Beyond the Blooming Sculpture Gardens

Washington’s Best Outdoor Art Installations

Booker Installation
Booker Installation

Between the sculpture gardens at the National Gallery, the Kreeger Museum and Hirshhorn, there’s a lot to see around the streets of Washington. Throw in the fraternity of bronze-cast historic figures scattered throughout the city and there’s an all-star cast of artistic and historic characters around every corner. You’ll see Henri Moore and Henry Longfellow, Giacometti and Ghandi, Alexander Calder and Alexander Hamilton.

Indeed, there are so many longstanding outdoor fixtures that we miss on our daily commute alone (who among us has ever actually seen a Boundary Stone?), that it’s all too easy to overlook a new public installation. Doug Aitken’s “Song 1” at the Hirshhorn was a deserved success before it came down early last month, with projectors flashing a fully encompassing video around the building’s elliptical façade to a remixed exploration of the 1930s pop song “I Only Have Eyes for You.” It left audiences wanting more of that interactive, environmentally specific experience. Thankfully, the Hirshhorn isn’t lacking for new outdoor installations, and neither is the National Museum of Women in the Arts. And now is just the right time of year to be outside and experience them.

Chakaia Booker Scultures Roll Into New York Avenue

There is a peculiar group of sculptures on a well-kept, grassy median on New York Avenue between 12th and 13th Streets NW, amid the oil drum echoes of construction by Mount Vernon Square and the arterial bustle of downtown. Black and unusually textured, they appear almost aloof to their surroundings — curious as to what exactly is going on around them.

This is the work of sculptor Chakaia Booker, the second artist selected for the National Museum of Women in the Arts’ (NMWA) New York Avenue Sculpture Project, the only public art space featuring changing installations of contemporary works by women artists. Booker, by integrating discarded construction materials into large outdoor sculptures, works here with recycled tires which she slices, twists, weaves and rivets into radically new forms. Tires resonate with the artist for their versatility and rich historical and cultural legacy: The harvest and production of rubber is entwined with a history of brutal colonization, cultural injustices and slave labor in Africa and the world beyond.

Given the space they occupy, these sculptures are oddly modest in size, as if refusing to compete with surrounding noise and structures. They stick out from their environment by utter disassociation of urban aesthetics. They do not try to be big—and in this way they grow. These dancing forms, with interlacing planes that revolve through and around each other, are Brancusian in their suggestive shapes and movement, while their texture and tactility remain rooted somewhere firmly in the earth of this world.

They have the texture of nature, vines, bushes and nettles, like fictitious plants you might see in a Maurice Sendack illustration. Also like Sendack’s work, there is an undertow of darkness about them—a keyhole’s peek into a world of magnificent intrigue and epochal wrath. Perhaps it’s the wondrous patterns and textures against the sheer literality of the tires—once you get close to them, the sculptures are upfront about their material: masses of diced, slit rubber and hundreds of heavy screws securing them to their skeleton.

While there is a good chance you already passed them by without even noticing their presence, Chakaia’s sculptures are worth serious consideration. The good news is they will be on view through 2014, so there’s time to see them.

For more information visit www.NMWA.org.

Ai Weiwei Turns Heads at the Hirshhorn

“Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads” is the first major US public art project by internationally renowned Chinese artist and political activist Ai Weiwei. The installation comprises a dozen bronze sculptures, each roughly ten feet tall, that represent the signs of the Chinese zodiac (snake, horse, ram, monkey, rooster, dog, pig, rat, ox tiger, rabbit and dragon).

The sculptures are re-envisioned and enlarged versions of original eighteenth-century heads that were designed during the Qing dynasty for the fountain clock of the Yuanming Yuan (Garden of Perfect Brightness), an imperial, European-style retreat outside Beijing, which was pillaged in 1860. The Hirshhorn placed them encircling the fountain in the center of the Hirshhorn’s rounded courtyard.

Weiwei went to great pains to depict the animals with detail, down to the veins in the rabbit’s forehead and the chicken’s grainy crown, every surface suggestive of hair, feathers or skin. The heads cut off abruptly at the neck, the stanchions they are affixed to connecting rather artlessly underneath, as if they were each severed from the body and mounted on coarsely carved wooden spikes—like the pig’s head in William Golding’s “Lord of the Flies.”

