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SICILIAN LAND ART | LOS ANGELES BIENNIAL | CANDY CHANG’S ATLAS OF TOMORROW

Public Art Review

Public Art Review Issue 55 • Fall/Winter 2016 • publicartreview.org

Issue 55 • The Geniuses • Sicilian Land Art • Los Angeles Biennial • Jencks’s Cosmic Landscapes • Atlas of Tomorrow

THE GENIUSES Public artists who have won MacArthur Awards

HUNTING THE SYMBOL A CONVERSATION WITH CHARLES JENCKS

55

BillFitzGibbons.com Kinetic Skyline Computerized LED Light Sculpture Bill FitzGibbons San Antonio, Texas

$16.00 USD

CATHERINE WIDGERY: LIGHT, WIND, WATER


Ethereal Bodies 8 Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center

computer graphic created by the artist. A second layer of artwork is created with ceramic printing on a 12mm glass. Both layers of glass are then tempered and worked into a laminated safety glass.

GLASMELEREI PETERS STUDIOS AD

Photos by: Graham Jones Two color schemes indicate the Arrivals and Departures Hall and each is backlit with LEDs. The warm colored panels for the Arrivals Hall span 100ft and are almost 30ft high. The cool colors panels for the Departures Hall span 130ft and are also almost 30ft high.

Graham Jones in collaboration with

PETERS STUDIOS Further Information:

www.peters-studios.com

Germany:

GLASMALEREI PETERS GmbH Am Hilligenbusch 23 - 25 D - 33098 Paderborn phone: 011 - 49 - 52 51 - 160 97 - 0 fax: 011 - 49 - 52 51 - 160 97 99

United States:

PETER KAUFMANN 3618 SE 69th Ave. Portland, OR 97206 phone: 503.781.7223 E-mail: p.kaufmann@glass-art-peters.com

Artwork commissioned for the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital by the San Francisco Arts Commission

+ cliff garten studio cliffgartenstudio.com


OF MUNICH

FRANZ MAYER

GLASS MOSAIC

Carol Mickett and Robert Stackhouse “River Song“, Gateway Plaza, Richmond, VA Developer/builder: Clayco, photo © Sam Fentress

Franz Mayer of Munich |

1-212-661-1694

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LithoMosaics

Celebrating 10 years of animating the ground plane with superb public art. Aesthetics, scale, schedule and durability - Achieved. A dozen artists,15 states, 50 projects - and the very best clients, communities and crews. Google “LithoMosaics� to see our potential.


Public Art Review Issue 55 • Fall/Winter 2016 • Volume 28 • Number 1

FEATURES 38 Pure Genius Public artists who have won MacArthur Awards 50 Hunting the Symbol A conversation with cosmic landscape designer Charles Jencks 58 Picture Perfect How Scottsdale, Arizona, creates powerful documentation 64 Transforming Spaces A profile of Catherine Widgery, who works with wind, light, and water

DAVID SCHIMKE

JACQUELINE WHITE

JOE HART

MICHAEL BLANDING

ON THE COVER Eiko Otake presents her solo work A Body in a Farmers’ Market in North Carolina at the Durham Farmers’ Market on May 14, 2016. Eiko is one half of Eiko & Koma, the first duo to win a MacArthur Fellowship. Learn more about public artists who have won the award on page 38. Photo by Grant Halverson. THIS PAGE Varying light conditions change the look of Catherine Widgery’s Cloudbreak (2010) at the Lindsey-Flanigan Courthouse in Denver, Colorado. Learn more about how Widgery works with natural elements—and with communities—on page 64. Photo by Michel Dubreuil.


Courtesy of Cheim & Read, New York

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Public Art Review Issue 55 • Fall/Winter 2016 • Volume 28 • Number 1

DEPARTMENTS 9

PUBLISHER’S NOTE Stepping into Leadership

THERESA SWEETLAND

EDITOR’S NOTE Mastery and Meaning

KAREN OLSON

12 PROJECTS WE LOVE Select recent works KAREN OLSON + JEN DOLEN 12 New York: Work No. 2630, Understanding

14 Wroclaw, Poland: The Infinite Green

15 Rome: Triumphs and Laments 16

16 London: The Hive

18 Catania, Sicily: Street Art Silos

TOP: Photo by Andrea Buccella. MIDDLE: Photo by Melissa Kelly. BOTTOM: Photo courtesy Art Shanty Projects.

20 Las Vegas: Seven Magic Mountains 21

Global: Space Invaders

22

New York: Flows Two Ways

23 Worldwide: Intrude 24 Spain: Truck Art Project 26

Paris + Corsica: The Lunar Cycle + Installation on Bastion de France

28 IN THE FIELD News, views, and ideas 32

28 Temporary Inspires Permanent: The fate of objectors

ROB GARRETT

32 The Art Department: The U.S. Dept. of Arts & Culture

JON SPAYDE

36

Q&A: Theresa Sweetland of Forecast Public Art

KAREN OLSON

72 ON LOCATION Global reports

72 Dialing for Wisdom: Candy Chang in Philadelphia

AMELIA FOSTER

77 Going with the Flow: Los Angeles’s first biennial

ANGELLA D’AVIGNON

82 A Concrete Rebirth: Alberto Burri’s Sicilian land art

MELISSA CHEMAM

86 BOOKS Publications and reviews JON SPAYDE

Marina Abramovic, Louise Nevelson, Radical Seafaring

JEN DOLEN

ANNA RENKEN

72

93 AT LARGE Ties That Bind: How I spent my summer vacation

JACK BECKER

96 LAST PAGE Switching Perception: eL Seed in Cairo

JEN DOLEN


25TH ANNIVERSARY ISSUE

IN TUNISIAN STREETS | INNOVATIONS IN GLASS | NORWAY’S FUTURE LIBRARY | STORIES FROM BURMA

BREATHING CATHEDRAL | THE ARCH AT 50 | ARABIAN ARTSCAPE | MUSEUMS GO PUBLIC

Public Art Review

Public Art Review

Barbara Grygutis Kansas City, Missouri

Issue 50 • Spring/Summer 2014 • publicartreview.org

Issue 52 • Spring/Summer Firefighters Memorial 2015 • publicartreview.org Kansas City, Missouri

Public Art Review

Public Art Review

Aluminum, native limestone, integrated lighting Commissioned by: KCMO Park Planning and Design and Municipal Art Commission Kansas City, Missouri

ARTIST AS LEADER

T: 520.882.5572 M: 520.907.9443

Frances Whitehead on being lead artist for The 606, Chicago’s massive public works project

barbara@barbaragrygutis.com barbaragrygutis.com

THE SKY’S THE LIMIT

CULTURE IN MOTION Anish Kapoor’s inflatable concert hall CITY AS STAGE Performance art in Cape Town

JANET ECHELMAN DISCOVERS THE UNKNOWN

WHERE PEOPLE GATHER The Confluence Project: Maya Lin at the Columbia River

Issue 53 • Norway • Museums Go Public • The Arch at 50 • Arabian Artscape

Fabrication: TROCO Photography: John Mutrux

Issue 53 • Fall/Winter 2015 • publicartreview.org

LEADING THE WAY Norway invests in art addressing violence, climate change, forgiveness, and compassion

Public Art Review

IN SEARCH OF

THE WORLD’S BEST PUBLIC ART TRULY EPHEMERAL Meet the artists who draw in sand and snow

FINALISTS OF THE SECOND INTERNATIONAL AWARD FOR PUBLIC ART

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ISSUE 55 • FALL/WINTER 2016 • VOLUME 28 • NUMBER 1

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Jasmeen Patheja: Interview | Jennifer Wen Ma: Profile | Marina Abramovic: Project

10/1/15 3:50 PM

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PUBLISHER / EDITOR NOTES

Stepping into Leadership BY THERESA SWEETLAND

of awe increases with every article and every issue I devour. I couldn’t be prouder to serve as publisher of such an important resource for artists, administrators, cities, and for the field of public art. During the coming year, my job will be not only to set a new vision for the organization, but also to expand the readership, relevance, and impact of the magazine. As with everything I take on, I can’t do this alone, and so I’m looking to the readers, advisors, artists, and the advertisers to help us make PAR the most exciting and meaningful publication in public art. If you have thoughts, ideas, or comments please feel free to send them my way, to theresa @forecastpublicart.org. I look forward to hearing from you!

Mastery and Meaning

TOP: Photo by Katie Fears, © www.brioart.com. BOTTOM: Photo by Diane Drinnon.

BY KAREN OLSON FROM OUR COVER STORY on public artists designated MacArthur Fellow geniuses—like Martin Puryear, Sarah Sze, and Teresita Fernández—to articles about Charles Jencks, Catherine Widgery, and Candy Chang, this issue is filled with visionary artists whose work speaks to the power of the human spirit and imagination. Even the Books section features masterful artists Marina Abramovic and Louise Nevelson. You can thank Jack. As founder, editor, and publisher of Public Art Review, Jack Becker helped shape the content of this issue as he’s done for 27 years. He also helped establish the field of public art in the United States as executive director of Forecast Public Art for the past 38 years. Jack is passionate about public art to the core of his being, We’re thrilled he will continue to contribute to Public Art Review. You can find out what he’s up to in At Large, his new column on page 93.

I invite you to take some time to slow down and sink into the rest of this issue. The stories and artworks you’ll find in these pages speak to the experience of being on this planet right now. You’ll find out how a community street art project in Cairo addresses difference, a neon sculpture promotes understanding, a community in New Zealand is inspired to commission a memorial to conscientious objectors, a massive Sicilian land art monument is completed more than 20 years after the artist’s death, a London sculpture teaches us about the lives of imperiled bees, and an interactive sculpture in Philadelphia tends to the soul. Public art. It’s richly human and deeply meaningful. And that, I believe, is exactly what we all need right now. KAREN OLSON is executive editor of Public Art Review.

9 PUBLISHER’S NOTE / EDITOR’S NOTE

THERESA SWEETLAND is executive director of Forecast Public Art.

PUBLIC ART REVIEW | VOL. 28 | NO. 1 | ISSUE 55 | PUBLICARTREVIEW.ORG

of Public Art Review comes with excitement and tremendous responsibility. I come to the role as the new executive director of Forecast Public Art, the nonprofit organization that publishes PAR, and as only the second leader in the organization’s almost 40-year history. As I’ve begun traveling nationally in this new capacity, I’ve realized that PAR is beloved and revered. Readers want to know what’s coming up in the magazine, offer stories for me to consider, and investigate any changes that may be afoot. To quickly come up to speed in my new role, I’m immersing myself in almost three decades of PAR stories covering topics that speak to my background and passions, including the environment, social justice, immigration, food security, economic development, and more (learn more on page 36). My appreciation and sense MY NEW ROLE AS PUBLISHER


THE ART OF HEALING The San Francisco Arts Commission announces the installation of an extensive collection of artworks for the new Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital showcasing the vital role that artwork plays in creating a healing environment and supporting wellness for patients, their loved ones and hospital staff.


OPPOSITE PAGE counter-clockwise from upper left: Lena Wolff, Detail of Quail and Monkey Branch, 2015; Alan Masaoka, River of Time, 2015; Jetro Martinez, Detail of Amate San Francisco, 2015; Cliff Garten, Ethereal Bodies, 2015. THIS PAGE clockwise from top: Rupert Garcia, Nature of Medicine, 2015; Arthur Stern, Detail of The Streets and Hills of San Francisco, 2015; Tom Otterness, Mother with Children with Hearts, 2015; Framed Works by Ron Moultrie Saunders

The San Francisco Arts Commission champions the arts as essential to daily life by investing in a vibrant arts community, enlivening the urban environment and shaping innovative cultural policy. To learn more visit, sfartscommission.org. Photography of artwork by Bruce Damonte


PROJECTS WE LOVE Select recent works


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NEW YORK WORK NO. 2630, UNDERSTANDING MARTIN CREED Martin Creed’s original concept for Work No. 2630, Understanding—the British artist’s largest work to date—was a three-part sculpture that read “Peace,” “Love,” and “Understanding.” But that proved too expensive, so Creed had to edit the idea. “I ended up thinking, Maybe all you need is understanding,” said the artist in an interview with the Guardian, pointing out that understanding is needed both in families and in the wider political environment. “I want to be understood. That’s what everybody wants. If we have an understanding of other people, or try to understand them and ourselves, it might help a bit.” Commissioned by Public Art Fund, Work No. 2630, Understanding is a 25-foot-tall sculpture with 10-foottall red neon letters mounted onto a 50-foot-long I-beam that rotates at varying speeds. It was installed near the south end of Brooklyn Bridge Park and could be seen from Manhattan from May to October.

The works covered in Projects We Love were selected by Public Art Review editorial staff. Research and writing by executive editor Karen Olson and editorial assistant Jen Dolen.

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Photo by Jason Wyche, courtesy Public Art Fund, NY, © Martin Creed 2016, and courtesy the artist, Gavin Brown’s enterprise New York/Rome, and Hauser & Wirth.

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After building the 110-square-meter wood and steel structure for The Infinite Green, Polish artist Adam Kalinowski covered it in 3,000 plants. The green sculpture, whose shape recalls an infinity sign, contains more than 100 plant species, including perennials and succulents that bloom at different times of year. With seven levels that feature an integrated watering system, natural ventilation, and a skylight, The Infinite Green’s interior space has lower temperature and increased humidity compared to its exterior, a design that could prove useful for hot, dry climates. Created for the European Capital of Culture Wroclaw 2016 art program, The Infinite Green will be tended in Wroclaw at least until the fall of 2017.

Photos by Adam Kalinowski.

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WROCLAW, POLAND THE INFINITE GREEN ADAM KALINOWSKI


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Photos © Sebastiano Luciano.

ROME TRIUMPHS AND LAMENTS WILLIAM KENTRIDGE South African artist William Kentridge is best known for prints, drawings, and animated films dealing with the social injustice of apartheid in his home country. He’s also created major public artworks in multiple mediums. This year he used reverse graffiti—power-washing away soot and biological patina from a 13-meter-tall travertine embankment along the River Tiber in Rome—to reveal Triumphs and Laments. Depicting Rome’s greatest victories and defeats from mythological time to the present, the frieze contains more than 80 figures, some up to 10 meters high. American artist Kristin Jones, who founded the nonprofit arts organization Teveretero to create a site for contemporary public art in Rome’s Piazza Tevere, invited Kentridge to participate. She called Triumphs and Laments Kentridge’s “greatest drawing ever.” Because of pollution and natural, organic growth, the 550-meter-long frieze will gradually fade over time. It’s expected to remain visible for about five years.


PUBLIC ART REVIEW | VOL. 28 | NO. 1 | ISSUE 55 | PUBLICARTREVIEW.ORG

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Photo by Hufton Crow, courtesy UKTI.

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Photo by Jeff Eden.

LONDON THE HIVE WOLFGANG BUTTRESS Inspired by scientific research about the health of bees, British artist Wolfgang Buttress designed The Hive to raise awareness about the importance of pollinators in feeding humanity. From a distance, The Hive—surrounded by a one-acre wildflower garden—looks like a swarm of bees. Its 17-meter-tall latticework structure is made from 170,000 aluminum pieces weighing 40 tons. When honeybees in a hive connected to the sculpture get busy, The Hive reflects their vibrations, becoming a multisensory experience: Hundreds of lights flicker and a meditative soundtrack by the band Spiritualized emanating from the sculpture gets more intense. The Guardian named

the soundtrack, which includes cello, human voice, and music from 40,000 honeybees, one of the best albums of 2016. To get an intimate experience of the different vibrations bees use to communicate, visitors can bite a wooden stick connected to a conductor to feel in their heads the vibrations of four types of bee signals. Originally created for the UK Pavilion at the 2015 Milan Expo, The Hive was installed in June at the Royal Botanic Gardens within London’s Kew Gardens, where 50 wild bee species have been identified, and will be in residence for 18 months.


