In their gestures, some sitting and others standing, some inner-directed and others more outwardly social, the figures mirror one another on opposite sides of an implicit border. Those who stroll among them will find many choices - walking your own border between the figures, taking a seat among them, or avoiding the scene altogether. The latter option would be unfortunate, because the issues raised with these silent figures demands our fullest attention. There's a reason they are near the United Nations, an entity that deals constantly with the political friction of ethnic and national borders. In walking among the silent figures and ascertaining their stances and relationships, the viewer assumes the role of diplomat.
For those who recall Antony Gormley's EVENT HORIZON in the Madison Square and Flatiron areas last April, these figures look similar on the surface. But on closer inspection, these figures are androgynous, drawing our attention to universal poses and commonalities within the context of diversity. Unlike Gormley's scattered figures, most of which appeared on high and appeared as sentinels of surveillance, these are down to earth entities that share and shape a defined space. There are many borders here. It's how you define and cross them that matters.
BORDERS is on view through September 30, 2011.
For a self-guided architecture walk of this general area, read the related post, A Walk for the Optimistic Modernist: From MoMA to the United Nations.
Images by Walking Off the Big Apple from April 10, 2011.