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Richard Serra sculpture, "Vortex." Ft. Worth.

 
 
Reply Thu 25 Nov, 2004 03:40 pm
http://www.themodern.org/slideshow/images/serra_vortex.jpg

Anyone visiting Fort Worth, TX must see the Museum of Modern Art completed in December, 2002. The standing sculpture by Richard Serra, "Vortex" itself is worth the trip.

Made of 2" steel slabs 10' wide and 67' tall, twisted, curved, and assembled with a 10' opening on top, the total weight is 230 tons. It's a sculpture that can be interacted with, and when you walk inside it becomes apparant that acoustically it is a giant bell, and you are the clapper. Any sound, no matter how slight is immediately reverberated. Speech becomes almost impossible to understand because of the immediate echo. I repeatedly kicked the wall inside and produced a loud, sustained, and very deep rumble. A young man was sitting on the floor inside beating on the concrete and his shoes with interesting effects. It's one of the most impressive sculptures I've ever seen.

The inside of the museum is wonderful with permanent exhibits of twentieth century artists including Jackson Pollock, Picasso, Clifford Still, Gottlieb, Andy Warhol, and many others.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 3 • Views: 18,350 • Replies: 24
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ossobuco
 
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Reply Thu 25 Nov, 2004 04:03 pm
That must be wonderful to experience, Coluber..
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coluber2001
 
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Reply Thu 25 Nov, 2004 04:13 pm
Yeah! I just live 30 miles away and never heard of the sculpture. Cowtown has more than cows.
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ossobuco
 
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Reply Thu 25 Nov, 2004 04:19 pm
I walked through one of his sculptures quite a while ago in LA's Temporary Contemporary (Museum of Modern Art), which was impressive, but not a sound chamber like this one you show. This is also quite a handsome piece.
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PDiddie
 
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Reply Thu 25 Nov, 2004 04:19 pm
Those museums in Fort Worth are some of the best I have been in anywhere (except maybe for Italy).

<waving at Jossobuco>
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Lightwizard
 
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Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2004 09:47 am
Always love Serra's work and your, coluber, description of this one is fascinating.
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coluber2001
 
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Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2004 02:52 pm
Here's another monumental Richard Serra sculpture, "Eight Torqued Ellipses and Snake," installed in the Guggenheim in Bilbao.

http://www.spliteye.com/richardserra/images/serra11.jpg


More views of the same sculpture: http://www.spliteye.com/richardserra/exhibition.htm
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2004 05:58 pm
Quite a phallic composition...
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coluber2001
 
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Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2004 08:20 pm
Phallic? I'm sorry, but I don't see it, or are you referring to "Vortex"?
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2004 09:22 pm
Ah, well, it's in the eye of the beholder..
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JLNobody
 
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Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2004 10:18 pm
Yes, the Vortex can be seen as phallic. Some of the others can be seen as vaginal with a little effort.
Thanks for the links, Coluber. Fort Worth should be congratulated on this museum. Where'd they get the financing? The sound effect is no more than a bonus as far as I'm concerned.
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ossobuco
 
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Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2004 10:32 pm
But I'm interested in sound in the landscape.. we have thought of ways to make sound in some of our landscape design efforts... not usually acted upon.

not that I don't agree it is secondary to the coherent strength of the piece, but it's wonderful.
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ossobuco
 
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Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2004 10:51 pm
I have liked Serra, but I haven't always been for his pieces staying forever where there were installed...
there was a famed bruhaha re his installation of what I remember as a 160 foot long piece in Foley Plaza, which many people reacted vociferously against. as it was pretty much in their way. There was a long acticle in Harper's about it, with lengthy letters pro and con and inbetween, a couple of decades ago now. I think that virtually all the art world was on his side, and court judges and various people running back and forth between buildings generally weren't. I was interested at the time about issues re public space as a permanent "canvas", and who is the Client in such a case, when the government is the Pay-or, but the Public is the User. At the time I came down somewhat more on the side of the complainants, with my view that presence in a public space isn't a given forever and that public reaction mattered re Buyer satisfaction. Public works (not only art, but engineering, etc.) in general that don't work for the user tend to be replaced in time.

I can make arguments against my then-view too.
and I am as loath to hear about public censorship as the next artist...