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CATANIA, SICILY STREET ART SILOS VARIOUS ARTISTS As part of a commission for the city of Catania and the Emergence Festival in summer 2015, several artists brought a creative edge to a cluster of silos in the city’s port district. For Street Art Silos, the artists were invited to look to the myths and legends of Sicily for inspiration. On his silo, Milan-based artist Bo130 retold the Sicilian folktale of Colapesce (“Cola the Fish”): Colapesce, the son of a fisherman, makes a deep dive and discovers that all of Sicily rests on three underwater pillars. One of the pillars shows cracks, so he chooses to stay underwater to hold up the column and, in turn, the island. In Bo130’s interpretation, Colapesce begins to notice that Sicily is getting heavier and heavier; returning to the surface, he sees an influx of desperate immigrants from the East, and learns that many have lost their lives on the journey. Colapesce shares their sorrow and warns them that, as Bo130 puts it, “Sicily and the Western World is not the promised land...but actually the cause of all their problems!” Bo130’s work invites understanding of the plight of refugees and reflects, he says, “an urge to give real help to those who live in problem areas of the planet.”


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Photos by Vlady.

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Half an hour outside Las Vegas, seven striking cairns in a neat row rise 30 feet from the desert floor. In form, these structures resemble hoodoos—tall and spindly natural rock formations commonly seen in the western United States— but if their isolated placement doesn’t signal artificial origins, their intense color erases any doubt. Against the muted backdrop of nearby Jean Dry Lake, known for other land art interventions, Ugo Rondinone’s Seven Magic Mountains evokes the meditative mindset of rock balancing, while the site of the vibrant towers amplifies their meaning. Given that the nearby neon lights of Vegas are likely to be in the mental periphery of any passersby, the sculptures also suggest the fragile balance between urban and rural, natural and unnatural. Rondinone describes his sculpture as existing in “the contrary air between the desert and the city lights.” Five years in the making and one of the larger land art works installed in the United States for several decades, Seven Magic Mountains was produced by the Art Production Fund (New York) and the Nevada Museum of Art (Reno). It will be on view until May 2018.

Photos by Gianfranco Gorgoni, courtesy Art Production Fund and Nevada Museum of Art. Gorgoni.

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LAS VEGAS SEVEN MAGIC MOUNTAINS UGO RONDINONE


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GLOBAL SPACE INVADERS INVADER

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Photos © Invader.

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Since 1998, an anonymous French citizen who identifies himself as an Unidentified Free Artist (UFA) and goes by the name Invader has developed a public art project that’s reached around the world…and beyond. The project, Space Invaders, “liberates art from its usual alienators”—museums and other institutions—and introduces pixelated, video-gamelike ceramic tile invader figures into our physical world. Invader considers his project contemporary art, graffiti, street art, and more, as well as “the most addictive game I’ve ever played.” When he invades a new city, he installs from 20 to 50 mosaic figures of varying colors and designs, each with its own title. (The invaders even rack up imaginary game points each time they arrive in a new location.) As of this writing, 3,339 invaders have populated 66 cities. And in 2015, the project actually invaded space: an invader titled SPACE2 was installed on the International Space Station. Explorers in the other direction can also sample Invader’s work: with scuba gear, they can discover two (authorized) invaders attached to Jason deCaires Taylor’s sculptures deep in Mexico’s Cancun Bay.


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Without Stephen Glassman’s eight-story-tall sculpture Flows Two Ways, the view out of the primarily subsidized, middle-income apartments at Via 57 West, a new mixed-use and residential high-rise on the West Side of Manhattan, would have been a concrete wall. Instead, residents now see a 3,600-square-foot sculpture that looks like the Hudson River at sunset, complete with boulders. “As a New York native, the movement to save the Hudson River was formative in my growth as a young artist intent

on creating works of scale and social impact,” Glassman says. Inspired by the palettes of Hudson River School artists, he created the layered, 32,000-pound composite and prefabricated structure from 35 interlocking panels and 400 60-foot pipe clusters. Hanging from a sliding plate system that accounts for thermal expansion and the forces of wind, snow, and ice, the inventive structure appears to float off the building. Flows Two Ways, which is also visible from the street, gets its name from the Mahican name for the Hudson, Muh-he-kun-ne-tuk. Meaning “the river that flows both ways,” the original Native American name references the river’s partially estuarine nature.

Photo by Chun Lai Photography.

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NEW YORK FLOWS TWO WAYS STEPHEN GLASSMAN


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TOP: Photo by Rodney Campbell. BOTTOM: Photo by Ness Vanderburgh.

WORLDWIDE INTRUDE AMANDA PARER Rabbits have become a seriously invasive species since they were introduced in Australia in the 1780s. And now the gigantic, glowing white rabbits that make up Australian artist Amanda Parer’s Intrude—pictured here in Sydney (above) and at San Francisco’s Civic Center (left)—are popping up in festivals and lawns around the world. Standing at about 23 feet high, Parer’s illuminated, inflated nylon rabbits dominate the landscapes where they’re shown. According to Parer, the size of the sculptures references “the elephant in the room”: our ability to ignore human environmental impact despite how big it is.


PROJECTS WE LOVE SPAIN TRUCK ART PROJECT MULTIPLE ARTISTS

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In Spain, over-the-road trucks are bringing challenging contemporary art to places that rarely see it. The Truck Art Project, an ongoing collaboration between Jaime Colsa, owner of the transport firm Palibex (and a noted art collector), and Madrid’s Iam Gallery, aims to turn a total of 100 Palibex trucks into moving art galleries. So far, 10 are traveling the company’s standard commercial routes, some of them turned into pop-up galleries full of artworks.

The trucks themselves are also mobile murals, their trailers covered with colorful works by noted spray-can artists, some pictured here (right) with Colsa and curators. Featured in February at Madrid’s International Contemporary Art Fair, the Truck Art Project is still in development. Current artists include Javier Arce, Javier Calleja, Abraham Lacalle, Daniel Muñoz, Okuda San Miguel, Suso33, and Marina Vargas.

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Photos by Panci Calvo, courtesy Truck Art Project.

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PARIS + CORSICA THE LUNAR CYCLE + INSTALLATION ON BASTION DE FRANCE MADEMOISELLE MAURICE Following a year living in Japan, during which the country suffered many natural and human-made disasters, French artist Mademoiselle Maurice began installing her colorful origami interventions as positive statements about humanity and sustainability. With paper and thread, Maurice spreads the message of the crane, an elegant symbol of good health, longevity, and truth in Japan. After folding, each “Maurigami” bird is covered with a strengthening solution. Maurice’s work is inspired by the traditional Japanese belief that the gods will grant the wishes of anyone who folds 1,000 paper cranes—and in particular by the story of Sadako

Sasaki, a girl exposed to radiation from the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Sasaki began folding a thousand cranes as a prayer for world peace, but passed away at age 12 before completing the task. She was later buried with a full thousand, the folding having been finished by her classmates. In the last few years Maurice’s fragile, vibrant creations, which cover surfaces with rainbows of tiny paper birds, have bloomed large and small across North and Central America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. At the Bastion de France, a fort-turned-tourist-attraction in the Corsican port city of Porto-Vecchio, Maurice’s multicolored origami cranes become ivy-like tendrils in Installation on Bastion de France (right) in 2015. In July 2016, Maurice’s The Lunar Cycle (above), an installation consisting of 15,000 birds on a 20,000-square-foot wall, became Paris’s largest mural.


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Photos courtesy the artist.

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IN THE FIELD News, Views, and Ideas

Temporary Inspires Permanent PUBLIC ART REVIEW | VOL. 28 | NO. 1 | ISSUE 55 | PUBLICARTREVIEW.ORG

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On a holiday celebrating New Zealand’s role in World War I, activists’ sculptures evoke the fate of conscientious objectors—and the public now wants a permanent memorial BY ROB GARRETT

IN THE FIELD

two life-size and lifelike sculptures of soldiers appeared in public plazas in the center of New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington. The figures, wearing World War I uniforms, were bound hand and foot and tied to posts. Their contorted poses reproduced the military’s “field punishment number one” position, which was used to torture conscientious objectors in an attempt to pressure them into taking part in combat during the First World War (1914–1918). Each tape-and-cardboard sculpture was made by wrapping a person in plastic food wrap and clear tape until a stiff shell was formed. Once the person was cut out of the shell, it was stuffed, covered in masking tape, and spraypainted, with details added in cardboard and scrap fabric. One figure was intended for the base of a flagpole outside the National Museum (Te Papa), but that plan was thwarted by the rapid intervention of Museum security staff, who stopped it from being secured; so it ended up at Frank Kitts Park, where it remained in place for a week. The second sculpture was installed at Civic Square and disappeared within hours (perhaps “souvenired”). As objects, the figures were never intended to endure. They were put in place by the activist collective Peace Action Wellington as an intervention, a counter-narrative to the official celebration of ANZAC Day (April 25). ANZAC Day (the acronym stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) is a national day of remembrance that commemorates the New Zealanders and Australians who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations. In particular, it commemorates the day in 1915 when troops from Australia and New Zealand landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula during World War I, as a part of the Allied invasion of Turkey. It was the first major action by Australian and New Zealand forces during the war. The campaign was a blunder and dragged on for eight months with great loss of life on both sides; and yet it became infused with myths of sacrifice, heroism, and nationalism in New Zealand and Australia, at a time when both British colonies were beginning to forge homegrown identities. IN THE EARLY MORNING OF APRIL 25, 2016,

ANZAC Day commemorations, which include dawn services and memorial parades in just about every city, town, and village, have become increasingly popular among people of all ages in recent decades. Some observers have suggested that these revivals of public interest in the holiday, especially among young people who have not experienced war, are part of a rise of unreflective nationalism in New Zealand, a growing romanticism surrounding the ideas of heroism and sacrifice, and a “birth-of-a-nation” narrative that presupposes that New Zealand has always been on the “right” side of history. They point out that observances of ANZAC Day are selective in what they commemorate, overly politicized, and often commercialized. With its bound-soldier figures, Peace Action Wellington set out to tell a very different story. While thousands of young New Zealand men willingly volunteered in the war’s early years, this attitude changed as the wounded began to return. When conscription was introduced halfway through the war, many refused to go on the grounds of pacifism. They were prosecuted and imprisoned. In his book We Will Not Cease, New Zealand author and World War I conscientious objector Archibald Baxter described one 28-day punishment he received: “My hands were taken from round the pole, tied together and pulled well up it, straining and cramping the muscles and forcing them into an unnatural position.… I was strained so tightly against the post that I was unable to move body or limbs a fraction of an inch.” The sculptures deployed on April 25 this year recreated the punishing position that Baxter and the other “conshies” had to endure. In addition to this kind of treatment, the objectors were subject to starvation and beatings; then, in 1918, the government decided to make an example of 14 of the staunchest pacifists by sending them to the Western Front and forcing them into the line of enemy fire. For Peace Action Wellington, the patriotic luster of the ANZAC Day narratives also obscures other less-than-palatable stories of New Zealand at war, such as the violence inflicted on the indigenous Maori population during nineteenth-century land wars–a story that remains outside the


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Photo courtesy Peace Action Wellington.

IN THE FIELD Made from plastic food wrap, tape, carboard, denim, bungee cord, and spray paint, this sculpture in Wellington, New Zealand, is one of two created to show what happened to conscientious objectors during World War I. This one, originally intended for outside the National Museum, was placed instead in Frank Kitts Park.


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national school curriculum. The group purposely sought to awaken people to the “forgetting” that is inherent in commemorative “remembering,” noting in a statement that “when you commemorate our actions in war, you’re commemorating this [brutal reality] too. Don’t forget that.” The sculptures elicited a great deal of positive response from the public, and Peace Action Wellington suggests that one reason for the interest and approval may be that the action consciously melded art and activism. “It was striking,” the collective said in an email to the author, “that there was so much popular support when other actions we did, like the blockade of [a] weapons conference in November, didn’t seem to touch people in the same way. Both are actions standing up for peace, so why the disparity? It may be due to the power of art to provoke thought in a way that’s maybe less alienating than a mass demo.” Though Peace Action Wellington is not an artists’ collective, they’re contemplating further “art actions.” “It’s really

inspired us,” they said in their email, “to take more creative actions, in the most literal sense of the word.” It looks as if the temporary creative action on April 25 may have some permanent results. The Wellington Museum, which helped retrieve the Frank Kitts Park sculpture, is currently storing it, and is considering including it in a permanent exhibition in the future. And the action inspired a public petition, addressed to the Wellington City Council, for a permanent memorial to conscientious objectors. The Council has announced that it’s awaiting proposals for the memorial, which will be considered by its Public Art Panel.

is a New Zealand-born independent curator living in Poland and working across Europe. Mostly curating site-specific public art programs, he also directs an international project space in Auckland for emerging artists. Follow his projects at robgarrettcfa.com. ROB GARRETT

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Photo courtesy Peace Action Wellington.

IN THE FIELD This sculpture hung on a lamppost in Wellington’s Frank Kitts Park for only one week. The Wellington Museum retrieved it and is considering it for its permanent collection. The museum’s actions inspired the public to send a petition to the Wellington City Council for a permanent memorial to conscientious objectors.


STUDIO OSMAN AKAN

Lux Aeterna

Bicentennial Plaza Indianapolis / IN

Top right photo by Christian L Garcia. All other photos by Elena Manferdini.

"an original artwork owned by the State of Indiana"

IN V E R T E D L A ND S C A P E S : ONLY IN L . A . Artwork by Elena Manferdini at Zev Yaroslavsky Family Support Center.

2016 rt Public A r in Yea Network ward A Review . winner


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The Art Department The grassroots “agency” dubbed the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture is set to come of age with a convening and a policy paper BY JON SPAYDE

collaborators and hosted gatherings to discuss these issues around the country, the USDAC is poised, at press time, to hold its first national convention, at which it will issue an ambitious policy statement. A Colombian Brainstorm Horowitz was on a Fulbright scholarship in Colombia in 2010, working with that country’s Ministry of Culture and, as he says, “wondering why we didn’t have something like it.” So he decided to create the “agency” on the spot. “From a Bogotá printer, I commissioned a couple hundred posters

Photo by Dave Lowenstein.

could be a cabinet-level agency of the federal government—in your dreams, and in the dreams of its founders, a young artist-activist-instigator named Adam Horowitz and Arlene Goldbard, a veteran consultant, activist, and writer on cultural policy. What the USDAC actually is, is a three-year-old grassroots network of artists, artist-organizers, cultural agitators, and others concerned with bringing the arts and culture (broadly defined) more fully into public discussion and policymaking. Having already gathered a major roster of THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ARTS AND CULTURE (USDAC)


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for something called the United States Department of Arts and Culture,” he says. He began discussing with stateside friends just what the USDAC could be and do—maybe a twenty-first-century version of the WPA arts programs of the 1930s, he thought. Soon, people were pointing Horowitz to Arlene Goldbard, author of New Creative Community, The Culture of Possibility, and other books on the very issues that were bubbling up for him. The two met and, as Goldbard puts it, “I thought, good! Here’s a young person with the energy to start something, and me, with the experience of discussing these issues and working in organizational development for many decades.” They teamed up and formally launched the USDAC with a press conference in 2013 (see transcript in PAR issue 49, “Calling All Citizen Artists”). In 2014 they put out a call for collaborators, to be dubbed Cultural Agents. “We were just giving a name to a role that alrea dy existed: artist-organizers doing this kind of work,” says Horowitz. “But we were creating a new platform and a new kind of connectivity for it.” They were swamped with 120 applications, from which they selected 15 for the first of three annual cohorts.

Broward.org/Arts

Imaginings The Cultural Agents then organized Imaginings, local public gatherings in cities ranging from Philadelphia to Lawrence, Kansas, to Cedar Grove, North Carolina, in order to, as the USDAC website explains, “envision their towns and cities in twenty years when the full transformative power of art

Photo by: Tabatha Mudra

Photo by Brandon King, Cooperation Jackson.

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OPPOSITE: Citizen Artist Nicholas Ward poses for the 2016 People’s State of the Union at the Lawrence, Kansas, field office of the USDAC. ABOVE: Participants create images and text that reflect welcome and inclusion at the Jackson Imagining (2016), organized by USDAC Cultural Agent Monique Davis.

