Friday, May 6, 2011

“Mourning Tower” Rosenthal Library Rotunda Installation: Inside a Library We Can Enter the Realm of Ideas

“Mourning Tower”
Rosenthal Library Rotunda Installation

By Anne Sherwood Pundyk

Inside a library we can enter the realm of ideas by opening one of the books we find there and turning its pages.

“Mourning Tower” installation begins with unfurled pages -- printed with the sequential history of a painting – that wrap the glass walls of the Rosenthal Library’s Rotunda, simultaneously encircling the large American flag displayed in the space’s open heart.  Printed in color images starting at the top of the tower’s interior (adjacent to the painting Change My Mind/Martian Easter Tree from which the story is derived) the visual narrative repeats, fading to a black and white version as its string of pages descend from floor to floor. A mesh-like hem of empty black paper forms at the base of the rotunda.  Collectively the spiraling rows appear to embrace and safeguard the space of ideas while, as the American flag is glimpsed amidst the lower rows of black “missing” pages, we are reminded of those who have been wounded or killed especially most recently in this time of war.

“Mourning Tower” is an extension of the group exhibition, “Express + Local: NYC Aesthetics,” curated by Tara Mathison, located in the Queens College Art Center.

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