Slide 1 of 11 from the NYT
After reading enough Matthew Delooze, you begin to view the installation of new public art works with considerable suspicion. His recent article: A Little Bird Told Me... the Eagle Has Landed recounts some interesting esoteric symbolism circulating around the erection of various new public art works, sponsored by the BBC. The two he pointed out ('Breathing' near All Soul's Church in London, and 'Roman Standard' near The Oratory in Liverpool) are placed adjacent to much older monuments, and are installed with great public ritual and solemnity, which draws attention to the old monuments as well as the new ones - symbolic monumental “recharging” ceremonies.
These old temples seem more like batteries every day. They even run down and need recharging! By placing the new monumental art next to the old ones, the “respect” energy is refreshed, and the old gods eat well again. See R E S P E C T and F.A.B. for previous musings.
Allow me to give you a gospornographic illustration:
Temple of Worship
When I was a horny and sexually frustrated teenager, I’d make home made porn - drawings to stroke by. These little masterpieces (my “sex gods”) were given all the passion and respect a 14 year old boy could muster, which is quite a lot. But eventually the effect wears off, and the drawing would lose its power to excite me (for some reason holding the drawing upside down was able to “recharge” it for a few more good wanks) and I’d soon draw another one. The drawings would furtively collect under my bed, a sort of “museum” of Michael’s old “gods”. Lot’s of teen spunk and lots of worship energy in that little pile.
Multiply that energy by many billions for the grandest of public monuments, and we see why they might want a little refresher now and again.
Last week, (June 26) saw some major icon refurbishment in New York City:
‘Waterfalls’ Display Opens on Harbor
“New York City Waterfalls,” Olafur Eliasson’s $15.5 million quartet of temporary cascades dotting the New York Harbor, formally opened on Thursday morning with a ceremony at South Street Seaport and a publicity blitz by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who criss-crossed four morning television programs to tout the installation.
Flanked by Mr. Eliasson, the mayor said at the opening ceremony — which began around 10:30 a.m., a half hour late — that the “Waterfalls” were a “symbol of the energy and vitality that we have been bringing back to our waterfront in all five boroughs.” --Sewell Chan, NYT
The most dramatic of the four is the one beneath the Brooklyn Bridge, which happens to be one of the city’s most powerful symbolic stargates! The cascade draws our attention (respect) back to the old bridge, and we’re able to see it in a new way, sort of like holding it upside down. The bridge is being “recharged”.
Interestingly, the word “energy” appears no less than 46 times in this article and the comments below. The companion piece in the Art & Design section is entitled ‘Cascades Sing the City Energetic’, conjuring Whitman’s “body electric”. Indeed.
“The New York City Waterfalls” is also one of the largest works of art, public or otherwise, of our modern era. (Let’s not get in a shouting match with ancient civilizations, where autocratic rule made all sorts of things possible.) --Roberta Smith, NYT
Droll Roberta, very droll.
Point of Know Return