There is always a lot of historical and political baggage when dealing with Ai Weiwei—and I mean that in the best possible way. A noted dissident, Weiwei has spent his career speaking up against social and political oppression in his homeland. He is a master of the conversation between abrasive confrontation (including a photographic series of his own middle finger interrupting otherwise innocuous snapshots of historic Chinese landmarks, such as Tiananmen Square) and subtle symbolism (covering the floor at London’s Tate Modern with hand-painted porcelain sunflower seeds—a comment on mass consumption, among countless other things).

Knowing this, why would Weiwei go to the effort of such odd and meticulous realism if he didn’t mean them to be perceived that way? Without forcing anything on the audience, the work raises questions about repatriation and intention as well as our own blindness to suffering, religious misinterpretation and historical injustice.

For more information visit www.Hirshhorn.si.edu.

Previous
1
Next
Gravatar
Feb 1, 2014 at 9:05 PM Discover More Here

Ι enjoy perusing your web site. Regards!

Gravatar
Feb 1, 2014 at 9:05 PM Discover More Here

I еnjoy perusing your web site. Regarԁs!

Gravatar
Mar 4, 2014 at 11:39 PM working capital loan

I have to thank you for the efforts you've put in penning this website.
I'm hoping to check out the same high-grade blog posts by you
later on as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has
encouraged me to get my own site now ;)

Gravatar
Mar 5, 2014 at 5:38 AM Megapolis Hack

Usually I don't read post on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very compelled me to try and do it!

Your writing taste has been amazed me. Thanks, quite nice
post.

Gravatar
Mar 9, 2014 at 8:31 AM m88

It's a shame you don't have a donate button! I'd certainly donate to this excellent blog!
I guess for now i'll settle for book-marking and adding your
RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to fresh
updates and will talk about this site with my Facebook group.
Chat soon!

Gravatar
Mar 11, 2014 at 8:26 AM My Site

Wow, this article is pleasant, my sister is analyzing these things, so I am
going to convey her.

Gravatar
Mar 11, 2014 at 11:29 PM http://www.clearcompassmedia.com

Hi, I do believe this is an excellent web site.
I stumbledupon it ;) I'm going to revisit once again since i have book marked it.
Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and
continue to guide other people.
http://www.clearcompassmedia.com

Gravatar
Mar 15, 2014 at 2:21 PM clash of clans hack

1 and 2 dungeons can only be entered when you hit
level 50 and in total there are 9 Dungeons.
These items are usually incredibly expensive in regards to in-game currency,
allowing few players the opportunity to even purchase
them. If you're a lefty but don't have a left-handed mouse, then seriously think about how much it will affect the quality of fun and level of play you'll have.

Gravatar
Mar 16, 2014 at 2:11 PM รับจดทะเบียนบริษ�

Hello to all, how is the whole thing, I thjink ebery one is getting more from this site, and your views are fastidious in support of new viewers.

Gravatar
Mar 18, 2014 at 11:41 AM Primerica Insurance

you are really a just right webmaster. The website loading speed is amazing.

It sort of feels that you are doing any distinctive trick.

Furthermore, The contents are masterwork.
you've performed a great activity in this matter!

Gravatar
Mar 18, 2014 at 8:16 PM china kung fu academy

Hurrah, that's what I was exploring for, what a stuff!
existing here at this weblog, thanks admin of this site.

Gravatar
Mar 19, 2014 at 4:47 PM sbobet

Thanks for finally writing about >Beyond the Blooming Sculpture Gardens | The Georgetowner <Loved it!

Gravatar
Mar 20, 2014 at 10:13 PM Miami escorts

What's left for you tto do nօw is to ԁisplay up at the
specified time and location. A fantastic qսantity of people from across the world visit Kent to journey across thhe Сhannel
to Fгance. http://milkyspa.com/zxe/deli/20901

Gravatar
Mar 21, 2014 at 6:02 AM http://viaeng.co.kr/zbxe/?mid=board&Page=1&

Aոd with the prеsence of stunniոg women around, the metropolis merely gets to bbe as well harɗ to resist.
They knnow how to provife a fun filled, excitinǥ encounter tto tҺeir customers.
http://viaeng.co.kr/zbxe/?mid=board&page=1&document_srl=68097

Gravatar
Mar 21, 2014 at 8:50 AM Sprinkler Blowout Castle Pines CO

Keep on working, great job!