Reflections, Bill Savarese

Amman Building, Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale


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Students, staff, and faculty gather in the “Library Archive of the Future” to envision an equitable and whole-hearted future at the Oregon State University Imagining (2016), organized by USDAC Cultural Agent Charlene Martinez.

TOP: Photo by Joi Sears. BOTTOM: Photo by Bret Lorimore.

IN THE FIELD

Avery Colvin, Joshua Ware, and Daniel Ware, members of Cincinnati Peace Movement—a volunteer organization committed to promoting peace and changing lives through mentoring and leadership—present at the Cincinnati Imagining (2016) organized by USDAC Cultural Agent Joi Sears.


IN THE FIELD and culture has been integrated into the fabric of society, and…identify ways to get there.” There was sufficient nationwide interest in the new “department” that its organizers then decided to push the doors open wider by creating larger events like the annual People’s State of the Union, a nationwide “civic ritual” focused on story circles in which citizens reflect on where the country is headed culturally and politically. And they created the Citizen Artist role, open to anybody just by signing up. With wider options for participation, Horowitz says, came an expansion of the USDAC beyond the artist-activist world. “Librarians, people working in homeless shelters, in universities—people in so many settings are just hungry for ways of taking part in larger cultural actions,” he says. Since then they’ve set up other initiatives as well. A Convening The USDAC is marking its coming of age with its first “national convening,” titled Culture/Shift 2016, two weeks after the presidential election: November 17–19, in St. Louis. There it will issue an official ten-point policy platform, authored by Goldbard and based on input from across the USDAC network. The goal of the document, according to a statement Goldbard sent to PAR, is “to advance toward cultural democracy, a social order which embodies and affirms the right to culture in every aspect of our public and private policies; welcomes each individual as a whole, creative person; values each community’s heritage, contributions, and aspirations; promotes care, reciprocity, and open communication across all lines of difference; and dismantles all barriers to love and justice.” The platform also offers practical measures that governments and private-sector organizations can use in putting those principles into practice, she says. The conference itself will reflect the USDAC’s spirit of paradigm questioning and shifting. “We’re working really hard to make the convening different from what people expect when they hear the word conference,” Goldbard says. For one thing, the conference will cultivate a sense of place, in a city whose suburb, Ferguson, Missouri, has become a symbol of racial injustice and conflict. “Local people are creating a number of rituals of participation and guidance to situate people in place,” she says. Goldbard hopes that the points in the policy statement will be taken seriously by policymakers. For now, “Calling ourselves a government department is lighthearted but serious too,” she says. “It’s a cool container for culture in the public interest and the public interest in culture. “We say that we’re not an outside agency coming in; we’re an inside agency coming out.” JON SPAYDE

is a senior editor of Public Art Review.

CELEBRATING 30 YEARS, 1987-2017 A NEW BOOK Meandering Methodologies, Deviant Disciplines

Four Years of City Art Collaboratory Shanai Matteson, Editor

The City Art Collaboratory is an experimental Fellowship Cohort for artists and scientists that seeks to grow cross-disciplinary relationships and new approaches to artistic collaborations focused on issues of place and sustainability. This new book published by Public Art Saint Paul features an anthology of essays by artists, scientists, critics, and scholars.

A public art, community, and food project by Seitu Jones with Public Art Saint Paul On September 14, 2014, two thousand people gathered for a meal at a half-mile table set on a street in Saint Paul to share food stories and hopes for the future of our food systems. Drawing on this event, we now have a Neighborhood Meal Kit available for purchase. The CREATE Kit Contains suggested instructions for hosting a Neighborhood Meal along with relics from the original meal and holds all the elements for an artful gathering. Ideal for artist & art organization gatherings, community garden and healthy food groups, and for meals in your own neighborhood. The CREATE Kit: Collectors Edition 30 limited artist editions of the CREATE Kit, hand numbered and signed by Seitu Jones with museum quality components and relics from the original meal.

ORDER THESE NEW ITEMS AT PUBLICARTSTPAUL.ORG OR 651-290-0921


IN THE FIELD

Q&A: Theresa Sweetland Meet the new executive director of Forecast Public Art and publisher of Public Art Review INTERVIEW BY KAREN OLSON

36 IN THE FIELD

KAREN OLSON: What most excites you about public art? THERESA SWEETLAND: The unexpected excites me. I love to stumble across art in everyday spaces like bus stops, parks, a highway underpass, or a store window, and experience it with others. I spent years curating performing and community-based arts, so I’m attracted to the more temporal, DIY works that engage community, creatively disrupt and stimulate questions about public life—whether it is street craft, parklets, guerrilla gardening, digital works, bus stop bingo, or a 20-block community meal. I’m excited when public art can be responsive and immediate, like the mural How The Protectors Defeated The Black Snake, which popped up in Rapid City, South Dakota, in solidarity with the Standing Rock fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline. I’m drawn to public art because everyone has access to it, no matter their economic status, the language they speak, their gender or mode of transit. I’m excited when I

discover artists who are testing out new ways of working with material and process to engage community, culture, and place. The opportunities for partnership and participation are endless. I have spent 20 years working to partner artists with nontraditional arts environments like senior centers, alternative schools, reservations, prisons, park centers, and boardrooms When an artist enters the picture, new ways of seeing the world unfold and people are invited and allowed to bust open their frames. What do you find most interesting about working in this field? Public art—and the definition of what public art can be—is evolving and expanding as more artists and tacticians from all disciplines enter the field. I’m excited about grassroots efforts, pop-ups, high-tech digital works, performance-based interventions, and other community-based means of production in public space. I’m also excited by the rich history of public

The Frank art gallery at Pembroke Pines City Center opens early 2017 to initiate cultural change and innovation. Artists, thinkers, makers and curators will influence a diverse community and create partnerships for social engagement. The 11,000 sq. ft. multi-disciplinary exhibition and learning space, adjacent to a 1- acre plaza will expand the concept of culture and invite all visitors to be frank. ppines.com/thefrank

Letʼs be Frank. PEMBROKE PINES CITY CENTER

THE FRANK

Frank C. Ortis Art Gallery and Exhibit Hall

Broward County Board of County Commissioners/ Broward Cultural Council

Broward County Cultural Division Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau Tourist Development Council

Photo by Katie Fears, © www.brioart.com.

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Theresa Sweetland brings a lifetime commitment to the arts and social justice to her new role as executive director of Forecast Public Art and publisher of Public Art Review. Previously, Sweetland served as the executive/artistic director of Minneapolis’s Intermedia Arts and as director of development and external relations for the Minnesota Museum of American Art. She is a co-founding artistic director of B-Girl Be, the world’s first international summit for women in hip-hop, and founding director of Creative CityMaking, a pioneering partnership between artists and city staff to advance racial equity goals and engage underrepresented communities in determining the future of Minneapolis.


IN THE FIELD art practice, how it tells and retells the narrative of place. It’s critical for Forecast to remain at the forefront and stay updated, informed, and constantly prepared to assist artists and communities with their ever-changing needs.

Who do you want to play with? I am looking forward to collaborating with visionary, diplomatic people who get things done—people who listen deeply and plan thoughtfully. I want to play with rebellious thinkers and people who disrupt the status quo on a continuous basis. I’m always trying to see years down the road and I love to play with people who make me laugh and dream and question why.

KAREN OLSON

is executive editor of Public Art Review.

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From your perspective, and given your experience, where do you think public art is heading? I have more questions than answers at this stage, but I’m investigating the future of public art, along with some great thinkers across sectors. What we are seeing is exciting; it challenges the field to think and act differently. I see more people engaged in creativity in public places, and moving into the social cause space. What does this mean for public arts? Where does design end and art begin? Innovation, rapid

What artists inspire you? Nationally and internationally, I love the work of JR, Candy Chang, Faith47, Kobra, Osgemeos, Theaster Gates, The Laundromat Project (NYC), Conflict Kitchen, and—in my own community—the works of Seitu Jones, Greta McLain, Mike Hoyt, Million Artist Movement, the Electric Machete collective, and so many more. I’m also inspired by all kinds of musical artists, but most recently I’m listening to Kendrick Lamar, learning all of the lyrics from Hamilton to keep up with my kids, and trying to figure out Pokémon GO. I collect hip-hop and street-art books, specifically ones that feature women, and one of my prized possessions is a special-edition Levi’s jean jacket designed by the godmother of graffiti, Lady Pink (NYC).

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What do you bring to the public art table? My creative practice is supporting the work of other creatives, cultivating relationships, and curating meaning. I started out working directly with young people and worked with graffiti artists for more than 15 years. As I helped to run the only sanctioned graffiti wall in Minnesota, I earned my credibility with these artists by not only making space for their work but consistently making a case for their rights as working artists. I have a love for art on walls, however it ends up there, and hope to bring my years of experience to Forecast programming and Public Art Review storytelling. In 2009, I completed my master’s in urban planning with a focus on community and economic development. With the rise of creative placemaking, I developed a multiyear partnership with the long-range planning department in the City of Minneapolis. Creative CityMaking was born out of a need to focus on issues of racial equity in cities and engage underrepresented communities and communities of color in city planning. Through the partnership of artists and planners, more people were engaged in the process and the program expanded to several more city departments. I am always seeking out ways to bring more voices to this work, and building opportunities for Forecast to listen, learn, and share.

prototyping, and tactical urbanism are driving creative programming and the building of public space. How are public artists in service to this work? What are the differences/ similarities between various notions of art and culture? More people across the world are talking about equity, race, justice, and health in relation to neighborhoods and communities. We are engaged in critical conversations about place, land, and history. We live in an era of climate change, population shifts, and innovation in human health and resilience. How is the public art field exploring environmental impacts and cultural impacts, and how can we be part of future solutions?


PURE

Macarthur Fellowships have a long tradition of rewarding innovative public artists—and of providing the resources for recipients to live free and dream big

BY DAVID SCHIMKE ECONOMIC UNCERTAINTY, REGARDLESS OF HOW IT EXHIBITS ITSELF, has a sneaky way of stifling

creativity. Conversely, financial freedom is often a potent muse. Just ask the artists, writers, scientists, academics, entrepreneurs, and other pioneering souls who—after being awarded a vaunted MacArthur Fellowship—suddenly found themselves blessed with the freedom to dream radically, experiment spontaneously and, if so moved, execute methodically. “It changed everything,” says installation artist Robert Irwin. “The IRS had just informed me I could no longer call myself an artist, and no longer write off my supplies and studio as legitimate expenses.” Many of the public artists featured on these pages expressed similar sentiments about the nostrings-attached, $625,000 award, which is distributed over a five-year period. Sculptor Teresita Fernández says it allowed for “unprecedented autonomy and privacy.” Digital artist Camille Utterback remembers hearing from MacArthur at a financial low point, and says being relieved of that stress kept her from abandoning installation work altogether. Seattle-based sound sculptor Trimpin concludes that without “five years of unrestricted research and experimenting, my work and projects in the last 15 years—my fellowship ended in 2002—would not be the same today.” Since 1981, 942 people have been awarded a MacArthur Fellowship, known colloquially as a “Genius Grant.” We reviewed all of their biographies to come up with what we hope is a fairly representative sample of the sorts of public artists who are routinely recognized by this tradition that has played a seminal role in the growth and public recognition of the discipline. Just as ours is not an exhaustive list, the Fellowships themselves are not lifetime achievement awards, but rather recognition of seminal work done and potential yet untapped. There is no application process. Instead, a revolving cast of anonymous advisors in various disciplines nominate visionaries they believe to be capable of self-direction and game-changing innovations that, according to the Foundation’s criteria, “broaden horizons of the imagination.” Of the 2,000 people nominated each year, between 20 and 25 get the nod. Once they do, they become part of a distinctive community of like-minded, intellectual adventurers. “The most influential and interesting aspect of the award for me has been the interactions with other MacArthur Fellows,” testifies sculptor Ned Kahn. Finally, and for our purposes most motivationally, a review of the Fellows program conducted in 2012 found that the MacArthur grants move “members of the general public to pursue their own personal creative activities and to think about how they can use their own skills and ideas to make the world a better place.” Here’s hoping you’re so inspired. Editor’s Note: When a quote from an artist is not attributed to a specific source, it originated from either the MacArthur website (www.macfound.org) or an email exchange with Public Art Review.

Photo courtesy the artist.

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GENIUS


Ned Kahn created Enagua (2015) in Los Angeles in collaboration with Johnson/ Fain Architects. A 100-foot-tall oval-shaped tower is wrapped in multiple layers of plastic chain-mail fabric. The work’s title is the Spanish word for a garment traditionally worn under a dress to give it extra body. The title is also a play on the words en agua (in water), referring the liquid motion of the chainmail in the wind and the fact that the entire site lies just a few feet above current sea level.


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LIVING AS ART RICK LOWE, CLASS OF 2014 While Lowe was working on political paintings in the early 1990s, a high-school student challenged the Houston resident to generate something that transcended symbolism. He responded by recruiting a cohort of peers to restore and beautify 22 derelict shotgun houses in the city’s storied, predominantly African-American Third Ward. Since then, Project Row Houses has evolved into an internationally renowned example of living art, providing picturesque shelter and child care for low-income families, inspirational studio spaces and mentorships for emerging artists, and educational programs for neighborhood

kids. The goal, Lowe says, is to empower community by providing resources to unleash its collective voice and innate creativity. The 55-year-old has since spearheaded redevelopment projects in Los Angeles, New Orleans, and Dallas. The legacy he leaves won’t be stored in a museum, but he believes that those he’s inspired will “be seen as early pioneers of expanding the notion of what art can be.” VIRTUAL REALITY CAMILLE UTTERBACK, CLASS OF 2009 Pokémon GO has nothing on this interactive illusionist, who uses digital technology in public spaces to create

Photo courtesy the artist. OPPOSITE: Photo by John Solem.

ABOVE: Trimpin created The Pianohouse (2014) for the Caramoor Center for Music in New York. Made of six piano frameworks and an array of “kinetic electro-mechanical actuators” that strike, bow, pluck, or scratch the piano strings, the work also includes a motion sensor. The sensor activates mechanical devices to play a variety of compositions—some percussive, others more melodic. OPPOSITE: Anna Schuleit Haber at work in her studio.


intimate, sensorial experiences designed to augment reality, not escape it. “Technology often removes us from the present,” Utterback explains. “You see people walking around on their cell phones all the time, not completely aware of what they’re doing with their body in the current space. So I really want to create systems that use technology, but also draw us back into our present moment in our bodies.” To create her hypnotic, humanized, lava lamp–like video installations and reactive sculptures, the San Francisco–based artist uses cameras to track people’s movement. Software she’s written processes that data and generates an impressionistic projection. Most memorably,

each image reacts to the previous one, which creates a feedback loop that reflects both individual expression and a collective, physical reality. SOUL SEARCHER ANNA SCHULEIT HABER, CLASS OF 2006 A painter who prefers spending 12-hour workdays in a studio, Schuleit Haber finds herself immersed in public projects every three years—that often take three years to execute. Her landmark opus, Habeas Corpus, which aroused international acclaim in 2000 and inspired a series of similar ventures in the years following, was a living memorial to Northampton State Hospital, a towering, long-abandoned


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mental health facility. Inside its decrepit, cracked, caged windows, Schuleit Haber created an ephemeral installation populated by actors, ambient sounds, singers, and seas of flowers to contextualize and spiritualize testimonials gathered from former residents. “Recent projects include a museum commission for which I took over the front page of a daily newspaper for 26 days,” says the 42-year-old. “Future works include a soundbased, off-site commemoration of a European massacre, as well as an exploratory piece of layered storytelling about the hidden world of a major horse racetrack.”

metals. These redefined environments—such as Fata Morgana, a reflective canopy that covered six central walkways in New York’s Madison Square Park—take their cue from differing schools of architecture and landscape design. “In nature, a fata morgana is a kind of mirage,” Fernández explains. “So, I was interested in engaging the public on a massive scale, distorting the urban and natural environment with ephemeral, liquidlike, shifting  reflections that also became a kind of portrait of the urban commute, and of passersby who became an integral part of the piece and of one another’s shared space as they moved through it.”

