Mowry Baden with Colin Baden
The Wall of Death
1993

LOCATION

Underneath University Bridge, at the Burke-Gilman Trail and Northeast 40th Avenue

FUNDING SOURCE
Seattle City Light 1% for Art funds


Mowry Baden's installation The Wall of Death is located underneath the University Bridge along the Burke-Gilman Trail. Here its pink metal "track" and conical lavender supports combine to create a distinctive sculpture underscored by bold 30-inch letters that spell out "The Wall of Death." The track and spike elements allude to carnival motordome events popular in the early 20th century. A series of stylized metal chairs mounted to the existing concrete bridge columns further evoke the feeling of a small performance venue where passersby become the main act.

The Badens state: "Our sculpture, The Wall Of Death, was developed out of our interest in the choreography of the ordinary. People on the Burke-Gilman Trail are extended in space and time by the leisure apparatus that they 'wear.' Bicycles, skateboards, in-line roller skates, pneumatic running shoes, etc. are the order of the day. People have made low-grade art of themselves, adopting particular choreographies dictated by their leisure machines. They venture forth on increasingly complex apparati for purposes of recreation and display. Our ambition is to bracket this technologised movement; to intervene and to qualify its feeling and meaning."