Gravatar
Mar 22, 2014 at 12:33 AM Escort Miami

But the ոаture of the assɑսlts has lеd investigators to think they are looking for 1 perpetrator.
Role Player Games: ӏn a function participant sport, you selext a role foг your self.
http://qhrmqrh.com/home/?document_srl=244453

Gravatar
Mar 25, 2014 at 1:18 AM sbobet

For the reason that the admin of this web site is working, no question very shortly
it will be famous, due to its quality contents.

Gravatar
Mar 25, 2014 at 9:39 AM sbobet

Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Thanks, However
I am having difficulties with your RSS. I don't know the reason why I cannot join it.
Is there anybody else having identical RSS problems?

Anybody who knows the answer will you kindly respond?
Thanx!!

Gravatar
Mar 26, 2014 at 3:17 PM sbobet

You should be a part of a contest for one of the highest quality sites online.

I most certainly will highly recommend this site!

Gravatar
Mar 26, 2014 at 4:25 PM minecraftonlineplay.net

Thanks for sharing your info. I truly appreciate your
efforts and I am waiting for your next post thanks
once again.

Gravatar
Mar 27, 2014 at 1:25 PM generationalalliance.org

An notorious very own purpose from Colombia set the
Americans ahead in the initial half (the Colombian defender, Andres Escobar, was shot and killed months later).
And early in the second fifty percent, Earnie Stewart capped off
a lovely attacking display to make the guide 2-. Stewart's goal is
regarded as one of the most unforgettable objectives in
U.S soccer historical past. Starting up in their possess
finish, the U.S crew began a series of intricate passes that led them into the Colombian zone.
Tab Ramos acquired a go on the proper side, and chipped a perfect
go on to the running Stewart.

Gravatar
Mar 27, 2014 at 1:26 PM skagen

I do agree with all of the ideas you've offered on your post.
They are really convincing and can certainly work.
Nonetheless, the posts are too short for novices. May just you please lengthen them a bit from next time?
Thanks for the post.

Gravatar
Mar 27, 2014 at 1:26 PM increase youtube views

I have been exploring for a little for any high quality
articles orr blog posts in this sort off area . Exploring in Yahoo I at last stumbled
uponn this website. Reading this information So i'm satisfied tto express
that I've an incredibly good uncanny feeling I found out exactly what I needed.
I most without a doubt will make certain to don?t overlook this sitfe and provides iit a look on a continuing basis.

Gravatar
Mar 28, 2014 at 9:29 PM SEO Jacksonville

Τhesе all splіt the code of sеarch engine optimizаtioո 101.
Getting this has allοwed them to outgrow their гiѵals such as Yauoo
and AOL. They help in ցetting ɡreater search motkr rankings.
http://support.medcocorp.com/entries/46097803-Jacksonville-Divorce-Records-Find-Jacksonville-Divorce-Information

Gravatar
Apr 2, 2014 at 9:01 AM Tomas

Aոdd hey,your oliday is juѕt beɡinոing!
Now it is really uncomplicateԁ for you to ebook еscorts online.
Speedily convey to him the exact same and that you'll contact
him back when you can. http://www.dubaimumsclub.com/groups/discover-affordable-escorts-in-your-close-by-city/

Gravatar
Apr 3, 2014 at 5:34 AM Michal

It's hard to come by experienced people for this
topic, but you seem like you know what you're talking about!
Thanks

Gravatar
Apr 4, 2014 at 12:55 AM Ruby

Thanks for the good writeup. It in fact used to be a entertainment account it.
Look complicated to far added agreeable from you! By the way, how can we
communicate?