ARCHITECTURAL ALCHEMIST TERESITA FERNÁNDEZ, CLASS OF 2005 At 48 years old, this Cuban-American has produced three dozen shows in nine countries, exploring an interest in “the potentially democratizing effect that public art and public spaces can create.” Installing sculpture-centric, interactive pieces in museums, abandoned buildings, parks, and other highly trafficked spaces, Fernández prefers altering natural settings with natural materials like rocks, water, and various

HEART OF GLASS JAMES CARPENTER, CLASS OF 2004 In 2010, this glass technologist told his hometown paper, the New York Times, that while traditionalists think of glass as a way to render spaces transparent, his paramount concern is what occurs “on or in or through the material itself.” He expresses that fascination by leveraging a deep knowledge of architecture and engineering, materials science and sculpture, to create functional, environmentally friendly

Photo by Elisabeth Bernstein.

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Photo by David Sundberg.

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ABOVE: At the Fulton Street Transit Center in New York, James Carpenter’s Sky Reflector-Net (2014) expands the view of the sky. Made from peforated optical-aluminum panels, the 79-foot high, 74-foot diameter project was commissioned by MTA Arts for Transit. OPPOSITE: Teresita Fernández’s Fata Morgana (2015) put sculpture over the heads of visitors to New York’s Madison Square Park. About 500 feet long, it is composed of foliage-like, golden metal plates.


BELOW: Phaidon just published a new book about 2003 MacArthur Fellow Sarah Sze. BOTTOM: Sze’s Still Life with Landscape (Model for a Habitat) (2011)—which serves as a bird, insect, and butterfly observatory with birdbaths, perches, and feeding spots throughout—was installed at the High Line in New York in 2012. OPPOSITE: Martin Puryear’s Big Bling (2016) is 40 feet tall. It was exhibited in New York’s Madison Square Park in the spring of 2016 and will be in Philadelphia for six months starting in May 2017.

WHEN NATURE CALLS NED KAHN, CLASS OF 2003 An environmental artist and sculptor, Kahn has created experiential exhibits in traditional settings (like the Museum of Natural History in New York), on corporate campuses (Yahoo!), and in other public gathering spaces. Gentle, swirling whirlpools. Flame tornadoes. Schizophrenic pendulums. Rattling ball bearings. The 56-year-old is drawn to materials and projects where optic and acoustic effects encourage unsuspecting participants to consider overlooked (or hidden) processes of the natural world. “I’ve tried to create things where I’ve basically framed a phenomenon, and I’m letting nature do the sculpting,” Kahn told NPR in 2005. Since being recognized by MacArthur, Kahn has met a number of like-minded Fellows and co-conspirators.

Photo © Sarah Sze. Book cover courtesy Phaidon. OPPOSITE: Photo by Yasunori Matsui, © Martin Puryear.

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designs that capture public imagination while accenting a standing structure’s unique aesthetic. Whether creating a blue glass bridge in Seattle’s City Hall, a luminous dome at the Fulton Street Transit Center, or an ethereal glow outside the windows at 7 World Trade Center, Carpenter says that “my studio continues to seek a range of projects, from smaller experimental art interventions where we can explore materials, structure, optics, and light, to collaborations with architects in the design of the built environment itself.”


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Eiko Otake rehearsed for the video installation A Body on Wall Street, shown at the River to River Festival on New York’s Governor’s Island in June 2016. Eiko is one half of Eiko & Koma. They started performing together in 1972 and were the first collaborative duo to receive a MacArthur fellowship.


Photo by William Johnston.

UNEARTHING THE ORDINARY SARAH SZE, CLASS OF 2003 Since receiving a MacArthur grant, this Chinese-American sculptor has constructed numerous critically acclaimed installations at storied venues like the 55th Venice Biennale, and has also conceived commissions for a number of public spaces, such as High Line Park and Doris C. Freedman Plaza in New York. To anyone who has encountered her whimsical work, Sze’s meteoric rise will come as no surprise or wonder—even though those are the very words her intricate pieces most likely evoke. Sze’s imaginaria, built from ordinary objects like desk fans, paper clips, scraps of plywood, and aluminum ladders, have both a utilitarian design and an infectious, almost-by-accident aesthetic. Her room-sized pieces, designed to appear under construction, as if they were found in an abandoned studio, are often stacked into a wobble, strung together on a prayer, and, even when they’re housed inside, seem to blow in the wind or undulate as if floating down a candy-colored stream. ACOUSTIC ELECTRONICA TRIMPIN, CLASS OF 1997 In the publicity material accompanying the 2009 documentary Trimpin: The Sound of Invention, the sound sculptor and composer is said to have created a world resembling both Santa’s workshop and Frankenstein’s lab. Trimpin’s tools have as much to do with that description as his singular sonic footprint. Sifting through stacks of cast-off musical instruments and scrapped computer parts, the 65-year-old inventor makes machines that, while often digitally driven, have an acoustic resonance. Instead of writing compositions for the contraptions, he programs sequences for temporary and permanent installations. No commercial recordings allowed. Still considered by boomer hipsters in Seattle as the genius to know (and hear), Trimpin, who is rumored to detest loudspeakers, says his current work is “an ongoing exploration of the concepts of sound, vision and movement, experimenting with combinations that will introduce our sense of perception to a totally new experience.”

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“[The Fellowship] led to a number of collaborations where I was involved from the very beginning so the artwork ideas ended up seamlessly integrated into the rest of the project,” he says, “thus blurring the boundaries between art, architecture, science, and nature.”

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OBJECT LESSONS ANN HAMILTON, CLASS OF 1993 Preferring to be called a maker instead of an artist, Hamilton first studied textile design and then chose to use a sculptor’s sensibilities to manipulate various media and experiences, including time itself, to grapple with what it means to be human. Her installations combine photography, performance, and common objects to create venues large and small where, as the 60-year-old said during an episode of On Being with Krista Tippett in 2015, “we can gather and...be alone together.”

As Tippett puts it, Hamilton’s creations “engage and surround the senses”: dozens of wooden swings pulling on white curtains; a concrete tower with a staircase that resembles a strand of DNA; abstract video shot on a surveillance camera; a wooden meditation boat; and, in Charleston, South Carolina, a stack of 47,000 work uniforms, anonymous and inimitable as the laborers who once wore them.

Photo by Eric Hester.

A gathering at Project Row Houses, which got its start in 1993 when Rick Lowe and other artists and community activists bought 22 houses slated for demolition in Houston. With seed funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and other organizations, they tranformed the houses into a new form of socially engaged art.


MISSED IN NEW ORLEANS JOHN T. SCOTT, CLASS OF 1992 Scott was one of the first African-American artists to break into commercial galleries in New Orleans. Raised in the Ninth Ward, he lived in the city for 65 years, until Hurricane Katrina damaged his home and studio. It was apropos, then, that a career retrospective of the sculptor’s work was held in 2005 at the New Orleans Museum of Art, where one of his many site-specific installations, Spirit Gates, adorns the entrance court. Inspired by jazz and dance, Scott’s brightly painted steel structures embody a fusion of African, Caribbean, and Creole cultures, and include River Spirit, a threedimensional frieze mural depicting the river city’s maritime economy and musical heritage. Having fled the city as Katrina approached, Scott died in 2007 before he could get back to New Orleans. “That’s the only home I know,” he told the Times-Picayune earlier that year from Houston. “I want my bones to be buried there. I belong there.”

TRAVELOGUES MARTIN PURYEAR, CLASS OF 1989 Surveying Puryear’s staggering body of public art and gallery installations—commemorated in a 30-year retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in 2007—one gets the sense that this painter-turned-formalist-sculptor is deeply inspired by place. In the mid-1960s, he served in the Peace Corps in Sierra Leone, and then spent the next several decades sating his wanderlust with journeys to Asia, Alaska, and throughout Europe and North America, where he learned from and collaborated with various artists, designers, and landscape architects. Partial to working with wood, stone, tar, wire, and assorted metals, the 75-year-old’s often imposing, threedimensional evocations of non-Westernized history, ritual, and struggle—such as the 36-foot Ladder for Booker T. Washington, rendered from a sapling ash tree—manage to “soothe more than seethe,” according to New York Times art critic Roberta Smith, “balancing between the geometric and the organic with Zen aplomb.” ABSTRACT KNOWING ROBERT IRWIN, CLASS OF 1984 A Long Beach, California, native who bet on horses when he was a fledgling abstract painter, this 88-year-old is still dreaming up installations to evoke deeply personal reactions that, he hopes, are primarily phenomenological. Recently dubbed “the artist’s artist” in the New York Times, Irwin is adept at manipulating simple materials like fabric scrim, glass, branches, colored gels, and greenery to create spartan, transient experiences designed to challenge perceptions and preconceptions regarding light and space. Ardent fans believe Irwin is one of the most underappreciated visionaries of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. He, however, is uninterested in mass appeal. Instead, the philosopher king quests for “a pure inquiry of the individual’s potential to perceive the values of a pure sentient understanding. From ‘I think, therefore I am’ to a much broader view of aesthetics: I feel...therefore...I think...therefore I am.”

Independent journalist DAVID SCHIMKE, former editor of Utne Reader magazine, lives and writes in Minneapolis.

VISIT WWW.PUBLICARTREVIEW.ORG TO LEARN ABOUT MORE MACARTHUR AWARD–WINNING ARTISTS.

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MAKING MOVES EIKO & KOMA OTAKE, CLASS OF 1996 The first collaborative team to be named MacArthur Fellows began dancing and choreographing together in the early 1970s. The honor, which came when they were both 44, permanently altered their trajectory. “My thinking largely shifted from being a dancer and choreographer to being an artist in the larger sense of the word,” Eiko says. “The MacArthur Award letter spoke about contributing to humanity. I strive to live up to that expectation.” According to the Foundation’s description, the Otakes create “abstract shapes that blur the boundaries of animal, vegetable, and mineral, and suggest that the landscape is as alive as its inhabitants.” In 2014, Koma started working on The Ghost Festival, a multidisciplinary solo project and interactive visual art installment and performance space. Also in 2014, Eiko launched a 12-hour movement exercise that’s been performed in a Philadelphia transit station, a senior citizen center in New York City, and a farmers’ market in Durham. “In these performances, I learn the functions, characteristics, and constituencies of the places,” Eiko explains. “I explore solitude, gaze, fragility, and intimacy.”

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Hunting the

Symbol An interview with sculptural landscape architect and writer Charles Jencks BY JACQUELINE WHITE

Charles Jencks at the Garden of Cosmic Speculation, his landscape project near Dumfries, Scotland.

Photo by Louisa Lane Fox.

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APPARENTLY, OUR UNIVERSE is not immense enough to contain the imagination of landscape architect and author Charles Jencks. He instead thinks in terms of multiple universes, which he evokes in his most recent work, the Crawick Multiverse, a 55-acre sculptural landscape that sits on the site of a former open-pit mine in Scotland. The American-born and Harvard-educated Jencks received his PhD in architectural history from University College, London, in 1970 and has lived in the United Kingdom ever since. He transformed his Scottish residence into a 30-acre Garden of Cosmic Speculation and has created monumental installations around the world, including Black Hole Oval Terrace at Beijing Olympic Park. The author of numerous books, including The Language of Post-Modern Architecture, Jencks articulates a postmodern aesthetic informed by complexity science. In our recent wideranging conversation, Jencks referenced Raquel Welch, the Renaissance, cosmology—and our human search for meaning.

Public Art Review: How do you approach being a public artist? Charles Jencks: The problem for a public artist today is how do you communicate with a mass and segmented audience—a local one, a national one, an international one—and avoid the obvious pitfalls of one-liners and clichés and the “already said,” as Umberto Eco already said. In a public art, you really have to layer your meanings so they’re accessible without being clichés. The way I’ve done that is to use a whole lot of supplementary systems so that people, if they’re interested, can find out some of the hidden meanings, some of the personal ones, and some of the public ones that I attempt to design in. They can read it as a kind of dramatic narrative. It doesn’t mean it exhausts how people receive it. A lot of people misread it, and I always find that interesting and helpful.

Tell me about what you’d call a misreading. Tim Richardson, who is a famous critic of gardens, spent eight hours one day at the Garden of Cosmic Speculation in Scotland, which is designed around DNA and a whole lot of scientific esoterica. And he said, “I see what you meant when you said everything has more than one meaning, but I couldn’t understand the science.” I said, “That’s all right. You have to feel a garden before you understand it.” He said, “I understood one big thing.” I said, “What was that?” “That your garden is a portrait of Margaret Thatcher.”

(Laughter.) And he showed me the plan, and it had her bun at the back and her twin set of pearls, her eye, her cheek, her nasty nose, her teeth, and all the rest of Margaret Thatcher’s accoutrements. And I hadn’t intended it. It was an emergent.


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Photos by Charles Jencks.

LEFT: Belvedere Eagle at Crawick Multiverse (2005–2015), where Charles Jencks transformed a former open-pit coal mine into an artscape exploring themes of space, astronomy, and cosmology. ABOVE: All materials used to construct the project were found onsite, including 2,000 boulders such as those shown here representing the sun and replicating the shapes of a total eclipse at Black Sun Amphitheatre, which holds 5,000 people. ABOVE TOP: Photographed from a drone, Sun Flare/Earth Shield is a mosiac at Crawick Multiverse.


When you say “emergent,” explain what you mean. People naturally search for meaning, especially in a garden, and once they know there’s meaning, they find more because the universe is so constructed. There’s always more meaning emerging. It’s not “less is more” but “more is different”— that’s the postmodern phrase.

But perhaps you were thinking of Margaret Thatcher? I don’t like her. But of course anyone whom you’re critical of is on your mind. But I was certainly not designing it with her in mind. But it’s there. If you google the plan, you can see it. The game of hunt the symbol is a public game. It was in the fifteenth century, the Medici in their garden famously said you’ve got to make people slow down: festina lente. It meant “Make haste to go slow.” Why make haste to go slow? Because you wouldn’t want to run through a garden. You go there for pleasure and relaxation and contemplation. So how do you slow people down? Well, the Renaissance said you slow them down by giving them art and symbolism. And symbolism is a particular way of reading signs, symbols, and in my case supplementary signs, which literally tell people, “This is a banana,” or “This is a black hole.” The fact is that the universe always gives more meaning than you intend. In other words, if you do a Fibonacci Series—you know, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21— you produce pine

You’re saying the audience is not monolithic. That’s absolutely the key. It’s pluralism. It will read it with its prejudices and its knowledge and its convictions and its beliefs—all of the baggage that we all carry. For the most part, the monument has disappeared today. The monument doesn’t exist because we don’t live in traditional cultures nor integrated cultures. So instead of designing monuments, we design icons, and we design them with iconic, enigmatic signifiers—this all comes out of symbiotics, by the way.

You don’t consider your work monuments? They’re monumental, but they’re not monuments. I would say that a third of my life as a designer is fighting to get things done the way I want them, and I don’t often succeed. My sadness about my work is that it is very big. It’s huge, and I believe that you should have

Photo by Allan Pollok Morris.

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cones, you produce golden sections, you produce a lot of other things. But you don’t intend to. They’re a consequence of the benign nature of the universe. It always has more output than you put in. I think public art necessarily brings up in our pluralistic global cultures the impossibility of assuming that people know what you know or believe in it.


That’s a very interesting distinction you’re making about avoiding illustration. Can you give an example of how you walk that line?

Photo © Graeme Peacock.

There’s no easy way to walk that line. It’s more you zigzag in and out of focus.

