OLAFUR ELIASSON – ‘THE NEW YORK CITY WATERFALLS’
PRESENTED by the PUBLIC ART FUND
4 locations on the EAST RIVER
running JUNE 26 – OCTOBER 13, 2008
the 90 to 120 ft. tall water flowing (downwards !!) installations will operate from 7am to 10pm – 7 days a week. They will be lit after sunset. They have been designed to protect water quality, and aquatic life (from their pumps.) They also run on”green power” – electricity “generated from renewable sources”.
The local tabloids don’t seem that impressed – and only seem to be able to makes news out of how much the Falls cost to make – !! – and how much they are supposed to generate in extra tourist dollaers, with much text being given over to debating the feasibility of the gov’t provided estimate that . . . “the local economy will get at least a $55 million boost from the massive public artwork”. (NEW YORK POST/Saturday, June 28, 2008).
In fact, the The New York Post subtitled their article – “Tourism stream or $55M pipe dream”/”AWE, WHATEVER”/and concludes that .. “… visitors at the South Street Seaport seem hardly impressed by the waterfall art under the Brooklyn Bridge.”
According to the published reports – the Waterfalls were built on a budget of $15.5 million dollars – try to which truthfully seems like a big joke – even for a small nowhere, more serious minded – art “blog” like this one – and, even though New Yorkers usually like a big joke – esp if the money didn’t come out of their own taxpayer pockets, (though apparently almost 2 million did come from public funds – published reports have it as: $13.5 million in private donations – remainder from the Lower Manhattan Development Corp.) – they still didn’t seem in the mood for a big scam at this particular time – when everyone is being hit hard and harder. and city life gets tougher & tougher. unless your parents are movie stars, investment bankers, Euro moguls, or NYU big bucks parents – like the current breed of well funded spawn now happily at play – where (real) artists once used to roam. Supposedly the money went for materials and “salaries” – I’d love to see a break-down of those salaries !! Since this is a “non-profit” Public Art Fund venture – shouldn’t that info – be available for the public record ?
especially since one article (again my favorite source, the NEW YORK POST – just like Agent K – in MEN IN BLACK) – reports that EDC (Economic Development Corp.) President SETH PINSKY states that … much of the money generated (for the city) is directly due to the money spent constructing the $15.5 million waterfalls, in the form of salaries and materials. Pinsky goes on to say that .. since those salaries are then spent in the city on food and entertainment, the economic boom is closer to $23 million. . . . . whoa, wait a minute – if you read the press from the Public Art Fund – it’s pretty clear OLAFUR travels with or at least, starts with his own whole, self-contained in-house technical crew – and tell me – they don’t take their hi-end salleries and split back to Germany or Denmark or wherever they are from – as soon as possible ..
budget considerations & NYC grumpiness, aside – the waterfalls seem pretty enough – from the photos posted on their dedicated website –
check it out: nycwaterfalls !!
the PUBLIC ART FUND has some basic info on their website – though its pretty dull in format & even its site photos – are labelled incorrectly !! see: PUBLIC ART FUND
. . . . where according to their website, you can find out that … “OLAFUR ELIASSON was born in Copenhagen in 1967. He grew up in both Iceland and Denmark and currently divides his time between his family home in Copenhagen and his studio in Berlin – where STUDIO OLAFUR ELIASSON employs a team of 30 architects, engineers, craftsmen and assistants” … “who conceptualize, test, engineer, and construct installations, sculptures, large scale projects and commissions.”
. . . we’ll give the last word – on the city’s summer of 2008 – ‘pissed-off’ economic temperature, to a musician, who else better, to get it right … on the city’s authentic (as opposed to gentrified) soul – ANDY BUTLER of the band – Hercules and Love Affair – who was quoted in the New York Times, in a recent music review by HUA HSU, published in the Arts & Leisure Section, Sunday, June 22, 2008 – “Mr. Butler said, ‘New York isn’t so conducive to a party anymore,’ referring, in part, to the city’s stifling high cost of living.”
. . . don’t feel like seeing the falls myself, neither do most of my friends – day to day struggles – aren’t making us feel like care-free tourists, I guess, just the trampled underground. . . . but they look pretty enough, esp. in their diversity.
all photos below courtesy: PUBLIC ART FUND.
GOVERNOR’S ISLAND/PHOTO: BERNSTEIN PHOTOGRAPHY
PIER 35/PHOTO: BERNSTEIN PHOTOGRAPHY
BROOKLYN PIERS 4 & 5/PHOTO: BERNSTEIN PHOTOGRAPHY
BROOKLYN BRIDGE/PHOTO: PUBLIC ART FUND