Trying to remember about Calder's piece in Chicago... which also got a whole bunch of naysaying when it was installed. I think that was on private property, but I'm not sure.



I have heard Serra speak and he is one arrogant fella, or was at the time, not without some reason. I thought of him as Thor.
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JLNobody
 
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Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2004 11:05 pm
Sounds like a reasonable perspective to me. Permanence is such an unreasonably long time.
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ossobuco
 
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Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2004 11:34 pm
Well, that was about when I was having to design plazas as class assignments and I read avidly on such matters. Foley plaza pre-existed as a designed space, I think. I have mixed feelings now that I've personally walked through a Serra piece, but still have some of the same permanence qualms.

Christo seems to get it... the process being part of the art, however the wind blows. And it did blow hard for him once, I think one of his Umbrellas toppled and killed a person, and the whole kaboodle and all the work that went into it got dismantled quickly. (I think, no link at hand.)

Christo does understand being light on the land, or bridges or buildings, as the case may be.

Murals are another thing. Mostly I love them, or at least like them. I have been completely thrilled with some wonderful ones in the LA area. Remember the grandma with the crocheted afghan, was it on the Hollywood Freeway? (And then there was Siquieros..) But sometimes I pause in that liking.

One of our pals here has a crew of local kids help him do sides of buildings. He is a really good graphic designer, has good design accounts, and does this as a community help effort. Still, part of me likes buildings as buildings...

Anyway, most murals are on private property and I go with it, even if I don't like a particular one.
I've been known to like graffiti in situ too, though in LA I lived in a neighborhood where it was meaningful, and killings between gangs happened too routinely. Not on my fence though.
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coluber2001
 
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Reply Mon 6 Dec, 2004 12:47 am
JLNobody wrote:
Yes, the Vortex can be seen as phallic. Some of the others can be seen as vaginal with a little effort.
Thanks for the links, Coluber. Fort Worth should be congratulated on this museum. Where'd they get the financing? The sound effect is no more than a bonus as far as I'm concerned.


Hi, JL. Ft. Worth is a study in contrasts. Who would have thought that Cowtown would have a modern art museum of this calibre? In the same "cultural district" are two other art museums, and "The National Cowgirl Museum & Hall of Fame," "The Cattle Raisers Museum," and "The Stockyards Museum."

I mean, when you get tired of looking at abstract expressionism you can look at famous cowgirls. Yee haa!

The Serra "Vortex" is impressive to look at, but what grabs you is that you can interact with it by walking inside and kicking the hell out of it —without invoking the wrath of the guards—making a cacaphony of sounds that you could never imagine in terms of a public sculpture. You feel like you're inside one of the enormous Russian bells you hear about, but on a larger scale even. It excludes conversation by immediately mocking you with your own words making it impossible to be understood. Reputedly, many people go inside to play solo instruments, and a young man was sitting on the floor inside, when I was there, beating a staccato on the floor with drumsticks.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Dec, 2004 12:55 am
Okay, maybe it's not secondary.
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benconservato
 
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Reply Mon 6 Dec, 2004 10:21 am
the sound seemed to just become almost non-existent when I walked into... perhaps it was "Torqued Ellipses" at the Venice biennale in 2001. It was amazing. It is too hard to describe, I guess it is almost like being in a vacuum? (albeit, I was still alive). Rolling Eyes
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coluber2001
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Dec, 2004 12:59 am
I had the same feeling from the JFK memorial in Dallas designed by Phillip Johnson. It's in a square in the middle of downtown Dallas, and the looks of the memorial is nothing to brag about. It looks like a giant bathroom stall made out of concrete slabs. When you go inside, there is a plaque, but what gets you is the privacy and silence that overcomes you, and in the middle of the bustling city. It was totally unexpected judging from the mediocrity of the structure sightwise. There was almost a feeling of sacredness inside the memorial, or maybe I was just in a good mood that day.

But I can almost imagine what you mean, Ben, if the sculpture you went into was like the "Torqued ellipses" pictured. The separation from the surroundings while inside one of those sculptures must have an effect on one's psyche.
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Vivien
 
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Reply Tue 7 Dec, 2004 04:12 am
fascinating

I like these pieces, particularly with the extra dimension your comments gave.

I have only seen that huge piece in the square on a slide and thought it too domineering for the space and didn't like it - a huge barrier.
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