I’m interested in Northumberlandia and your dialog there with ancient landforms. I’d seen these Iron Age horses around Great Britain—there is one that is beautifully abstract. I drove a mile away and I could see it from an angle. You had to know it was a horse, but you could see it. But why do a symbol of a horse on the side of a hill? Well, maybe they walked it, some sort of ritualized walking. So for Northumberlandia, my problem is to get the people to walk two miles to her feet and up her body. I created ten stops, ten signs, on the walk from her foot to her head—the head being the sexiest organ of the body, her brain. That’s where you get the pay-off. It ends with number ten is on her forehead and there’s a painting there of the sun and the earth as a tiny, tiny little speck, and it says: “Sun 93.5 million miles away.” Anyway, it was vandalized five times and I repaired it at my expense five times. Finally, I said, “I’ll make it with cast iron and titanium and you won’t be able to blow it away with a bazooka.” So far it has won the battle. BELOW: Jencks used 1.5 million tons of earth to form the shape of a reclining woman for his landscape sculpture Northumberlandia (2005–2012) in Newcastle, England. OPPOSITE: Exploring the life of the cell, Jencks’s Jupiter Artland (2003–2010) contains four lakes and eight landforms on a 100-acre estate near Edinburgh, Scotland.

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small-scale as well and intimate places, places where you festina lente, make haste to go slow. Parks should have smallness, not just bigness. And usually in our wow culture, clients aren’t willing to even countenance that things could have a meaning and that it could matter and they won’t pay for it! When we read an environment and know it has meaning, you naturally play the game of hunt the symbol. And I think that’s an aphrodisiac, I agree with Raquel Welch, the famous woman philosopher who said “The sexiest organ of the human body is the brain.” It pulls you forward. So all my work has eye-catchers on the tops of mounds or in the direction you might walk, and it uses these signs to pull you through the environment. I hang a lot of signs, even written signs, all over my work, or ironic ones, ones that provoke symbolic meanings. I have a commitment to the public nature of public meaning, so I have to work to make sure that all the science is correct and doesn’t degenerate into illustration, which is its great problem.

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ABOVE: A summer solstice celebratory dance at the opening of Crawick Multiverse in June 2015, which hosts performances and events. OPPOSITE: A model (left) and concept plan (right) for the 55-acre Crawick Multiverse, which is open to the public.

But if you believe in icons, as I obviously do, you have to believe in iconoclasm.

OPPOSITE: Images courtesy the artist. TOP: Photo by Anne Foley.

Looking at your website, it seems that most of the photos you have of your work don’t include people. It depends. In the opening of the Crawick Multiverse, we opened it for two towns that are in a very poor coaldigging area of Scotland. We went out to the schools and I gave talks there. The schoolchildren participated in the openings dressed up as cosmic events. And those photographs of people dressed up as stars and comets and astronauts, I think, are very poignant and amusing and I love to include them.

high risk. You just have to believe what you say and keep at it, and then change if it becomes impossible, if it’s against the will of the people. But you have a duty and an obligation to signify things in our public world.

And what do you want to signify? Many things…. The evolution of galaxies, the evolution of life and of meaning. The benign nature of the universe rather than its nihilistic existence as a careless and carefree grandparent who doesn’t give a damn for people. Meaning exists on all these levels and people have convinced themselves that it’s all meaningless and despairing. (Laughs.) They’re wrong.

So there’s an essential hopefulness you see? There’s a way when they’re dressed up in costume… It was a performance.

…they’re in obvious dialogue with the work. I think performance art is very important in the landscape. It shows the kind of celebrations that were at Stonehenge or any theatrical installations in prehistory where the landscape is potent and sexed and active as well as passive. The role of the landscape architect, for me, is to put forward meaning and have a dialogue with the people and a dialogue with nature. It’s not without its risk. It’s

Most universes are failed universes in the sense of sterile. There is selection pressure where the kinetic force is too strong and life can’t evolve. We live in a well-balanced universe that is balanced by 30 different parameters, not only kinetic force and gravity. Science tells us that, but does anyone portray it? No. Do you know about it? Maybe you don’t. But it is a very benign story—the story of the universe.

is a Minneapolis writer. Her mother is the sculptor Nancy Metz White, whose large-scale tree forms grace two Milwaukee parks. JACQUELINE WHITE

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Picture Some best practices in photo documentation from Scottsdale, Arizona’s public art program BY JOE HART

These images of equine gargoyles in Laura Haddad and Tom Drugan’s Water Mark (2010) were taken from the same angle but during dramatically different weather and light conditions, creating different photographic moods. The photo on the left shows how water pours from the mouths of the gargoyles during flash flooding. The photo on the right shows how the sculptures are lit with soft yellow light at night.


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Perfect DOCUMENTATION: It’s never been more necessary in the public art sphere.

Artists who work in the public realm face even more pressure to provide high-quality documentation of their work than studio artists. Public artists work almost entirely on commission, and for every one project they complete, they may respond to a dozen requests for proposals, all of which call for good images of the artist’s work. Public art organizations are in the same boat; in order to perpetuate their budgets and programming, documentation is critical. Quality documentation also draws in new audiences, and gets the word out to the media, old and new.

OPPOSITE: Photo by Dayvid LeMmon. THIS PAGE: Photo by Diego Ceja.

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TOP: Photo by Mark Pickthall. BOTTOM LEFT AND RIGHT: Photos by Aphidoidea.


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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Photographed during the day from pedestrian level, Blooms by Bruce Munro was created for Scottdale’s Canal Convergence 2016. Blooms appears in the foreground of a photo taken from above at night, providing more urban context for the work and Canal Convergence. When the camera zooms in on the river and bridge, two other projects photographed the same evening look more dynamic: Purring Tiger’s installation/ performance piece MICRO-Double Helix is shown with a lively crowd on the bridge and Aphidoidea’s Spiraling Droplets appears to float above the water.

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Photos by Sean Deckert.

ABOVE: Bob Adams integrated Copper Falls (2015) into existing pedestrian guardrails along the canal at Scottsdale and Camelback Roads. BELOW: This closeup focuses on the work’s copper bells, which turned an existing waterfall feature into an artwork that’s both visual and aural.


program’s many temporary projects and events, but also an ongoing schedule of re-photographing permanent works. “Areas change,” she explains. “We want to show that changing context since the works were first installed.” Individual artists need to build photo documentation into their budgets from the get-go, too. To hold costs down, they may be able to negotiate win-win, part-barter deals with photographers and videographers, like allowing the lenspeople sufficient creative control that they can use the images to promote their own nascent careers. Then there’s the issue of quality. If you’re considering a DIY approach, follow the general rules that any photographer would advise: good lighting, a high-quality camera, a steady tripod, and top-notch post-production software (as well as the knowledge to use it). Arguably, no documentation is better than a weak, poor-quality photograph. Public art is an experience. The best public art photography attempts to capture that experience—by being dynamic, by varying the angle and the approach, and by regularly including people (the public) in the frame. The images here demonstrate all these values and show just how carefully, and how creatively, Scottsdale showcases its artworks.

JOE HART

is a senior editor at Public Art Review.

Six Photo Documentation Tips 1. Budget—often and early—for your photo documentation efforts.

2. Put it in your contract that you are to receive high-res photos from sponsoring organizations/curators.

3. Look for creative ways to embed

documentation into your projects from conception.

4. Use crowdsourcing to build supporting photo documentation on social media.

5. Seek win-win collaborations with photographers, videographers, designers, and programmers who are building their portfolios.

6. Study the documentation of other groups and artists who share your goals.

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For an artist just beginning to do public work, or a public art program looking to raise its profile, then, where to begin? With the Swiss army knife of documentation: photography. If you’ve only got one tool to deploy, that’s the obvious one, according to experts. And some of today’s most expert photographic documentation is being done in the public art program in Scottsdale, Arizona. In Scottsdale, photographs are the backbone of documentation—and they serve multiple purposes. They’re presented to potential funders to pique their interest; they’re used by the city government and convention bureau to promote the city; they’re populated into website and social media platforms; artists are presented with copies for their portfolios; and highresolution images are sent to magazines like this one. “The expectation is that if someone is calling a program like us, we simply supply that documentation,” says Donna Isaac, who runs Scottsdale Public Art. “We’re sending them the images that we feel best represent our program.” The principles that Isaac follows in documenting Scottsdale’s works hold good for both programs and individuals. First, budgeting: “Photography has always been part of our budget,” says Isaac. “It’s not the cheapest budget item, and it’s not the most expensive, but it’s one I really hold on to. We are always talking about it.” That budget covers not only the hiring of photographers for the

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Transform


Photo by Michel Dubreuil.

Catherine Widgery used 12,500 glass tubes to create Cloudbreak (2010). Installed in an exterior wall at the Lindsey-Flanigan Courthouse in Denver, Colorado, the work portrays light shining through a storm, and is visible both inside and outside the building.

Catherine Widgery’s installations use subtle motions of light, wind, and water to awaken the urban landscape—and those who inhabit it

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ing Spaces BY MICHAEL BLANDING

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CATHERINE WIDGERY’S EPIPHANY AS AN ARTIST came just over a decade ago with a sculpture she created for the opening of the Provincetown Art Association and Museum on Cape Cod. Stringing together rusted chains, fishing gear, shells, and other debris, she created a whirlwind of junk in the center of the gallery—and after the exhibit, she threw it all away. “It was a pivotal moment,” she says now, “where I felt that all these things were going to disappear, and I could let them go.” From that moment, Widgery started working in a different way—concentrating not so much on the objects she creates, but on the way they change the experience of the environment around them. It’s a sensibility she extends to the public art installations she’s created since then, which rely on subtle movements of light, wind, and water to transform physical spaces in such a way that the art itself almost disappears. “I want the viewers who are exposed to my work to come alive to their surroundings,” she says. In a project called Sky Veil, which she completed in 2015 for the county juvenile courthouse in Ogden, Utah, she created reflective dichroic glass panels interspersed with large glass windows facing snow-capped mountains—so viewers see mountains in front of them and behind them at the same time. “I thought of how I could bring the landscape inside,” she says. “By fragmenting it and breaking it up, I give the mind a puzzle, so [viewers] see the outside in a way they didn’t see it before.” Widgery, 63, has short blond hair and a wiry physique. She comes to the door of her home in Medford, an inner-ring suburb of Boston,


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ABOVE: Cloudbreak (2010), as seen from the outside, illustrates Catherine Widgery’s desire to reflect environments and create movement in the urban space. OPPOSITE: Representing an open mind, Mindshadows (2011) is 70 percent open space. It includes words, such as legacy, fake, whisper, gasp, limits, survivor, underdog, stutter, limpid, and why, selected by North Toronto Collegiate Institute students.

Photo by Frank Ooms. OPPOSITE: Photo by Michel Dubreuil.

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Much of her work similarly plays off the changing flows of light, wind, and water in the midst of an urban environment. As a child growing up outside Pittsburgh, she spent hours exploring the woods and creeks behind her house, but was just as intrigued by the “throb of the steel mills” in the nearby city. “That was thrilling to me too,” she says. “I’ve come to realize how this nature-culture divide has been a source of a lot of my creative thinking.” She showed the eye of an artist from a young age. In grade school, when her classmates were stringing macaroni necklaces, Widgery was piling the pasta into sculptures. After earning a degree in studio art at Yale in 1975, she fabricated

steel sculptures 25 feet high out of steel scavenged from scrapyards in upstate New York. “I was fearless about doing large-scale work,” she says. In 1979, she moved to Montreal, which had a nascent public arts program that gave her her first commission, a wall piece at a medical center, for $16,500. “I thought it was incredible someone wanted to pay me that much for my art,” she says. For years, she split her time between studio practice and public installations. “The white-box elite museum world was not entirely satisfying to me,” she says. “I liked the idea of bringing art out into the world, and thinking about students at a school or patients at a hospital exposed every day to the artwork.”

WORKING WITH COMMUNITIES When starting a new public art commission, Widgery visits a site, but also thinks hard about the people who will be using it. “Is this a psychiatric institution? Is this a school? Is this a building about science?” she asks. “Will people be driving by it or walking by it? By day or by night?” Since, in many cases, the building associated with her project doesn’t exist when she starts work, she makes use of computer tools to visualize the angle of the sun at certain times of day, or looks online at Google Earth or photo-sharing sites like Flickr to

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smiling in a gray sports top with hot pink spaghetti straps and black spandex rowing pants. One of the few flourishes in her sparsely decorated kitchen is a shelf full of medals and ribbons from rowing races she’s won; discovering the sport at age 55, she won the veterans division in her single in Boston’s Head of the Charles Regatta at 60. Nearly every morning, she is out on the Charles River at 5:30 am, putting in two hours of strenuous rowing before starting work on her art. “It’s a way to get away from the computer and see the world physically, watching the light in the morning as it changes, smelling the smells, and being fully present in the moment.”

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THIS PAGE: In 2015, Widgery created two works for Oregon State Hospital that evoke shifting weather patterns and, by extension, the shifting moods of hospital residents: Passing Storms—Cloud (left) and Passing Storms—Rain (below). OPPOSITE: Widgery’s concept for River Dragon (2014) in St. Paul, Minnesota, grew out of discussions with Hmong community members, time spent in the neighborhood, and research about the culture. It took its final form when she noticed that the Mississippi and Mekong rivers, and the sacred symbol of the dragon, all shared the same sinuous shape.


OPPOSITE: Photos by Ema Peter. THIS PAGE: Photo by Eve Chayes Lyman.

see how the site will look at different times of year. (In some cases, those images are even incorporated into her art—as they were in Sky Cycles, a commission from the Bay Area Rapid Transit station in Fremont, California, which uses photos sourced from residents to create a visual tapestry, showing train riders images of their own community.) When possible, Widgery also likes to meet with members of a community to talk about what they are looking for from one of her art projects. For a commission on a light-rail station in St. Paul, Minnesota’s Asian district, she met in a community gathering with 50 neighborhood residents, most of them Hmong, an ethnic group from the mountainous regions of China, Laos, Vietnam, and Thailand. “Here I am, this white lady from the East Coast, the only Caucasian in the room,” she says. “I could sense a certain hesitancy on their part.” The residents told her they wanted the station to help turn the railway into a “little Mekong,” flowing through their neighborhood like the river that flows through Hmong heartlands in China and Southeast Asia. The ideas they showed her were conventional architectural images, such as the hip-and-gable roofs typical of Asian design. Widgery took note of their ideas, and then spent the next day walking around the neighborhood talking with residents. Back at her studio, she researched Hmong culture, discovering that during parades, performers marched with strings of silver coins attached to their costumes. She looked

at images of the sinuous Mekong River from the air, noting its resemblance to the Mississippi, which flows through Minneapolis–St. Paul—and to the dragon, a sacred symbol in many Asian cultures. She incorporated all of those elements into her eventual artwork, River Dragon, in which stainless steel discs like scales undulate in stylized waves that suggest an Asian dragon. When she came back to the community, she says, the response was overwhelmingly positive. As one man said, “We don’t like this work, we love it.” While some artists enter into a community to help its members create their own art, Widgery sees her role as an interpreter, transforming their desires in terms of her unique vision. “It’s not really their role to design the art,” she says. “It’s better you tell me how you’d like it to feel. My job is to take that and make it into something that looks good. That’s where my years of experience as an artist come in—hearing what you want and finding a language in which to say it.” In some instances, she uses empathy to connect with the likely emotions of the people who will experience her art. In the case of the juvenile court in Utah, Widgery could relate to the feelings of people waiting for their court hearings, having been in similar situations with her son, who had a troubled youth. “I came to this with an awareness of just how desperate everyone feels, and how much emotional stress they must feel,” she says. Thus Sky Veil offers the reflected image of the surrounding landscape as a subtle, gentle way to reduce their tension.


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For Leaves of Wind (2014), Widgery integrated metal screens into 22 bus shelters along an urban transit route in El Paso, Texas.

Sometimes her responsiveness to the environment has put her at odds with public art administrators. Contemplating a project at the new Oregon State Hospital, a psychiatric facility in Junction City, Oregon, she was struck by the changing weather of the Pacific Northwest, and used it as a metaphor for the changing emotional states of residents. Her artwork, Passing Storms, proposed strings of shiny metal discs 15 feet high to simulate rain showers, and a cantilevered canopy made of openwork cloud shapes that cast their shadows on the courtyard below. When she presented the work, however, commissioners worried that it would be too depressing. “I felt strongly that we were mistaken in thinking that patients only wanted to see sunny, happy things,” she says. The committee presented the work to two patients, who embraced it enthusiastically, says Widgery, and the project went forward.

