About this project
"Never for the sake of peace and quiet deny your own experience or convictions." –Dag Hammarskjold.
My monumental sculpture proposal, "Inveterate Composition" was originally commissioned by Clare Weiss of the NYC Parks Department. In 2010, Clare died at the age of 42 from breast cancer, and this piece is now dedicated to her. The project has been approved for fall 2011, but as city economics are stressed, I have to fund the project solely through grants and donations. I need your help to raise the $15,000 necessary to purchase at least two crashed Hummers to make up the core of the piece.
Placed in Manhattan’s Dag Hammarskjold Park -- Gateway to the UN and designated site for international protests -- the piece will be composed of the crashed hummers piled atop one another in a junk-yard heap. Welded together in a monumental pyramid-shaped stack and sprayed with opalescent icy-white auto body paint, the piece will also evoke the form of an iceberg. Additional parts will be welded between the two in order to both create a more cohesive form and refer to extra armaments that American soldiers have recently added to their own hummers and other equipment.
A bass heavy stereo system will be installed in the trunks. However, instead of the hip-hop as heard in the city or the heavy metal soundtrack many soldiers use as a way to “psych” themselves up, the moody songs of whales and crashes of calving glaciers will emanate from the speakers – the haunting sounds acting as a cry for everyone. In accordance with this soundtrack, the headlights of the cars will be set to dim and brighten. Thus, the lustrous and compelling form will beckon visitors and reveal its true identity on closer inspection.
The park's namesake, former United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. Dag Hammarskjold was a dedicated proponent of justice and reconciliation, from international affairs to his own working environment at the UN. His influential actions ranged from fearless visits to war torn regions in Africa and Asia to creating a meditation room at the UN headquarters for people of all races, religions and creeds, a place for introspection and thought. With my sculpture, Inveterate Composition for Clare I hope to illicit this same sensitivity while making a thought-provoking statement about current dire circumstances, both humanitarian and ecological.
In recent art history, the crashed car has become an iconic form of the violence and excesses of contemporary culture as seen in work from John Chamberlain's car part sculptures and Andy Warhol’s infamous Death and Disaster series, to Charles Ray’s Untitled sculpture and Jeremy Deller’s current Conversations about Iraq. Summoning references from the political strife of the Middle East/American conflict to our planet’s general discord, my piece hopes to continue this discourse, while adding focus on environmental distress to the pile of ruins.
To see more of my work and a full cv: http://www.ziehersmith.com/a_owens.html
This project has been commissioned by the the City of New York Parks Department's sculpture and Monuments program. Government agencies are suffering in the current economy and need you to help! All donations are tax deductible (less the retail value of any gifts you choose to receive) and go towards supporting culture for the public. Although the total budget for this project is 70K, I am looking for 15K from Kickstarter givers in order to acquire the hummer bodies needed to start this project. EVERYONE is invited!
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