Spartan Skin: Impressions From the Symbol of Campus Pride

Young Joon Kwak came to MSU to engage the campus community around issues of race, gender, and diversity with their artwork during the global Covid-19 pandemic. At a time when so few bodies were present on campus, Kwak turned their attention to the exemplary body of campus pride, recasting the university’s famed bronze statue of “The Spartan” for their upcoming exhibition of new sculptures and prints at the MSU Union Gallery (April 9 – May 21). With this new body of artwork, Kwak invites the university community to partake in an alternative engagement with our symbols and to reflect anew on what lies beneath the symbolic skin of the Spartan. Kwak will discuss how their project intervenes in the current discourse around public monuments as well as its relationship to their larger interdisciplinary art practice.