Day 1181 – The Waterfalls as Seen From Boise
I really like this guy’s work. Olafur Eliasson is one of those quiet artists who manage to get big dollars to make big art that seems to exist outside of the normal world so many humans inhabit. While i never got to see his installation at the Tate Modern (photo above left taken from clagnut) the photos were sublime and i can only imagine the experience of being in that giant hall with the indoor setting sun. But his latest work in New York City just isn’t doing it for me. He has overseen the construction of five artificial waterfalls on the East River and where i was hoping for another time stopping moment all i’ve seen are mostly dull photographs and a rather critical remarks posted on a myriad number of blogs.
Vince Laforet of The Times did about as good a job as can be done photographing the falls installed below the Brooklyn Bridge, but even he couldn’t disguise the fact it’s just a big-ass scaffold with big-ass pumps that spew river water from the top. Perhaps it could be as simple as adding another battery of pumps along with another battery of schnozzles and spewing sufficient water that the entire structure is utterly invisible. Or maybe if he ran the schnozzles around the base of the bridge towers and then gushed vast amounts of water while lighting from behind… essentially make the lower part of the bridge footings vanish behind a sheet of water. I dunno, monday morning quarterbacking is both easy and useless.
I’d like to say i see what he was trying for, but he didn’t make it. At the same time, however, i would be perfectly happy if my tax dollars had been spent on the project. I would be proud to say i helped finance something whose purpose was simply to make us stop for a moment and say “wow.”