Brooklyn Bridge Park is the last place we’d expect to find a menacing art installation summoning feelings of nothingness. But come May, Anish Kapoor will bring his acclaimed installation “Descension” to one of the park’s busiest stretches, Pier 1. As described by The NY Public Art Fund (the project’s curator), Descension is a 26-foot diameter whirlpool that funnels pitch-black, naturally dyed water below ground, inviting visitors to carefully peer into its swirling abyss.
In a statement, Public Art Fund Director and Chief Curator Nicholas Baume said, “Anish Kapoor reminds us of the contingency of appearances: our senses inevitably deceive us. With Descension, he creates an active object that resonates with changes in our understanding and experience of the world. In this way, Kapoor is interested in what we don’t know rather than in what we do, understanding that the limit of perception is also the threshold of human imagination.”
To that end, Kapoor also recently formed Hands Off Our Revolution, a coalition against the “rise of right-wing populism,” alongside several other artists including Ed Ruscha, Laurie Anderson, and Steve McQueen. Part of the group’s programming will include art exhibitions that point to social injustices and “help counter the rising rhetoric” of the current populist movement.
The Brooklyn appearance of Descension will be the project’s first in North America. Kapoor previously installed similar versions in India, Italy, and Versailles. The work will be on show from May 3 through September 10. Kapoor will also discuss the project at the New School’s Vera List Center for Art and Politics on the 3rd.
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Lead image: The project at the Galleria Continua, San Gimignano, Italy; courtesy of the artist