Since the days of 19th-century French poet and critic Charles Baudelaire, the flâneur has played a prominent role in our evolving notion of modern art. The flâneur, according to Baudelaire, is a person who casts a cool and curious eye on the city and its phenomena, particularly the arts.During our own age, many artists have excelled at examining the city and through it our culture’s sense of meaning. Artists like Gabriel Orozco (Season 2) actively distort conventional-seeming scenes or objects to provide us with jarring new perspectives. On the other hand, Krzysztof Wodiczko (Season 3) is an artist who works in unconventional spaces and often uses the city as a canvas on which to project his political and social commentary.This month, the fourth annual Art in Odd Places festival invited 15 visual and 21 performance artists to create artworks on New York City’s 14th Street exploring “connections between public spaces, pedestrian traffic, and ephemeral transient disruptions. Like a scavenger hunt, New Yorkers will use a map to discover art in unexpected places along this amazing street.”
Remembering an early episode of Art:21 which focused on artists and their sense of place, I ventured out to 14th Street to see how some contemporary artists were interpreting the great American metropolis in new and interesting ways.
Below are the captioned photos of what I spotted.
Aakash Nihalani’s Landscrapers installation
Edith Raw’s White Trash
Michael Knierim’s Itinerant Artifacts
Kenny Komer & Boris Rasin’s Midas
Renny Molenaar’s 14th Street Gold
Hayley Severns & Angela Rose Voulgarelis Illgen’s Meaning Cleaning
Alicia Grullón’s Revealing New York City: The Disappearance of Others
Illegal Art’s Personal Space