Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Frame More Beautiful Than The Art

And now, more old news, about stuff we did ages ago:
We took a Circle Line tour (I think it was my first) to see the river art project by Olafur Eliasson.
If you didn't get out to see his "Waterfalls" installation along the river in New York earlier this year, it's too late now. The exhibition is over, and you'll have to content yourselves with YouTube movies of the event. It was beautiful to the extent that moving water always is, isn't it? But somehow, despite the ginormous size of the constructions, the work as a whole felt dwarfed, overshadowed by the NYC skyline. The river was just too big for them. The one under the Brooklyn Bridge seemed best situated of them all, but still the eye, my eye at least, is drawn to the bridge. As a marvel, as a spectacle, as a suggestion of human scale...the bridge and the river and the skyline all attract my attention first. That was a little disappointing, because we'd seen and loved an earlier work by the artist:


In November of 2003 we were in London at the right time to visit "The Weather Project," Olafur Eliasson's mesmerizing, immersive installation in the Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern. That was a memorable experience, perfectly suited to the site and thoroughly compelling. (You kinda have to take my word for it, as it was hard for me to take a good photograph in a dark, foggy, cavernous hall lit by mono-frequency lamps and mirrors.) Other people took pretty good movies.

2 comments:

Steve Rogg said...

I agree the Brooklyn Bridge is a work of art itself. The waterfall seems like drawing a mustache on the Mona Lisa.

Anne Marie said...

Your review of the waterfalls installation eloquently describes exactly how I felt about it. All I could say about it was that I was "underwhelmed."