|"Arch" by Ai Weiwei in Washington Square Park|
The “Arch” in Washington Square Park may best be viewed at night, as the vision is so stark. The metal cage-like structure, set within the famous Greenwich Village arch at the base of Fifth Avenue, invites the viewer to walk through cutouts of refugees. The interior of the cutouts are mirrored, so as to imagine and personalize the journey. The arch itself has long served as the passageway between the world of the Village and the larger metropolis to the north, so the placement of the work resonates with the historical surroundings.
Of course, most refugee stories unfold in places way tougher than in these gentrified surroundings. But at night, the work is enveloped in a little mystery and danger, with the bright park lights taking on the cast of searchlights, or a prison wall.
See more at Public Art Fund (website).
Image by Walking Off the Big apple from October 25, 2017.