Friday, August 11, 2006

Alan Sonfist - Time Landscape

Time Landscape. Alan Sonfist. Planted in 1978 | Photos of the Installation

Alan Sonfist recreated a bit of Manhattan Island as it may have looked 300 years ago -- before the Europeans showed up. The work becomes a time map that returns a slice of land to a specific time and place and it, in turn, becomes an observable time keeper of seasons and years and the interaction of the flora (and local fauna) in the site. (Note WTC in photo, taken sometime in the 1980s)

Sonfist spent years researching the natural history of the area and working out the details with the city. In 1978 he and his team reclaimed an empty lot at LaGuardia Place, Greenwich Village, restoring it to how it could have looked had it never been altered by man. The site features a naturalized landscape and elevation, brimming with indigenous plants, trees and rocks.

I love the ideas at work here, and also find it kind of amusing that, while I passed through this intersection (always in a car, unfortunately), when I spent time in New York, I never realized it was Art. I just marveled at how this little piece of untouched land continued to exist. It’s still there.

More info: More Pictures | artist website:



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