Wellesley is currently hosting an exhibit of Matelli's work, which they're promoting via a statue of his, The Sleepwalker, placed outside the museum. Problem is, it looks like this:
As you can see, it's a hyper-realistic statue of a dazed man in his underwear, lumbering forward to parts unknown. It's a hit on Instagram, but a Change.org petition to have the work removed thinks a little differently.
"Within just a few hours of its outdoor installation, the highly lifelike sculpture by Tony Matelli, entitled 'Sleepwalker,' has become a source of apprehension, fear, and triggering thoughts regarding sexual assault for some members of our campus community," wrote Wellesley junior Zoe Magid in the petition.
The comments, however, took the criticism to a whole new level. From charges of sexism to gender baiting, detractors really let the detractions fly:
There are, however, supporters to counteract those claims. The best of which, of course, comes from museum director Lisa Fishman:
"Arms outstretched, eyes closed, he appears vulnerable and unaware against the snowy backdrop of the space around him. He is not naked. He is profoundly passive. He is inert, as sculpture."
In that sense, it appears as if we're searching for something to be offended at with this one. Sure, the "triggers," as Magid says, may be there, but the likelihood that they'll be tripped is another debate entirely. Removing the statue, however, does have a 100 percent likelihood of stifling freedom of expression—and that's on top of ruining a pretty good time, too.