“I think sometimes as an outsider, you are able to respond in a visual, emotional way from a perspective those on the inside don’t have,” she says. “A leitmotif in all of my work is that I don’t underestimate what the public is capable of perceiving or understanding.”

ANIMATING ENVIRONMENTS Widgery prefers projects in which she can actively engage with the community before she decides on a direction for her artwork. This can be difficult when, during a competitive bidding process, artists are kept from speaking with community members—even if that restriction serves the laudable purpose of avoiding conflicts of interest. She’d rather be chosen based on her past work, and then work collaboratively with designers; it’s even better, she says, when she can be brought in well before final designs are set. “I don’t like it when I am


Photos by Alex Fradkin.

Leaves of Wind’s grating gives bus riders shelter from the Texas sun, admits a breeze, and offers images of local flora.

given a site and told that inside the red dotted line is where the art goes,” says Widgery, who has been thinking outside the lines since she improvised macaroni sculptures as a kid. “I can come to a whole site with much more inventive ways for art to be integrated than anybody may have thought of,” she says. A case in point is Leaves of Wind, an installation for 22 light-rail shelters in El Paso, Texas. Desiring to unify the stations and bring nature into a sometimes chaotic urban environment, she suggested to the designer that he use openwork grating for the walls of the shelters, in order to screen out the harsh sunlight but also allow air through, to cool passengers as they wait. On the slats of the grating, she preprinted colorful images of native flowers. Now, when people walk past the shelters, they see the flower images emerge, then disappear; their attention is drawn to the beauty of the plants even as they see the urban landscape through them.

Leaves of Wind is a perfect example of Widgery’s work, connecting natural and urban environments, and engaging the viewer through animation and motion. In a world that presents a constant barrage of visual stimuli, Widgery’s work attracts our attention, but then redirects that attention outward, beyond the work, giving us a better appreciation for the world around us. “We have so much stimulation around us all the time, our awareness is shut down,” says Widgery. “Awakening that consciousness, so people see the world around them, is what a lot of my art is about.”

MICHAEL BLANDING is

a senior fellow at the Schuster Institute of Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, and author of The Map Thief, a New York Times bestseller. His writing has also appeared in WIRED, Slate, the Boston Globe, and Boston.


ON LOCATION Global Reports

Candy Chang’s latest project invites passersby to spin a giant wheel and read short fables for insight BY AMELIA FOSTER

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A Device for Philosophical Reflection invites interaction and introspection in Philadelphia. Officially unveiled on July 5 on South Juniper Street, the 30-foot mural was months in the making. Chang engaged neighborhood residents in the creation of the mural, made up of more than 200,000 fingerprints. At street level, beneath the mural image, is a six-foot dial, flanked on either side by 64 fables printed on the wall. These stories are inspired by the I Ching, an ancient Chinese text often consulted on matters of moral decision-making. Passersby are invited to approach Atlas of Tomorrow’s dial with a question in mind, give it a spin, then read the story the dial points to for wisdom and, as Chang puts it, “poetic guidance.” Atlas of Tomorrow is a collaborative project, created with Philadelphia’s Porch Light Initiative, which seeks to strengthen community health through art that addresses themes of mental health, trauma, and spirituality. Chang’s adaptation of the I Ching taps into the spiritual and encourages pedestrians to take a philosophical pause, as each fable’s archetypes highlight our common humanity. “I’m interested in how public space can provide value to people and help them make sense of the beauty and tragedy of life,” Chang told the Associated Press. “Creating emotional spaces where people can be honest and vulnerable can lead to trust and understanding. Making better places can help us become our best selves.” CANDY CHANG’S ATLAS OF TOMORROW:

AMELIA FOSTER

is a freelance writer in Minneapolis.

(more images on following pages)

Passersby explore Candy Chang’s The Atlas of Tomorrow: A Device for Philosophical Reflection, created in collaboration with Philadelphia’s Porch Light Initiative. The mural’s interactive dial was designed and fabricated by New American Public Art.

Photo by Candy Chang.

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Dialing for Wisdom


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TOP: Photo by Mural Arts Program. BOTTOM: Photo by Candy Chang.

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Photos by Candy Chang.

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OPPOSITE TOP: Volunteers helped Candy Chang create The Atlas of Tomorrow. OPPOSITE BOTTOM: The mural includes over 200,000 dots, made from people’s fingerprints. TOP: People walking by the mural are invited to consider a situation in their lives where they seek clarity, then spin a six-foot dial which comes to rest on a number, 1 to 64. BOTTOM: Sixtyfour corresponding fables—written by James A. Reeves—are on the wall and include poetic guidance inspired by the I Ching.


metro.net

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Take a free guided tour of artwork in Metro stations. Each two-hour tour is unique, educational and led by a Metro Art Docent or artist. metro.net/art and click on Art Tours facebook.com/metroartla metro.art.la


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Going with the Flow Los Angeles’s first biennial uses public art as a catalyst to engage citizens in a conversation about water BY ANGELLA D’AVIGNON

I joined a handful of other spectators in crouching at the paved edge of the Los Angeles River. “Water has memory,” a voice said and echoed over the gentle stream where four women dressed in shades of gray stood knee-deep in the water, gesturing toward the sky. The performance, called A Water Dream, was presented by Women’s Center for Creative Work and was among the first of many, happening simultaneously all along the river on the inaugural day of CURRENT:LA Water, Los Angeles’s month-long public art biennial, the first of its kind. It was a confluence between the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) Public Art Division and Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Public Art Challenge, which in June awarded grants to four cities to develop dynamic public art projects that address critical urban issues. CURRENT:LA Water was the first iteration of what are planned to be regular, issue-driven biennials in Los Angeles. The initial theme of water was especially pertinent, as the region has experienced record drought for the last four years with Los Angeles making ongoing, citywide efforts to reduce its water usage and become more water independent. ON A SWELTERING SATURDAY AFTERNOON IN JULY,

PARTICIPATION AS ACTIVATION

As a massive but expertly organized collaboration between the city, artists, and supporting organizations, the biennial used a celebration of Los Angeles and its relationship to water as a strategy to engage with the public. At the outset, a team of four LA-based curators worked with 16 artists—10 individuals and three teams of 2—to envision and engineer 15 temporary, site-specific works driven by socially engaged practices. Spread throughout Los Angeles County at water-significant locations like the Sepulveda Basin and Echo Park Lake, each artist considered their respective sites in relation to water. The ephemeral nature of the art allowed each site to become a gathering place for education and dialogue. In addition to the 15 sites, a volunteer and information center called the HUB, located at the William Mulholland Memorial, served as the nexus for the biennial, providing resource materials as well hosting panel talks and workshops.

ABOVE: To create UnderLA: Origin of the LA River, a site-specific projection for the First Street Bridge depicting porous rocks, Refik Anadol and Peggy Weil used scientific and photographic data generated from Los Angeles’s aquifers.

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Photo by Panic Studio LA, courtesy City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) Artwork commissioned by DCA for CURRENT:LA Water © Refik Anadol + Peggy Weil, UnderLA: Origin of the LA River © 2016.

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The Spreading Ground is a musical composition for a walking chorus that explores Los Angeles’s vast water infrastructure and the city as a site of transformative power and environmental hazard. Here, creators Sarah Rara and Luke Fischbeck (aka Lucky Dragons) and participants perform the piece along the top of Hansen Dam.

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Performance was another key strategy to activating each space and much of the work could not exist without the presence of its practitioners. Art duo and noise band Lucky Dragons invited the public to watch their open rehearsals for the first three weeks of the biennial, which resulted in their final performance, The Spreading Ground, featuring a chorus ensemble of unamplified voices that stretched the two-mile length of the Hansen Dam. Like evaporating water, the impermanence of these experimental performances pointed back to the location itself, highlighting the physical terrain in which they took place. A major strength was in the programming, supported by a calendar of events named ConCURRENT, which relied on the public’s participation, with something scheduled for every day of the month-long biennial. These events demonstrated a wide range of scope: educational, cultural, and communal. They included water conservation workshops, tea ceremonies using purified water from the river, and KPARK, a daylong event where artist-run radio station KCHUNG broadcasted live from different participating parks. Social media was key in connecting the public and tracking engagement, with hashtag #CURRENTLA linking hundreds of Instagram images snapped all over Los Angeles County. Directly addressing the dense urban sprawl of Los Angeles, the biennial not only offered something local for each

neighborhood but also provided an opportunity to explore other pockets of L.A. According to Kate D. Levin, who oversees the Bloomberg Philanthropies Arts program, this social cohesion was part of the goal. “The conversations that take place in selecting sites, the conversations that take place with artists installing their work, and the conversations that take place among people who are visiting these works are all part of the unique kind of energy that we believe public art projects bring to cities,” said Levin. In traveling from spot to spot, participants discovered a connected and integrated city while learning something new about the particular area where each work was located. THE IMPORTANCE OF PLACE

The story of Los Angeles is the story of water. “We’re here in this landscape shaped by the power of water—both in its presence and by its absence,” said Jon Christensen, journalist-in-residence in the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at UCLA and moderator of “Water as Power,” one of three panel discussions held weekly at the HUB. That Los Angeles is a desert is a myth, as it was once home to natural floodplains that in the 1930s led to a series of devastating and deadly floods. The Los Angeles River was then paved over and channelized, used as a massive storm drain system rather than a critical natural resource. If you were to

Photo by Panic Studio LA, courtesy City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA). Artwork commissioned by DCA for CURRENT:LA Water © Lucky Dragons.

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RIGHT: Providing shade for visitors at South Los Angeles Wetlands Park, Josh Callaghan and Daveed Kapoor’s Mast is a full-scale, sculptural replica of the main mast of San Salvador, the first European vessel to reach the West Coast. The work explores the complexities and legacies of colonialism. BELOW: Artist Rirkrit Tiravanija collaborated with Kulapat Yantrasast and wHY Architects to create Untitled 2016 (LA Water, Water Pavilion), a timberframe structure and public space where events around water —including a blessing ceremony by Thai monks, tea ceremonies, and communal cooking—were held. The temporary pavilion straddled a stream at Sepulveda Basin, designed to help with Los Angeles River flood control.

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Photos by Panic Studio LA, courtesy City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA). Artwork commissioned by DCA for CURRENT:LA Water. TOP: © Josh Callaghan + Daveed Kapoor. BOTTOM: © Rirkrit Tijavanija.

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It took a year for Teresa Margolles and a crew of helpers to visit the sites of 100 homicides in Los Angeles, wash them with water in a ritual cleansing, and collect the residue. That water was used to create La Sombra (The Shade), a memorial to those killed that’s now a place of respite at Echo Park Lake.

ask, most Angelenos are not aware a river runs through their city, let alone know anything of its history. The site of the river is important in determining a sense of place in Los Angeles, and highlighting the physicality of the area points to how citizens can relate to the terrain in which they live. Making Los Angeles more water independent has long been a concern of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office, with a special focus on revitalizing the Los Angeles River. In line with these efforts, the biennial offered a specific glimpse into its already vibrant history—one that largely goes unseen. For example, Refik Anadol and Peggy Weil’s video work UnderLA projected photographic images of the sedimentary layers beneath the city’s aquifers onto the concrete banks of the river near the First Street Bridge, revealing a geological context to the river’s origins. Similarly, Kerry Tribe’s film Exquisite Corpse, which was screened outdoors at Sunnynook River Park, captures one mile of the river per minute from Canoga Falls to the Glendale Narrows, to the shore of Long Beach. Each shot reveals the life of the river and its inhabitants, including cats, homeowners, historic graffiti-writers, firefighters, and skateboarders, as well as the landscape itself. While many of the works were more conceptual than formal, some were sculptural and involved many hands to make them happen. Teresa Margolles’s considerable concrete struc-

ture La Sombra (The Shade) at Echo Park Lake is a monument to lives lost in Los Angeles. The artist commissioned a team to wash the sites of 100 individual murders throughout the city—of 975 committed between January 1, 2015 and July 1, 2016—then retrieved and used that water and the material it absorbed to mix the cement that was used to build her sculpture. The result is an enormous object that is both ominous and inviting, offering respite from the sun. Video documentation of the process was screened at local businesses around the Echo Park area, including a barber shop and a thrift store. Community-wide inclusion and representation were key. Ambitious and far-reaching, CURRENT:LA Water aimed to catalyze long-term engagement within the city and among its residents. “It’s about the excitement of the individual works, then seeing them put together as a whole, and hoping that Angelenos discover something about themselves, something about their city, and something about each other in the course of experiencing this particular project,” said Levin. The dialogues that began at the biennial are a means for continued civic engagement, as well as an innovative way for the public to learn about the city’s history and, together, imagine its future. ANGELLA D’AVIGNON is an arts and culture writer in Los Angeles.

Photo by Panic Studio LA, courtesy City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA). Artwork commissioned by DCA for CURRENT:LA Water © Teresa Margolles.

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Framing the entrance to the Port of Los Angeles, the busiest container port in the Western Hemisphere, Michael Parker’s The Ides (arch du triumph) mapped by Vi Ha is a 12-foot-tall arch made of cardboard boxes. “Think of it as a triumphal arch for the age of Amazon,” writes Carolina A. Miranda, reporter for the Los Angeles Times, “an era in which ideas and goods all come neatly delivered in a branded box.”

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Photos by Panic Studio LA, courtesy City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA). Artwork commissioned by DCA for CURRENT:LA Water. TOP: © Michael Parker. BOTTOM: © Kerry Tribe.

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For Prime, Kori Newkirk installed four fiberglass horses in a submerged concrete trench in Studio City on the Los Angeles River’s concrete banks. The work takes on a variety of meanings. With its buckets and pennies, it’s reminiscent of fountains. But with no water, some viewers see Prime as a kind of anti-monument. The sculpture’s fenced-in horses speak to the West’s wild horses no longer running free, and to the impact of drought on wildlife.


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A Concrete Rebirth Alberto Burri’s monumental land art project in Sicily finally came to completion—in the artist’s centennial year BY MELISSA CHEMAM

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monochromatic fields of paint. The land art piece is so gigantic and imposing that it’s difficult to believe it came from the mind of an artist whose earlier works were scaled to the walls of galleries and museums. The work was conceived when a new incarnation of the village, Gibellina Nuova, was planned a few kilometers away from the old site, and its art-loving mayor, Ludovico Corrao, engaged architects, urban planners, and artists of international renown in its construction. After a decade, Corrao realized that one name was missing from the roster of major artists working on Gibellina Nuova: Alberto Burri, celebrated worldwide since his retrospective at the Venice Biennale in 1960. So Corrao contacted Burri in 1984, and the artist agreed to take part—with a caveat. Many pieces of public art had already been installed in Gibellina Nuova and Burri was not interested in intervening in the new city; his attention was drawn to the ruins, dubbed Gibellina Vecchia (“old Gibellina”). “His interest in Gibellina was stimulated by the tragic story of the town and the topography and site-specificity of the place,” says Emily Braun, curator of the Burri retrospective at the Guggenheim.

ABOVE: Placed over the ruins of Gibellina, a Sicilian town destroyed in a 1968 earthquake, Alberto Burri’s Il Grande Cretto covers 86,000 square feet. Construction was launched in 1984 and completed in 2015. OPPOSITE: The concrete blocks that make up the memorial are a little more than five feet high.

Photo by Davide Mauro / Creative Commons license / Wikimedia Commons.

the art world celebrated the centenary of influential Italian painter Alberto Burri with a major exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. In the same month Il Grande Cretto, Burri’s land art project in Sicily, was finally completed after 30 years—and the monumental work is now inspiring artists worldwide. It was conceived by Burri in 1984 as a memorial to the town of Gibellina, destroyed when a violent earthquake struck western Sicily on January 15, 1968. The quake killed more than 400 people and left hundreds injured and a thousand homeless, evoking expressions of sorrow and sympathy throughout Italy. Placed directly over the ruins of Gibellina, the 86,000-square-foot Il Grande Cretto is composed of large semi-rectangular blocks of white concrete a little more than five feet high. The blocks are broken by deep fissures that create walkable paths roughly corresponding to the ancient town’s pattern of streets. The work’s title, which means “The Large Cretto,” establishes it as a huge, horizontal version of the cretti, or “fissures,” paintings that Burri created in the 1970s by inducing fissures or cracks in large black or white IN OCTOBER 2015,


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Photo by Davide Palmisano / flickr / Creative Commons license.

