Maybe it’s too soon to say, but it wouldn’t be terribly far-fetched to assume that UC Davis’ pepper spraying incident will likely live on as an iconic moment, encapsulating one aspect of “the protests of 2011.” Already, Lt. John Pike‘s decision to douse several seated protesters with pepper spray — and the casual, nonchalant manner in which he did this — has already managed to inspire an internet meme in addition to countless headlines.
And, now, it finds itself the subject of a disturbingly adorable diaroma constructed of LEGOs.
“Doctor Popular,” the San Francisco-based artist behind the work, describes it thusly:
I’ve been wanting to do some sort of installations inside of the abandoned newspaper receptacles spread throughout our city, so I spent most of Thanksgiving creating a diorama of the UC Davis pepper spray incident which was installed in an empty newspaper bin on Market Street this morning (Black Friday). My hope was to install a piece to get people thinking about recent police violence while they were trying to do their holiday shopping. If I had more time I would have created many more dioramas based on scenes from New York and Oakland.
The juxtaposition of aggressive act with a comfortingly familiar childhood toy is jarring, and the shock of seeing a LEGO diorama in a place as unexpected (and mostly unnoticed) as a newspaper bin may help viewers see the incident anew, from a fresh and different angle. Plus, it’s cute! And horrible! Horrute!
Here’s another look:
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