The piece is kind of funny, once you get over feeling startled at such an intrusion on the plantings of Madison Square Park. There are times when I wonder why a garden can't simply be...just a garden.
The answer, I suppose, is when an artist has an exuberant joke to tell. Orly Genger and a few assistants spent two years crocheting fisherman's rope--after they had picked out bits of lobster shell and fish bones, then cleaned and painted 1.4 million feet of the stuff. Most of it, of course, comes from Maine.
Genger laid the rope down, piling some of the "scarves"on top of one another so the undulations would mound up high, letting some of the ends die into the grass.
Rather than the heavy rusted steel of powerful Serra sculptures, which these forms resemble--as if some primal Serra ancestor, a giantess, had spent the winter on earth, manically working her crochet hook. Electric blues and reds and yellows (not yet installed when I wandered into this...situation) snake through the park. Springtime foliage was given a vivid backdrop.
Already the smart squirrels had figured out the on-ramp potential, fast-tracking to their nests up in the trees. I'm hoping the clever sparrows spot the nesting possibilities inside the coils. And perhaps the piece will do what art does so well: make us see something we hadn't noticed, make us slow down and actually feel the presence of the color blue, make us wonder what is art, anyway?