Whitney-High Line (Gesamtkunstwerk) (Distraction)


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Aficionados of Richard Wagner and Walter Benjamin take note. Walking out of the new Whitney Museum of Art out to and up the High Line extends the museum experience. You’ve actually left the building. You’re outside, but remain inside –i.e. inside  the parameter of an expensive high-design concept. Built up out of time, as a Gesamtkunstwerk, the experience is peripatetic and “distracted,” combining architecture, art, park and garden. In motion, the flâneur walks around with a camera. All things are mixed together.

2 quick notes:

–From the High Line Wikpedia page: The park was designed by the James Corner‘s New York-based landscape architecture firm Field Operations and architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro, with planting design from Piet Oudolf of the Netherlands, lighting design from L’Observatoire International,[8] and engineering design by Buro Happold.[9]

–The Arabic inscription with English translation was part of an installation by Palestinian Emily Jacir. The mural is AP 3852 from ex libris  (2014). It draws attention to Palestinian books appropriated by the State of Israel as abandoned property after the 1948 Palestinian nakba. It makes a strong visual impression, but an also odd one, a large white surface nestled in the the red and yellow billboards.

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics. http://religion.syr.edu
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