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Thursday, August 07, 2008


The Waterfalls of New York

Olafur Eliasson's mammoth new art project, The New York City Waterfalls, is bringing a fantastic nature-in-the-city wonder to the dog days of summer. Last weekend, I went with Strange Interlude (who took these photos) and other friends on a Waterfall-specific boat cruise around Manhattan, and got to see the waterfalls up close. (There are more spectacular photos on the project's website.)

I guess for most New Yorkers, public art on this grand scale immediately reminds us of The Gates, Jeanne-Claude and Christo's enormous series of draped archways that covered Central Park in 2005. "Waterfalls" isn't as awe-inspiring (or as large) as that, but it is reminiscent in the way it interacts with the scale of the city...a large, surprising moment in an urbanized landscape, an unexpected breath against the skyscrapers and factories dotting the East River. The project works best when it collides with architecture (like this below, under the bridge); there, the interaction between movement and stasis, water and stone, and peace and frenzy are most starkly realized. I was dazzled, and these days -- when visual art seems to be impoverished for ideas and overstimulated by the market -- it takes a lot to dazzle me.

"New York Waterfalls" will be on display from various points around the city until October 12th.

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Blogger qta said...

no way! Twitch all the way!

8/7/08, 8:47 AM  

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