Greenpoint, October, 2015

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sunshine Superwoman

Emerging art
At last highways are becoming sites for ambitious public art projects. Installation is well underway on the Staten Island Expressway of a revival of Nancy Holt's 1970s piece Sun Tunnels, originally created in the northwest Utah desert.

There four tunnels (each 18'x9'x4') were placed so they would precisely align with sunrise and sunset during the solstices. As described on the Center for Land Use Interpretation site, they are pierced with holes of different sizes to recreate constellations when the sun is overhead and the tunnels are otherwise dark on the inside. I saw a film made about their installation shown at Sightlines, Columbia's Wallach Gallery Holt retrospective last year. They may be the most beautiful pieces of concrete ever cast about.

Miles from I-80
The elements of Sun Tunnels SI (above) appear to be a bit dumpier, but then there's a war on. In any case, the site on the north side of the Staten Island Expressway about a half mile from the Verrazano Narrow Bridge is a good one since the highway is basically east-west at that point. It will be fantastic to catch the setting sun lighting up the inside of the concrete cylinders--except I'm usually heading in the opposite direction at that time. Well, ars gratia ars (and cars gratia cars).


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