Tuesday, July 15, 2008

of eels, river, and rainbow...

the 1971 exhibition at the boston museum of fine arts called "elements of art" contained works that used as their medium one or more of the four elements - earth, air, fire, and water. the catalog was published in two parts, the first is a spiral bound book that has only descriptions of the pieces, while the second (which i don't have) is filled with documentation of the works after they were realized. what is nice about the first part of the catalog is that it allows you to picture the pieces in your mind (and seeming a bit of a return to the work of lawrence weiner). here are a few gems:

jerusalem river project, 1970
joshua neustein, georgetter batlle, gerard marx
sound and photographic documentation of a fantasy river which was created by using the sounds of waterfalls, rapids, and senile flows and was "distributed" by loudspeakers for two kilometers through a dry mountain valley in jerusalem.

charles river rainbow, 1971
otto piene
a rainbow will be made across the charles river, just east of the massachusetts ave. bridge, with colored tubing in a 230 ft. arc

eel track, 1971
richard boudelis
the eels movement through the tubing creates continuously changing patterns and rhythms. the eels are fed through a filter circulating system.

i kind of like the idea of compressing the three pieces into one, involving a two kilometer listening walk of quiet water sounds emanating from tiny speakers, and ending at some crazy huge network of rainbow colored tubes filled with eels, like some surrealist oasis. i imagine standing beneath this rainbow, with sun pounding through the colored tubes and these black lines slowly moving all in the same direction, but at different speeds. everything is silent except for the tiny speakers that cover the ground and sound a bit like insects singing quiet water sounds...

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