“I can remember the feeling of swinging—how hard we would work for those split seconds, flung at furthest extension, just before the inevitable downward and backward pull, when we felt momentarily free of gravity, a little hiccup of suspension when our hands loosened on the chain and our torsos raised off the seat. We were sailing, so inside the motion—time stopped—and then suddenly rushed again toward us. We would line up on the playground and try to touch the sky, alone together.” – Ann Hamilton, the event of a thread
Images via @PaulOctavious on Instagram.
One of my all-time favorite photographers, Paul Octavious, recently released this video of Ann Hamilton’s interactive installation, “the event of a thread“. Hamilton is a visual artist known for her encompassing large scale installations, and “the event of a thread” was her first new piece in New York in over ten years. The installation, located in the center of the Park Avenue Armory’s 55,000-square-foot Wade Thompson Drill Hall is described as “a multisensory affair”. The Armory explains: “The work draws together readings, sound, and live events within a field of swings that together invite visitors to connect to the action of each other and the work itself.” As you can see in Octavious’s video, the movement of the central piece of the exhibit (a large, billowing curtain hanging in the middle of the space) is dictated by the swings hanging at various points throughout the room. The experience of each observer is effected by the participation of the other viewers – the entire piece is interconnected.
We’re sorry to have missed the exhibit in the flesh (unfortunately it closed on January 6th), but Octavious’s video, recently selected as a Vimeo Staff Pick, does an excellent job of capturing the magic and beauty of the experience. I can’t wait to see what Hamilton has in store next.