Monday, August 06, 2007

Richard The's Subway-Grate Shopping-Bag Sculpture

Brian

German artist Richard The tied shopping bags to the subway grate along Broadway in New York:
1. Walk along the Green Line in Manhattan (going from the 1st to the 125th street, from the Financial Disctrict [sic], through China Town, Midtown, Spanish Harlem, Harlem).
2. Collect bags from the stores, which are situated in the street above the subway tracks. These should be representative of their specific neighbourhood.
3. Install 7 shopping bags, representative of the Neighbourhoods which are crossed by the line, above the subway's air shaft (ideally the combinations of these bags should tell a story already).
4. Once the train passes by the bags are pushed into the air by the air flowing through the tunnel and the air shafts, forming an ephemeral sculpture, making the existing forces visible and at the same time visualizing the Green Line in a regional social economic way.

This concept was realized by 90% as I was too optimistic about the weight of the plastic bags - it was impossible to have a readable installation even though many bags had been collected.
Link (via Rocketboom). The result is whimsical, if a bit depressing. Is there a word that conveys both feelings at the same time? I think if anyone had such a word it would be the Germans.

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I love it!
There are a few sculptures where I live in Wellington New Zealand which are activated by the city's famous wind, but this is really neat and sort of more personal and fanciful.

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