Downtown Alliance Unveils Water Movements, a Re:Construction Project
The Alliance for Downtown New York has installed its latest Re:Construction piece, Water Movements, at Titanic Park, located at Fulton and Pearl streets at the entrance to South Street Seaport Marketplace.
“Undergoing a $1 million renovation, Titanic Park will reopen in fall 2010 as a relaxing spot in an historic location for Lower Manhattan’s 55,000 residents, 300,000 workers and 6 million annual visitors,” said Downtown Alliance President Elizabeth H. Berger. “But for now, we can all enjoy this vibrant piece by Lordy Rodriguez as part of our program to recast construction sites as canvasses for innovative public art and architecture.”
Re:Construction is a public art program produced by the Downtown Alliance and funded by a $1.5 million grant from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. Engaging, thoughtful and whimsical, the temporary artworks are creating colorful landmarks and brightened streetscapes as they help mitigate the impact of Downtown’s numerous building projects. The program began in 2007 and has produced 15 pieces, seven of which are up for viewing. Pieces come down once construction projects are finished.
“Think of Re:Construction as an intervention to create a cheerful and welcoming environment in the midst of an urban renewal,” Berger said. “Lower Manhattan is in the middle of one of the greatest construction periods the nation has ever seen, with more than $30 billion worth of projects on 190 sites south of Canal Street alone. The volume of this work is a long-term blessing that can often seem like a short-term nightmare.”
In Water Movements, Rodriguez uses the language and pattern of cartography to make drawings of imaginary terrain. He explores a body of water’s ever-changing relationship to its environment, inventing a river that snakes around frozen lakes with tributaries that look like capillaries over a variety of topographies. Without the context of symbols and text usually found on a map, it’s up to the viewer to interpret the familiar cartographic iconography for rivers, mountains, valleys, and other land formations.
"Sometimes water is still and quiet like a frozen pond, and other times it's so ferocious whole towns can be swept away,” Rodriguez said. “Water is as influential to its environment as it is influenced by it.” Independent arts curator Abby Messitte consulted on the project for the Downtown Alliance.
“Re:Construction is an inspirational example of how we can turn ordinary barriers into lovely canvases that elevate the mundane experience of navigating urban construction sites,” said David Emil, President of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. “The Titanic Park site will bring a continued sense of renewal to Lower Manhattan as we move forward with our various rebuilding and community enhancement initiatives. “I’d like to thank Governor Paterson and Mayor Bloomberg for their leadership in providing this funding,” Emil said, “and also praise our friends at the Downtown Alliance for their continued partnership in helping to improve the quality of life in Lower
Previous projects have been installed at:
East River Waterfront Esplanade, South Street: Fence Embroidery with Embellishment*
99 Church Street: Walking Men 99*
West Thames Park, Battery Park City: It Takes Time to Turn a Space Around
56 Leonard Street: Rendering Leonard*
The Fulton Transit Center, John Street at Broadway: Best Pedestrian Route
Fulton Street reconstruction site, between Broadway and Nassau: Fulton Fence
Fulton Transit Center, Broadway between Ann and John streets: Concrete Jungle
Goldman Sachs headquarters, 200 West Street: Untitled
AIG building, 175 Water Street:
Street reconstruction site at Houston and Broadway: Houston Fence
Louise Nevelson Plaza, Maiden Lane and William Street: Rainbow Conversation
Hudson River Park: Botanizing the Asphalt*
50 Trinity Place: Poster Project at 50 Trinity*
99 Washington Street: Flying Animals*
* currently up for viewing
For more information on the Re:Construction program, click here.