Ann Hamilton "The Event of a Thread"
Park Avenue Armory has commissioned Ann Hamilton to create a new installation, her first large-scale project in New York City in more than ten years. the event of a thread weaves together Hamilton's exploration of time-based performance, the act of public speaking, and the poetic accumulation of material for which she is best known. Responding to the architecture and social history of the Armory, the participatory installation will feature a field of swings, suspended like pendulums from the drill hall trusses, and incorporate readings, sound, and other live elements that will animate the 55,000-square-foot Wade Thompson Drill Hall.
The event of a thread draws inspiration from the act of reading aloud and its relation to the varied experiences of speaking, listening, and recording. Over the duration of the exhibition, a succession of attendant readers, two at a time, will read aloud while seated at a table near the drill hall's entrance. Their live voices will become a constant presence broadcast throughout the installation on a radio bandwidth designed to occupy a single city block, the physical footprint of Park Avenue Armory. Radio receivers will circulate to visitors who will be able to "carry" the voices as they traverse the installation. Continuing this theme of transmission, 42 trained homing pigeons, historically used to communicate messages, will be housed in cages surrounding the readers' tables. On the opposite end of the expansive drill hall, an attendant writer—a quiet presence and visual counterpoint to the readers—will inscribe a response to the radio transmissions, the reading voices, and the room behind them as seen in a mirror reflection.
At the center of the installation, a field of 42 swings suspended from the hall's elliptical wrought iron structural trusses will connect via ropes and pulleys to a massive cloth that bisects the space and will be animated by the movement of the swings. The shifting constellations of people gathered and invited to use the swings will create a complex kinetic system and an experience of communal connectivity.
Ann Hamilton is a visual artist internationally recognized for her large-scale multimedia installations. Hamilton has received a MacArthur Fellowship, Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship, NEA Visual Arts Fellowship, United States Artists Fellowship, the Heinz Award, and was chosen to represent the United States at the 1999 Venice Biennale. She is currently a Distinguished University Professor of Art at The Ohio State University.
From 2012-12-05 To 2013-01-06
Wednesday, December 5, 2012 – Sunday, January 6, 2013 Tuesdays – Sundays: 12:00pm – 7:00pm Closed Mondays except December 24 and 31 Closed December 25; Artist Talk, Saturday, December 8, 2pm