    • Chris Posted 17 months ago · 157
    • So if a child decides to piss on a Picasso, it's all fair play? That's just ridiculous. I agree this particular piece is a bit boring, but it's extremely important to others. The rules of the gallery and artist should be respected.
    • Liam Posted 17 months ago · 156 Reply
    • How can you be anti-establishment at age 9?
    • Josh Posted 17 months ago · 228 Reply
    • Huh? No one is blaming the kids, I'm sure they're just having fun, they have no idea what the sculpture is worth or even a strong grasp on the concept of monetary value. But the guardians (parents, aunt and uncle, whatever) certainly do, and yet they allowed that to happen. That's disrespect for the art piece and for art in general. They should absolutely know better.
    • wallace Posted 17 months ago · 135 Reply
    • £10m for that? The world's gone mad.
    • Kay Posted 17 months ago · 151 Reply
    • "Our children have been to all the museums and all the galleries in London and abroad. " And yet they still don't know how to behave...
    • B Posted 17 months ago · 159 Reply
    • Did it break?
    • Luke Posted 17 months ago · 117
    • niguh? don't touch the art
    • b**tch Posted 17 months ago · 135 Reply
    • I would be stoked if I were Donald Judd; his piece elicited a genuine response by children and that's definitely something to learn from. I agree with Ryan's comment about perspective. I think that the kids did what most viewers can't because of the social structure and "rules," whereas the kids, who aren't bound by such notions react to it and interact with it in a way that most of us want to but suppress. So interesting that their response to the piece wasn't to look at it from two feet away; it was to actively engage with it by exploring its structure and space. Why can't all art be like this?
    • Sarah Posted 17 months ago · 125
    • Card board boxes elicit genuine responses from children.
    • Sigh Posted 17 months ago · 123
    • there is only one thing you have to do in a museum, just don't touch the art... wow
    • what? Posted 17 months ago · 125 Reply
    • I call bad parenting. You can smell it in their statement. "Oh no, my children won't do that." "Oh no, my children are perfect, they're 9 but already well traveled." If they're well traveled and have visited musea then I want to bet they know you arent allowed to touch stuff - let alone climb it.
    • caller Posted 17 months ago · 142 Reply
    • How a child sees art is not in its purest form. A child is uninformed. Who doesn't tell their children not to touch the art when they are in a gallery? The parents are arrogant asses and the aunt and uncles are arrogant fools. The girl is a nine year old brat, not a genius child. To call her anti establishment is simply justifying their bad parenting.
    • Ed Valentine Posted 17 months ago · 135 Reply
    • Wait till that 9 year old anti establishment, genius child hits her teen years. One more thing; If the child is so informed than perhaps she should explain to her parents and all of you who are justifying the action as a pure reaction, what exactly minimalism and this sculpture is all about. You don't f&*^%$# climb on it. .
    • Ed Valentine Posted 17 months ago · 141 Reply
    • I work as a gallery assistant. Children always do shit like this... "because.they.are.children". Worse damage is done by techs in install.
    • Alex Posted 17 months ago · 123 Reply
    • Tbh, if I was at the museum and saw that on display i'd probably would have assumed the same thing. They do look like shelves after all
    • Anonymous Posted 17 months ago · 129 Reply
    • Is $10million really an important figure? I'd be stoked if people/kids were compelled to Interact with the Art I'd made.
    • SB Posted 17 months ago · 134 Reply
    • I have worked in a museum and watched in horror as a little girl proceeded to climb an antique chair that was ROPED OFF while her guardian/parent watched with seemingly no emotion. I looked at the child then to the parent and back at the girl who was completely oblivious and being a child as only a child can be. I was upset that the parent didn't even do anything even when I shooed the girl off of the chair without touching the chair or the child (lest the parent wanted to act like a parent and scold me for touching their child) and she climbed down without a whimper or any indication that she was being reprimanded. I once watched a little boy grab something very valuable and breakable about to play with it with his mom 10 feet away and I shook my head at him and said, "No." He put it back without a peep and stepped away. That's all ya gotta do parents. Your kids won't hate you - well, not until their teens anyway, but they will love you all over again once you're the one paying for their college tuition. That said I think being a guide to your kids doesn't have to preclude being a parent who wants to a)protect their kids b)encourage their kids to be individuals and develop their own personalities c)SET AN EXAMPLE for their kids. If an adult was climbing that sculpture it would have ended a lot differently. I've seen the sculpture at the Tate Modern and TOOK A PICTURE. Kids can engage with art without climbing the art (i.e. photographing, sketching). Have a little respect - it goes a long way. xoxo
    • hometrained Posted 17 months ago · 133 Reply
    • Why has this even been posted? So boring.
    • J Posted 17 months ago · 136 Reply