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He proposed a gigantic work of land art to completely cover the ruins left by the earthquake. With artistic sensitivity and foresight unusual in an Italian politician at the time—unusual in politicians anywhere and at any time—Corrao sensed that, although the somber work was bound to be provocative, it would eventually come to be seen as a masterpiece and an appropriate homage to the deceased. FROM PRISON CAMP TO GALLERY

Born in 1915 in Città di Castello, a small town in the Umbria region of Italy, Burri took a degree in medicine in 1940 and was forced to serve in World War II, first as a frontline soldier and then as a physician. Captured by American soldiers in Tunisia in May 1943, he was sent to a prisoner-of-war camp in Hereford, Texas. Assigned to peel potatoes in the camp kitchen, he began drawing on the burlap sacks the potatoes came in. Soon he was painting, and an art career was born. Burri came back to Italy in 1946, arriving in a ruined Naples before settling in Rome. “The dire poverty of the south—exacerbated by the war and occupation—was what he first saw upon his return as the boat carried him back to Naples for his repatriation,” explains Emily Braun. With Lucio Fontana and Piero Manzoni, Burri was a powerful force in Italian art in the 1960s, particularly influencing the painters who were later to start the arte povera movement: Alighiero Boetti, Mario Merz, and Giuseppe Penone, advocates of an art full of symbolic power in opposition to American pop and minimalism. Burri became known for his sacchi (bags or burlaps), cumbustioni (burnt plastic on canvas), and cretti—artworks mixing painting and sculpture.

IL GRANDE CRETTO, A UNIQUE PIECE IN THE WORLD OF LAND ART

The construction of Il Grande Cretto was launched in 1984, and it was three-quarters completed by 1989. But due to a lack of public funding, the project was halted for more than a quarter century, only to be completed 20 years after Burri’s death, on its original plan. “His contribution to land art is singular,” says Emily Braun. “His Grande Cretto is a site-specific memorial based on an urban footprint. Moreover, the ‘style’ of the work, a cretto, relates to his own painterly vocabulary and process-interests as much as it does to the symbolism of an earthquake.… It strikes a balance between his personal vision as an artist and honesty to what happened there, drawing out the seismic power of the earth itself and the depths of the tragedy.” Imbued with a spirit of mourning and commemoration, the Cretto is very different from American land art of the mid1960s and ’70s and the work of British artists such as Richard Long and Andy Goldsworthy. It serves as “a memorial in and of the land, a record of the land or the earth, [which] was disastrous for human life,” says Emily Braun. “It represents a moment seized in time, as well as serving as a larger metaphor of cycles of nature and of life and death.” The piece also places a capstone on the significance and influence of Burri, which reaches far beyond the Italian art world. CELEBRATING AND INTERPRETING A MASTERPIECE

To celebrate the piece’s completion, last October, the Gibellina Nuova city councillor in charge of art, sport, and tourism, Giuseppe Zummo, invited Giancarlo Neri to create an audiovisual performance.

Photo by Valentina Glorioso.

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Visitors can walk on top of the blocks or in the fissures between. More than 3,000 people attended AudioGhost68, which celebrated the work’s completion.


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Freelance journalist and writer MELISSA CHEMAM has been covering news and culture for 13 years. Born in Paris, she has lived in Prague, Miami, London, and Nairobi. Her nonfiction book about Bristol was published in France in October 2016.

At AudioGhost68, this light and sound installation by Giancarlo Neri and Robert Del Naja featured hundreds of portable radios and a soundtrack from 1968.

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Photo by Stefano Esposito.

Since then, Il Grande Cretto has continued to inspire. In the summer of 2016, an exhibition dedicated to arte povera at the Centre Pompidou in Paris highlighted a painting by Burri, Rosso è Nero, and ended with the screening of three films shot in Gibellina. Raphaël Zarka’s film is very sober, taking a documentary approach to describing the site. Thierry De Mey filmed a dance performance in the Grande Cretto, and the third film, by Petra Noordkamp, was commissioned by the Guggenheim Museum to retell the whole story of the Sicilian city. “The three films are presented in dialogue with the paintings and with the Grande Cretto itself,” explains Frédéric Paul, curator of the exhibition. “Even those who feared Burri’s megalomania have now recognized the impressive creativity of the Grande Cretto.” In Gibellina, Giuseppe Zummo continues to program choreography and art events in the Cretto. A film shot by Giancarlo Neri and Giuseppe Lanno during the performance of AudioGhost68 was screened in Naples at Artecinema, the International Festival of Films on Contemporary Art, in early October 2016. Thanks to contemporary artists and the participation of local people, Gibellina Vecchia has never been more alive.

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Neri, born in Naples and now based in Rome, is one of Italy’s major installation artists and public art creators. Originally a painter, he later devoted himself to large public installations in the United States, Brazil, and Europe. He had already created light shows for Il Grande Cretto in the early 2010s; in 2015 he chose to collaborate with a friend, the Bristol-based artist Robert Del Naja, who is also a founding member of the British trip-hop band Massive Attack and has family connections to Naples. Together they created an installation/event entitled AudioGhost68. Having placed portable radios within the Cretto to broadcast a soundtrack of audio from the year 1968, the artists invited Gibellina Nuova’s citizens into Burri’s labyrinthine masterpiece, giving each of them a flashlight. “One thousand white fireflies move and dance in the night in all directions inside the ‘veins’ of the Cretto, their moving light forming a great luminous mosaic in constant evolution,” Neri wrote in a press release. “[In] the air, came the sounds and voices of a long-gone era, a year that changed the world for a long moment but that here, in Gibellina, like a true Apocalypse, marked the end of it.” “Alberto Burri’s Grande Cretto, remembering but also hiding the tragic event under concrete, represents a return to life through art,” Del Naja wrote. More than 3,000 people attended the event, some of them coming for the first time to the site of the town where their family members used to live. For Emily Braun, this event “shows how alive the work continues to be.”


BOOKS Publications and Reviews

Danica’s Daring Daughter Performance-art icon Marina Abramovic tells a tale of family oppression, personal passion, and artistic liberation PUBLIC ART REVIEW | VOL. 28 | NO. 1 | ISSUE 55 | PUBLICARTREVIEW.ORG

BY JON SPAYDE Walk Through Walls: A Memoir Marina Abramovic New York: Crown Archetype, 2016

86 BOOKS DANICA ABRAMOVIC WAS A YUGOSLAV

communist hero who fought Hitler, then ran her household more or less like a concentration camp. She would awaken her daughter, Marina, if the child was sleeping in an undisciplined

manner—limbs lying any which way—and force her into a military position, legs together, arms stiffly at her sides. At attention, even when unconscious. She dressed the adolescent Marina in drab clothes and clunky “corrective” shoes and imposed a 10:30 pm curfew that Marina obeyed until she was in her thirties and an international art star. But, as this riveting memoir explains, Danica was also a woman of great sophistication who used her high position in the Party to give Marina every advantage a young artist could desire—and Marina passionately desired to be an artist, mainly to escape Danica. One of the tutors Danica provided, a disillusioned, semi-dissident “landscape abstractionist,” began Marina’s first lesson by dousing a canvas in gasoline, setting it alight, and saying, “This is a sunset.” Marina was dazzled. “It taught me that the process was more important than the result,” she writes, “just as the performance means more to me than the object.” As she narrates her rise in these pages, her biggest challenge is making success as

Philippe Klinefelter, Earth Fountain, 2016

interesting as her Balkan-Gothic childhood. She succeeds, partly because her career has been inherently dramatic: subjecting her body to the heat (and asphyxiation threat) of massed flames (Rhythm 5), the danger of being shot in the heart by an arrow (Rest Energy), and other thought-provoking torments. Her fertile, then failed collaboration/affair with the German artist Ulay is paradigmatic of her passions, as are her travels in search of inspiration and transcendence. (A sojourn in Australia, however, provoked writing deemed racist by aboriginal-rights groups, and it was cut from the book.) Deeper are her reflections on the alchemical blend of fear, the body, and the public in her work. Describing a 1974 performance, she writes: “We fear suffering. We fear mortality. What I was doing...was staging these fears for the audience, using their energy to push my body as far as possible. In the process I liberated myself from my fears. And as this happened, I became a mirror for the audience—they lost their fear as well.” JON SPAYDE is a senior editor of Public

Art Review.


BOOKS

Portrait in Light and Shadow A new biography of Louise Nevelson provides a comprehensive view of the influential artist

Louise Nevelson: Light and Shadow Laurie Wilson New York: Thames & Hudson, 2016

biography illuminates the character, life, and work of an extraordinary creative figure from the twentieth century. In Louise Nevelson:

and international art scene. Just as impressive is Nevelson’s study of different media and styles—drawing, painting, etching, wood, clay, stone, metal, found objects, surrealism, abstraction, cubism —and Wilson deftly describes Nevelson’s exploration of them. As an artist yearning for exposure but also enclosure, she is revealed as equally driven by the need to create and the need for recognition. The subtitle Light and Shadow refers to dark and bright areas in her life, her use of literal light and shadow as an exhibition medium, and complex connections between the two. Well worth the read for those interested not only in this artist, but in the impulses driving any great artist, this biography is also apt for those who believe, like Nevelson, in the inseparability of art and life.

87 BOOKS

IN 400 PAGES, this meticulous, illustrated

Light and Shadow, the subject is painted as persistent, prolific, dramatic, beautiful, and, above all, possessive of an almost unwavering sense of faith in herself as an artist. Wilson, who first met the artist 40 years ago, guides her reader through the motivations and molding of this remarkable person—from family and early life experiences, through young adulthood, marriage, motherhood, divorce, desire, success, spirituality, life and death, joy and loss—and, throughout, artistic growth. Wilson studies the artist’s contradictory memories and those of the people closest to her. The account of those who touched Nevelson’s life reads like a list of top twentieth-century artists: Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Pablo Picasso, Mark Rothko, Paul Klee, Isamu Noguchi, Merce Cunningham, and more. She knew, worked with, admired, or was admired by each in turn, as well as many major figures in the New York

PUBLIC ART REVIEW | VOL. 28 | NO. 1 | ISSUE 55 | PUBLICARTREVIEW.ORG

BY JEN DOLEN

JEN DOLEN is a photographer and writer

based in Minneapolis/St. Paul and is an editorial assistant for Public Art Review.

New York City Department of Transportation’s Temporary Art Program Call for Proposals: Community Commissions Deadline: January 6, 2017 nyc.gov/dotart arts@dot.nyc.gov Photo Credit: For Closure by Gabriela Salazar (Bronx)


BOOKS

Offshore Works From their roots in land art to their current engagement with environmental issues, the artists in this book use the sea as their medium

RADICAL SEAFARING Andrea Grover, with contributions by Sasha Archibald, Alexander Dumbadze, Christopher French, Dylan Gauthier, and Terrie Sultan Munich: DelMonico Books, Prestel Publishing; and Water Mill, NY: Parrish Art Museum, 2016

88 BOOKS IN THE 1975 PERFORMANCE In Search of the

Miraculous, Dutch artist Bas Jan Ader was lost at sea on his way across the North Atlantic. After studying this piece in 2006, Parrish

Art Museum curator Andrea Grover began a decade of research on site-specific artworks on water—a venture that culminated in the innovative exhibition, programming, and publication Radical Seafaring. This project traces patterns from 1960s and 1970s land art and conceptualism to recent works of “offshore art” that strive for direct engagement with natural environments under the threat of climate change. With more than 100 maps, drawings, and photographs that illustrate a rich variety of models, sculptures, vessels, journeys, and actions around the world, Radical Seafaring gathers 25 artists into four themes. In “Exploration,” works by Bas Jan Ader, Chris Burden, and others center on process and experience. “Liberation” investigates power and activism. “Fieldwork” follows lines of research through works such as The Waterpod Project (2009), in which Mary Mattingly developed an environmentally conscious live/ work space on an industrial barge and traveled New York’s waterways, stopping to hold community events at sites such as Brooklyn Bridge Park. “Speculation” finds alternative

worlds in larger-scale architectural proposals like Buckminster Fuller’s 1960s Triton City and Ant Farm’s 1970s Dolphin Embassy. Essays by Dumbadze, Archibald, and Gauthier deepen the consideration of art history, exploration history, and recent practice. Grover’s editorial and curatorial approach is to incorporate the voices of artists and historians; the program also includes off-site commissions and boat trips. In short, her curation reflects the multimedia, cross-disciplinary nature of the content. Radical Seafaring demonstrates the relevance of the thinking of this era to the present and outlines a movement in response to current environmental and social issues while developing a strong historical and thematic framework that invites future additions.

ANNA RENKEN is a researcher and writer

interested in the intersections of art and architecture. She has participated in exhibition, publication, and design projects at a variety of institutions. Anna is originally from the Twin Cities and currently based in New York.

For Swimming Cities of Serenissima (2009), American artist Swoon and a crew of 30 floated from Slovenia to the Venice Bienniale.

Photo by Tod Seelie.

PUBLIC ART REVIEW | VOL. 28 | NO. 1 | ISSUE 55 | PUBLICARTREVIEW.ORG

BY ANNA RENKEN


BOOKS PEOPLE GOERITZ GUIDE Christian del Castillo and David Miranda Mexico City: Arquine, 2016; and New York: D.A.P/ Distributed Art Publishers, 2016

Enriched by previously unpublished photographs and online access to a documentary, these five essays and ten interviews with people close to Gordon Matta-Clark (1943–1978) forge a nuanced portrait of the legendary artist. The bilingual English-Spanish texts detail the historical setting for his work, which reinvented established spatial ideas and methods. Matta-Clark developed and applied his concept of anarchitecture through projects ranging from co-founding the restaurant FOOD to creating collections of real estate documents and partially deconstructing abandoned buildings.

RITA McBRIDE: Public Works, 1988–2015 Gina Ashcraft and Mark von Schlegell (Titz) Cologne: Verlag der Bucchandlung Walther König, 2016; and New York: D.A.P/Distributed Art Publishers, 2016

Stik Jack Fogg, ed. New York: Penguin Books, Penguin Random House LLC, 2016

Resonating with architecture and industrial design, the monumental sculptures of American artist Rita McBride (b. 1960) turn ordinary elements of our surroundings—cars, furniture, towers, awnings, signs, plans—into abstractions. This monograph, expanded from the 2008 version for the 2015–2016 Rita McBride—Gesellschaft exhibitions in Hannover and Düsseldorf, unfolds work from a 20-year period with descriptive text and more than 300 images including color installation views, drawings, and ephemera.

Stik, a street artist who got his start when he was squatting in London’s East End, has painted his signature stick-figure murals around the world in communities that are navigating human rights issues. The simplicity of the style allows him to work quickly and becomes meditative through repetition. Chronological themes—from “Struggle” beginning in 2003 to “Global” in 2014—order the large color photographs in this first collection of Stik’s work. A limited edition lithograph is included.

PUBLIC ART REVIEW | VOL. 28 | NO. 1 | ISSUE 55 | PUBLICARTREVIEW.ORG

Goeritz Guide maps 41 of the public works by artist and theorist Mathias Goeritz (1915–1990) throughout Mexico, where he moved from Berlin in 1949. Interacting with varied built environments, the textural paintings, stained glass works, and sculptures illustrate his influential notion of “emotional architecture,” introduced when he founded El Eco Experimental Museum in Mexico City. Color photographs are grouped chronologically and regionally along with transit information in this first guide to Goeritz’s work.

