Saturday, September 10, 2011
Yesterday, after deciding to go to Storm King Art Center, a 500-acre sculpture park not far from Beacon, I realized that the first time I had visited was also a beautiful late-summer day, Sept 9, 2001. I had walked around that day, looked at the sculptures, lay in the grass and wrote for a while. It was sunny, quiet and peaceful and the gently rolling landscape was still bright green, with a tinge of rust here and there. I took a train back to the city that evening, it was my senior year of art school and classes had just begun. Now it is ten years since the attacks of Sept 11. I am sure that most people who experienced it even peripherally, let alone personally, thought about it each year since, but ten is a round anniversary number and so there are more words (and images) out there than usual. From creativity to politics to pensiveness to deep emotion, pain and fear to, well, exploitation, misunderstandings and frustration. Even, sometimes, apathy. At any rate, I was remembering how it was to be at Storm King and then to be in New York that week, to see it happen and how it seemed to change the tone of everything. To add greater or lesser significance to whatever you had done before or would do after. Where were you, how did you feel?
One of my favorite pieces is still Andy Goldsworthy's long stone Wall that serpentines through the trees at the edge of the woods. I also liked Zhang Huan's massive Three Legged Buddha and a mirrored picket fence by Alyson Shotz. From a distance I thought it was grass-colored, then I realized it reflected the landscape and, when I drew closer, myself. I love experiencing the bigness of being there, of wandering the fields and coming upon the monumental sculptures placed around the site, the combination of art and nature and weather.