Bob McPhail 1:30 p.m., Nov. 30
UCSD: Best Prank Ever
Senior Class Fabricates Existence of Korean "Artist," Cons Stuart Collection into Hanging House Off Edge of Seven-Story Building
Stuart Collection Curator Attempts to Save Face: "Actually, joke's on them: this prank is so genius that it ascends to the level of art. We're proud to feature it in our collection."
HIGH-FIVING ALL 'ROUND, UCSD - "It's over," says UCSD Senior Amanda Terwilliger. "Everybody can just stop planning their pranks now, because nobody is ever going to top this. Not, the noose, not the shoe, not the paisley, not even the April Fools' acceptance email."
Terwilliger was referring to the installation of "Fallen Star," the latest addition to the University's prestigious and silly Stuart Collection of Artistic Oddities. The piece consists of a small house affixed to the roof of the seven-story Jacobs engineering building on the school's La Jolla campus. The house juts out from the building's edge, and lists to one side, creating an unstable feeling that is supposed to echo the artist's own “'displacement' – his personal experience of being uprooted and displaced from Korea to America, and on a larger scale, how university students are displaced from their homes in communities all across the country and the world, and brought to the sometimes impersonal and highly competitive atmosphere of UCSD, where there is nothing like a 'home' anywhere in sight."
"Sounds good, right?" asks Terwilliger. "The kicker is, no such artist exists. Do-Ho Suh is a complete fabrication, right down to his fake degrees from Yale and RISD. We built him from scratch, put him on a hook, and the University took the bait. Amazing what some people will believe in their desire to seem cutting-edge."
The best part, concludes Terwilliger, is that "the house isn't going anywhere. It would take a huge amount of effort to remove it - even more than it took to get it up there. The school is stuck with it. I think they should make the Dean live there, as punishment for being so gullible."