Ann Hamilton is on my list…the list of artists that sculpted my teenage brain into the somewhat grown-up creative and professional mind it is now. She’s been a key player in my development who has remained with me “at my side” of book arts and text-based artistic practice. Her work has always captured me, inspired me, overwhelmed me in part, where her new installation ‘The Event of a Thread’ is no exception…I just wish I was still living in New York so I could have seen it as I heard it was, experientially, something else.
This new video below is made by the great emerging creative Paul Octavious from Chicago, USA, who managed to catch a final glimpse of the installation before it closed last weekend. His Instagram is pretty good…I’m on Instagram too so follow me as well! (Sorry for the mindless plug there.)
Installed within the beautiful historic interiors of the Wade Thompson Drill Hall, in the Park Avenue Armory, is housed ‘a field of swings suspended 70 feet in the air alongside a gargantuan white curtain attached to a network of ropes and pulleys where readers sit at giant wooden tables reading to nearby pigeons.’ It combines her renowned notions of the ephemeral presence of time with material tactility. The work,
“…references the building’s architecture, as well as the individual encounters and congregational gatherings that have animated its rich social history. A multisensory affair, the work draws together readings, sound, and live events within a field of swings that together invite visitors to connect to the action of each other and the work itself, illuminating the experience of the singular and collective body, the relationship between the animal and the human. The address of the readers to the pigeons shifts at the end of each day, when a vocalist on the drill hall’s balcony serenades their release to flight. Each day’s song is cut with a record lathe, and the resulting recording is played back the next day.”
I imagine myself sitting on one the swings, living it, silently leaning back staring up to the ceiling as my hair flows in the air back and forth, breathing deeply, ignoring the periphery, lost in the motion and action, clutching the chain tight in my hands, regressing back to a childhood mentality…or I’m sitting on the wooden floor cross-legged (as always) with my eyes closed, listening to the dialogues and readings as they cut through the room, through the visual, aural and physical playground that has been constructed by deconfiguring and renegotiating the interior of the drill hall space. Let me sit and swing. Let me sit and hear. Tomorrow, I’m going to find my nearest playground. Why don’t you too?