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Published on Dec 7, 2006
A 35-minute documentary on the discourse surrounding the 2005 vandalism of a deer sculpture by New York artist Marc Swanson, titled 'Fits and Starts.' More than just a timeline of events, the documentary traces the public discussion about the vandalism--from Facebook to the DePauw newspaper, to the 'rally' and D3TV, student/faculty protests and some considered thoughts, from faculty, staff and students in the following weeks. The film doesn't attempt to sway opinion or incite emotion, but it instead works to capture the local reaction to a very unique and largely polarized event.
On a larger scale, the film is an examination of university culture at a small liberal arts school that was the setting for the vandalism of a $60,000 work of public art. Was this incident specific to DePauw or is it just as probable at any liberal arts school or university? Who points at whom when public art is vandalized? And most importantly, who is responsible?
Explicating on the ideas of art appreciation, political meaning, fixed interpretations, silent approval and reactions to difference, 'Fits and Starts:' A Deer Diary is a jolting look at what happens when ignorance and closed-mindedness butt heads with art and expression.