"To move the work is to destroy the work." ~ Richard Serra

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Gathering

The Gathering, by Christian de Vietri, is also located near the MetroTech Center. This piece is most interesting because of its simplicity but yet it generates a huge reaction from passerbys. Out of all the art I have seen I could most relate to this one. When I was a little kid my parents would take me to the park where I would create something similar to this piece so I could make a home for squirells. This piece symbolizes the idea of community and is titled The Gathering to represent how people used to gather around a bonfire. Vietri makes a statement with this bundle of sticks by showing the lack of warmth and spark. By being unlit it gives off the impression of being cold and lonely. This symbolizes how our communities and lives have become very individualized and the movement away from group settings. It is claimed that people look upon this art and wonder when will it light up although Vietri intends on it to stay cold in order for people to feel the same coldness and emptiness. It calls upon the audience to realize how much solitude rules the current society. Instead of being a bonfire someone would want to approach, it makes people feel distant and walk away. Another interesting thing is the fact that no one has lit this. Being in a public place in Brooklyn it is open for people toy with it, may it be young rebellious kids or homeless people. The fact that no one has attempted to light it shows the large extent of how it affects the population. It tries to make a statment about how important community is and hopes that people can leave this site with the message that it is imperative that people come together again. This bundle reflects upon the natural life and indicates that technology has such a strong hold on people that they cannot come back to such a gathering. It creates a situation where people feel the solitude but the question remains on whether they will take any action to relieve themselves of such solitude. The site specificity is also key because by being placed in a grassy park area it has more of a nature-like resemblance of what used to be when there were no such things as cell phones or the internet. Especially since it is placed in New York City, where industry rules, it creates a huge contrast where people are more able to see the difference between nature and culture. This piece is calling for the same intervention that Chris Burden asks for. Burden seeks to see how far is too far before people intervene. Although The Gathering is not as physical and drastic, it calls upon deeper emotions, relying on lonliness instead of fear to get a reaction. It creates a similar situation as to when does one take action and acknowledge the current circumstances one is in.

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