GORDON MATTA-CLARK: Experience Becomes the Object / La experiencia se convierte en objeto Pedro Donoso, ed. Barcelona: Ediciones Polígrafa, 2015; and New York: D.A.P/Distributed Art Publishers, 2016

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BOOKS PEOPLE THE CURATORIAL CONUNDRUM: What to Study? What to Research? What to Practice? Paul O’Neill, Mick Wilson, and Lucy Steeds, eds. Zürich: LUMA Foundation; Annandale-on-Hudson, NY: Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College; and Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2016

PUBLIC ART / PUBLIC SPACE: The Sculptural Environments of Barbara Grygutis Barbara Grygutis, Jack Becker, and Linda Bolton Novato: ORO Editions, 2016

PUBLIC ART REVIEW | VOL. 28 | NO. 1 | ISSUE 55 | PUBLICARTREVIEW.ORG

Presenting works by Barbara Grygutis, Public Art / Public Space charts the development of the field of urban public installations during the past 25 years. Color photographs showcase 16 large-scale projects that incorporate organic forms and light, with a project library that highlights 19 more. “She brings a human touch to our often over-engineered world,” writes Jack Becker. Linda Bolton approaches her work as “Repairing the World in Small Pieces” and public art professionals articulate her important contributions. OSGEMEOS: A ópera da lua / OSGEMEOS: Opera of the Moon Pedro Alonzo, translated by Izabel Murat Burbridge Rio de Janeiro: Cobogó, 2014; New York: D.A.P/ Distributed Art Publishers, 2016 Born in São Paulo in 1974, twins Gustavo and Otavio Pandolfo have become central to the local graffiti scene and gained international recognition as the collective Osgemeos. More than 50 color images of their intricate paintings appear in Osgemeos: Opera of the Moon, originally published in Brazil in 2014 after an exhibition of the same title. An introductory text by curator Pedro Alonzo identifies influences such as recent immersive installations, 1980s hip-hop, and 1930s surrealism.

90 BOOKS

PROJECTS PLEASE TOUCH: Sculpture for a City Peter MacKeith, ed. St. Louis: Gateway Foundation; and Munich: Prestel Verlag, 2016 Visitors are invited to touch works by Keith Haring, Mark di Suvero, and other renowned artists at Citygarden, a sculpture park established in St. Louis by the Gateway Foundation in 2009. Please Touch describes works in the park and elsewhere in the city, interspersing color images that convey detail and context with essays on the history and significance of the park within the field of public art.

CURATING ON CURATING 2—PARADIGM SHIFTS: Interviews with Fourteen International Curators Carolee Thea and Thomas Micchelli, eds. New York: D.A.P/Distributed Art Publishers, 2016 In this volume, Carolee Thea examines the evolving international biennial system through interviews with curators. Nancy Adajania, Wassan Al-Khudhairi, David Elliott, Mami Kataoka, Sunjung Kim, Koyo Kouoh, Gerardo Mosquera, Ugochukwu-Smooth Nzewi, Jack Persekian, José Roca, Bisi Silva, Carol Yinghua Lu, Alia Swastika, and the curatorial collective WHW are part of a new generation experimenting with the format beyond its Western origins. Illustrated with installation views, the volume follows Thea’s On Curating: Interviews with Ten International Curators (2009) and draws from 20 years of research.

Responding to recent shifts in the nature and scope of curatorial work, The Curatorial Conundrum looks toward the future of the field. In sections on what to study, research, and practice, contributors including Hans Ulrich Obrist use case studies from around the world to trace the political implications and logistical requirements of new models for curating. Thumbnail images accompany the text, and an appendix of color images follows.

ARCHITECTURE & URBANISM NANOTECTURE: Tiny Built Things Rebecca Roke London: Phaidon Press Inc., 2016 Small-scale structures—including tree houses, seasonal pavilions, inflatable rooms, and capsule hotels, to name a few—fascinate and delight. The appropriately small-format Nanotecture achieves an unexpected variety as it displays 300 tiny things in color photographs. Organized into sections from “micro” to “maxi,” the collection is further activated through indexes of materials and designers. STREETFIGHT: Handbook for an Urban Revolution Janette Sadik-Khan and Seth Solomonow New York: Viking, 2016 With minimal means, precise interventions can transform the way streets operate, as Janette Sadik-Khan’s work as transportation commissioner of New York City from 2007 to 2013 demonstrates. Creating plazas and altering traffic lanes based on study made streets more efficient and pedestrian-friendly. Serial graphics and before-and-after photographs animate the process in Streetfight. Applications in other cities around the world attest to its continuing success. CITY SQUARES: Eighteen Writers on the Spirit and Significance of Squares Around the World Catie Marron New York: Harper, 2016 Focusing on key urban public spaces around the world—Red Square in Moscow, Taksim Square in Istanbul, Tiananmen Square in Beijing—18 prominent writers, including David Adjaye, Adam Gopnik, and Zadie Smith, turn a variety of lenses on the typology in City Squares. Michael Kimmelman, David Remnick, and George Packer introduce sections on culture, geopolitics, and history. The elegant collection also features 93 color images by noted photographers.


BOOKS MISCELLANEOUS PERFORMANCE Diana Taylor Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2016

RADICALISM IN THE WILDERNESS: International Contemporaneity and 1960s Art in Japan Reiko Tomii Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2016 Operating beyond the city and outside conventions, innovative Japanese artists entered international discourse in the 1960s with pioneering conceptual, performance, and political work that paralleled and anticipated that of their Western counterparts. In Radicalism in the Wilderness, Reiko Tomii illuminates experimental projects across media by conceptual artist Matsuzawa Yutaka and collectives The Play and GUN (Group Ultra Niigata). Wide views and artifacts of their work as well as maps and timelines enrich the text. A bibliography follows.

Following Cameron Cartiere and Shelly Willis’s The Practice of Public Art (2008), The Everyday Practice of Public Art gathers the voices of artists, writers, curators, educators, and activists around the world on public art issues as the field becomes increasingly socially engaged. Analytical texts comprise three sections: “The Social Practice of Public Art,” “The Education of a Public Artist,” and “The Spatial Fabric of Public Art and Social Practice.” An instructive visual timeline spanning from 1950 to 2015 concludes the book.

VISIT PUBLICARTREVIEW.ORG FOR MORE BOOK REVIEWS, ARTICLES, AND VIDEOS.

PUBLIC ART REVIEW | VOL. 28 | NO. 1 | ISSUE 55 | PUBLICARTREVIEW.ORG

Black-and-white images, quotes, and texts drawn from many sources interplay with the dynamism of the mode they explore in Performance. In chapters on the framing, history, use, future, and study of performance, Taylor covers approaches that include economic and technological as well as political and sexual. Examples include works by Ana Mendieta, the Guerrilla Girls, and Marina Abramovic.

THE EVERYDAY PRACTICE OF PUBLIC ART: Art, Space, and Social Inclusion Cameron Cartiere and Martin Zebracki, eds. New York: Routledge, the Taylor & Francis Group, 2016

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Kansas City Kansas City is is Next! Next!

27th International Sculpture Conference Conference 27th International Sculpture Kansas City, Kansas City, MO MO October 25-28, 25-28, 2017 2017 October Call for for Panels Panels opens opens Winter Winter 2016 2016 Call For submission submission updates, updates, visit visit online. online. For

For More Information: For More Information:

Visit www.sculpture.org/KC2017 www.sculpture.org/KC2017 for for conference conference Visit updates and and to to join join the the mailing mailing list list for for this this event. event. updates

Questions: Questions:

Contact events@sculpture.org events@sculpture.org or or Contact (609) 689-1051 689-1051 x302. x302. (609)

The 2017 Conference Conference will will feature: feature: The 2017 •• •• •• •• •• •• •• •• •• •• ••

Annual ISC ISC littleSCULPTURE littleSCULPTURE Show Show Annual ARTSlams && Mentor Mentor Sessions Sessions ARTSlams Engaging Panel Panel Discussions Discussions Engaging Evening Parties Parties Evening Hands-On Workshops Workshops Hands-On Keynote Address Address Keynote Open Studios Studios && Gallery Gallery Hops Hops Open Optional Art Art && Culture Culture Trips Trips Optional Public Art Art Tours Tours and and Visits Visits to to Nearby Nearby Sculpture Sculpture Sites Sites Public Programming at at Kansas Kansas City City Art Art Institute Institute and and Programming Nelson-Atkins Museum of of Art Art Nelson-Atkins Museum And more! more! And

Please indicate if you require any accessibility accommodations by contacting the events department at 609.689.1051 x302 or events@sculpture.org. The International Sculpture Center is committed to ensuring that all events are accessible to all of our patrons.

Downton DowntownSkyline Skylinewith with Sky Stations, 1994 1994 by by R. R. M. M. Fischer. Fischer. Sky Stations, Photo by Dan Dan White, White, courtesy courtesy of of Visit Visit KC. KC. Photo by


AT LARGE

Ties That Bind

Jack Becker

How I spent my summer vacation BY JACK BECKER

93 Jack Becker visits Floating Piers—conceived by Jeanne-Claude and Christo in the mid-1970s and realized in 2016—at Lake Iseo in Italy.

For me, walking the nearly three miles of piers and wrapped pedestrian streets was a heavenly experience, a contemplative stroll in a warm, bustling, and surreal environment where, as Christo put it, “People are coming from everywhere to walk nowhere.” I wondered how the 2,000 Monte Isola island residents felt about the project; and how it felt to be able, for the first time, to simply walk to the mainland. Of course, the project was also a hassle—and a boost to the economy. At night, with battery-powered LED lights lining its edge, Floating Piers became a giant slumber party on the world’s biggest waterbed, a tangerine highway of a mattress that sighed and heaved along with the lake, especially when boats moved by. Many languages could be heard and lots of laughing, with selfies and picture taking, lounging, and leisurely barefoot strolling. It was peaceful and restorative, just what a vacation should be. Indeed, it felt like our hearts were bound together by the common, golden threads of public art.

is the founder of Forecast Public Art and Public Art Review. He directs Forecast’s Community Services program. (See Public Art Review #18 for Jack’s interview with Christo and Jeanne-Claude.) JACK BECKER

AT LARGE

vacations aren’t really vacations. They’re excuses to find new places to explore public art. And my business trips aren’t really “work” either. I meet folks I otherwise would never know, and sometimes I gain insights from complete strangers. For example, after spending a few days in Boston at the annual Public Art Network gathering, where hundreds of professionals huddle for deep thinking about the value of public art, I was standing in line at Logan International and got in a conversation with the elderly gentleman in front of me. He was an engineer, heading to a conference in St. Paul. I told him I’d been attending a public art conference in Boston. His eyes lit up, and his face grew serious. “Public art is the most important thing in a city,” he said. Of course this gave me a big smile, and I had to ask, “Why do you say that?” He barely paused. “Public art is the common thread that binds our hearts together.” From a random conversation with a complete stranger came this pure poetry! This quote resonated throughout the summer, especially when I took my family on vacation to Italy: ten days split between Venice, Florence, and Lake Iseo, the site of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s Floating Piers project (and, let’s face it, the main reason for going). This trip was planned well in advance, of course, since I knew the lovely little town of Sulzano, near the foothills of the Alps, would be ill-prepared for the deluge of Christo fans. This rural area somehow agreed to allow what was surely the largest and most popular public art project of 2016—one that lasted just 16 days, starting June 18, and attracted about 1.2 million visitors. Floating Piers came together within a couple of years— hard to fathom, given its complexities and the average decade or two a typical Christo/Jeanne-Claude project takes to secure permissions. Perhaps we can credit the Beretta family, longtime owners of the multinational firearms manufacturer. The family owns the tiny island of San Paolo, which was surrounded by Floating Piers walkways. The Piers also connected the mainland to the large island of Monte Isola. Floating Piers was originally conceived by Christo and Jeanne-Claude in the mid-1970s but never realized. It’s the first of their collaborations to be realized after Jeanne-Claude’s death at age 74 in 2009. It consisted of one million square feet of golden, shimmering fabric, secured to a modular dock system of 220,000 high-density polyethylene cubes floating on the surface of the water.

PUBLIC ART REVIEW | VOL. 28 | NO. 1 | ISSUE 55 | PUBLICARTREVIEW.ORG

Photo by Nancy Reynolds.

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Arlington Cultural Affairs

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LA County Arts Commission

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Bollinger Atelier

4 bollingeratelier.com

Metro Art

76 metro.net

Brailsford Public Art

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NYC Department of Transportation

87 nyc.gov/dot

Broward County Cultural Division

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Public Art Saint Paul

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Sculpture Magazine

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Forecast Public Art Art In Our Everyday Lives

COMMUNITY SERVICES Connecting artists with communities since 1978. Led by Forecast founder Jack Becker, our team is a full-service shop for all your public art needs. forecastpublicart.org / community Discover how you can work with Forecast Public Art: PHONE +1 651.641.1128 E-MAIL info@forecastpublicart.org FROM LEFT: Mural & photo: Olivia Levins Holden / Fritz Haeg artist talk, photo: John Pocklington / Public art overlay for St. Paul’s West Side Flats / Workshop facilitation, photo: Emily Fishman / Mural & photo: Roger Cummings


LAST PAGE

Switching Perception home to the Zaraeeb, a community of Coptic Christians who serve as the city’s garbage recyclers. Over a period of three weeks in March 2016, a massive mural, covering nearly 50 buildings, emerged in Manshiyat Nasr. French-Tunisian street artist eL Seed’s Perception is an enormous piece of Arabic calligraffiti spelling out words from the third-century Coptic bishop Saint Athanasius of Alexandria: “Anyone who wants to see the sunlight clearly needs to wipe his eye first.” The anamorphic mural is fully legible only from a specific point on nearby Muqattam Mountain. It’s easy for majority Egyptians to see the Zaraeeb as outsiders; they’re Christians in a majority Muslim country, and people who handle the discards of others. A major purpose of the piece is to question “the level of judgment and misconception society can unconsciously have upon a community based on their differences,” eL Seed has said. In a June 2016 TED talk, eL Seed noted that his project was “not about beautifying a place by bringing art to it,” but about “switching perception and opening a dialogue” with a community about which many people know very little. —Jen Dolen

Photo courtesy eL Seed.

THE MANSHIYAT NASR WARD IN CAIRO is


Ethereal Bodies 8 Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center

computer graphic created by the artist. A second layer of artwork is created with ceramic printing on a 12mm glass. Both layers of glass are then tempered and worked into a laminated safety glass.

GLASMELEREI PETERS STUDIOS AD

Photos by: Graham Jones Two color schemes indicate the Arrivals and Departures Hall and each is backlit with LEDs. The warm colored panels for the Arrivals Hall span 100ft and are almost 30ft high. The cool colors panels for the Departures Hall span 130ft and are also almost 30ft high.

Graham Jones in collaboration with

PETERS STUDIOS Further Information:

www.peters-studios.com

Germany:

GLASMALEREI PETERS GmbH Am Hilligenbusch 23 - 25 D - 33098 Paderborn phone: 011 - 49 - 52 51 - 160 97 - 0 fax: 011 - 49 - 52 51 - 160 97 99

United States:

PETER KAUFMANN 3618 SE 69th Ave. Portland, OR 97206 phone: 503.781.7223 E-mail: p.kaufmann@glass-art-peters.com

Artwork commissioned for the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital by the San Francisco Arts Commission

+ cliff garten studio cliffgartenstudio.com


SICILIAN LAND ART | LOS ANGELES BIENNIAL | CANDY CHANG’S ATLAS OF TOMORROW

Public Art Review

Public Art Review Issue 55 • Fall/Winter 2016 • publicartreview.org

Issue 55 • The Geniuses • Sicilian Land Art • Los Angeles Biennial • Jencks’s Cosmic Landscapes • Atlas of Tomorrow

THE GENIUSES Public artists who have won MacArthur Awards

HUNTING THE SYMBOL A CONVERSATION WITH CHARLES JENCKS

55

BillFitzGibbons.com Kinetic Skyline Computerized LED Light Sculpture Bill FitzGibbons San Antonio, Texas

$16.00 USD

CATHERINE WIDGERY: LIGHT, WIND, WATER

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Public Art Review issue 55 - 2016 (fall/winter)  

The 55th issue of Public Art Review features tips on public art photography, inspirational art activism, and out-of-this-world cosmic landsc...

Public Art Review issue 55 - 2016 (fall/winter)  

The 55th issue of Public Art Review features tips on public art photography, inspirational art activism, and out-of-this-world cosmic landsc...

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