Gravatar
Apr 6, 2014 at 12:27 PM michael kors outlet store

bookmarked!!, I love your web site!

michael kors outlet store

Gravatar
Apr 7, 2014 at 4:38 PM big Fish casino cheats

A motivating discussion is worth comment. I believe that you should publish more on this
subject, it might not be a taboo subject but usually people do not talk about such issues.
To the next! Best wishes!!

Gravatar
Apr 8, 2014 at 2:15 PM Verna

Wow, wonderful blog layout! How long have you been blogging
for? you made blogging look easy. The overall
look of your web site is magnificent, as well
as the content!

Gravatar
Apr 8, 2014 at 11:45 PM official coach outlet online

It is perfect time to make some plans for the longer term and it's time to be happy.
I've learn this submit and if I may I desire to counsel you
some attention-grabbing issues or advice. Maybe you could write next articles relating to
this article. I wish to learn even more things approximately it!

official coach outlet online

Gravatar
Apr 16, 2014 at 5:51 PM Micki

Usіng spaced repetitіon, eѵen so, you can halve the enеrgy annd double the results!
It is broadly regarded as genuine that gentlemen are from Mars and gіrls are from Venus.

http://support.databazaar.com/entries/30682080-High-Lifetime-Expectations-With-Australian-Escorts

Gravatar
Apr 18, 2014 at 12:54 PM viagra

I used to be able to find good into from your blog articles.

Gravatar
Apr 19, 2014 at 9:50 AM buy youtube views

I leave a leave a response when I like a post on a site or if I have something to valuable
to contribute to the conversation. It's caused
by the fire displayed in the article I looked at. And on this post Beyond the Blooming Sculpture Gardens | The Georgetowner.
I was actually excited enough to leave a thought :
-P I actually do have 2 questions for you if you don't mind.
Could it be simply me or does it give the impression like a few
of these responses come across like they are left by brain dead folks?

:-P And, if you are writing on additional places, I'd like to follow anything fresh you have to post.
Would you list every one of your communal pages
like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

Gravatar
Apr 19, 2014 at 7:09 PM Miami Escorts

Уou would not ԝant your nіght to end up becoming spoilt because of a poor charactеr
or poor manneгs. A unique location is tto place a this
tattoo as ann anklet, with the feathers flowing on the foot.

http://kazabue.co.kr/xe/board_imey40/584552

Gravatar
Apr 20, 2014 at 7:37 AM Anh

I for all time emailed this weblog post page to all
my friends, because if like to read it then my links
will too.

Gravatar
Apr 21, 2014 at 5:25 PM Communial.Com

Υou can dօ this also, and it is definitely reаlly worth
a try! Unover a respected wweb page where you ccan store for many objects aոd
coոservе timmе and buϲks. Youu will find thhе Lonɗon escorts effortleѕsly.
http://communial.com/index.php?do=/profile-4209/info/

Gravatar
Apr 21, 2014 at 5:32 PM michael kors handbags on sale

bookmarked!!, I love your web site!

michael kors handbags on sale

Gravatar
today at 10:00 AM cheap beats by dre

Person in concerned position Search engines is getting ready to Zeitgeist 2012(Over 50 % of listings) Inside image to whom ends psychological good topic almost all generally connected with track record, And offers on the internet as well as a portion of the tweets, Also it can be might be dispersed into the playing golf device, These programs enter in comparable to Pinterest-Just comparable to but, It is possible to use the particular inventive delight in substantially enjoyable.

Other ways, Extraordinary however sizzling, Perform believed I have to please take a stage. Show could quite possibly not have to get ok to accommodate youngster proceed buddies plus set in though, Within the noisey, Is usually called chino soft drinks traditional, Substantial exercising choice which is different into the fart chance to notice aluminium wedding ring right until ultimately at some point genuinely packed, Has been viewed as most likely in order to be groundbreaking discount beats by dre as monster beats compared to in the past.

Post New Comment

Comments which are spam, off-topic, abusive, or use excessive foul language will be deleted.
No HTML markup is allowed. URLs will be turned into links automatically. 3000 character limit.

If you want a small picture next to your comments, get a gravatar.

 
Thu, 24 Apr 2014 14:41:22 -0400

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest Georgetowner updates.