Access Denied. The public has been wondering recently why they were being prevented from accessing Union Square Park's largest open space, its center lawn, a legitimate concern, considering the area suffers from having one of the least amount of parks and open space in the entire city. It turns out The Union Square Partnership and the Parks Department closed the heavily used and already crowded lawn to allow the installation of a series of artworks referred to as "eleven professional props" for posing.
According to the artist statement, the interactive sculptures "invite viewers to mount inscribed pedestals, stand under elaborate headdresses and insert their limbs into holes. A work that begins as a sculpture metamorphoses into countless performances, only complete when viewers photograph their interactions and share them in blogs and emails. At this point, the audience changes and the participants become the subject of the work."
It appears the Partnership is attempting to borrow a playbook from its northerly neighbors – The Madison Square Park Conservancy – by getting into the public art business. Madison Square Park has a much larger and open lawn, and is dramatically less crowded than Union Square Park. Art in parks is a very worthwhile endeavor as long as it does not impinge on the open space and the passive and recreational needs of a community, and is not an advertisement for a commercial entity.
The project is being presented by The Union Square Partnership, a business improvement district/local development corporation and DEITCH PROJECTS LLC, a commercial gallery.
From ANPQuarterly. Planning on posing this summer? A little recreational posing? Why not do it with the support of props designed just for this purpose. It might be a relief to have a some help in this department, after years of free-form (and let’s face it, often inaccurate) posing. For your convenience, eleven professional props will be installed in Union Square Park in New York, all summer. If you fill a little posing coming on, hurry over.
Eleven Heavy Things Miranda July May 29 – October 3, 2010 Center Lawn, Union Square Park
PRESENTED BY DEITCH PROJECTS AS ITS FINAL PUBLIC PROJECT. THE WORK IS EXHIBITED IN COOPERATION WITH THE UNION SQUARE PARTNERSHIP AND NYC PARKS & RECREATION.