headlines | about |

PIX: Time Landscape

Time Landscape Sign

Alan Sonfist's Time Landscape is a fenced-off quarter acre or so at the intersection of Houston and LaGuardia in New York City and looks as though it's always been there: a small patch of pre-colonial Manhattan that through some miracle evaded the developers. In fact it was conceived by Sonfist in 1965 but not completed until 1978 -- a year after I moved to the city -- and only landmarked for protection in 1998. Thousands of people pass it every day though few probably take the time to read the informational plaque at the south end or know the name of the artist who made it -- or that it is, in fact, art and not just an abandoned (or more likely, contested) Manhattan weed patch.

Time Landscape: Reflection 40th Anniversary Exhibition (1965-1978-Present) through July 2 at Paul Rodgers/9W provides both background works from the original 1965 proposal plus more recent work on the same theme by the artist.

pix of Time Landscape

Photographing Time Landscape isn't easy. First of all you can't enter it and, so, the fence tends to become the foreground and focal point. And it's an ugly fence. Seems to me the time is ripe for some re-thinking of the site as a public space. Just to the north is another plot that consists of a neighborhood garden that is far more interesting visually without becoming another professionally designed landscape. It has life while TL seems not exactly dead but museumified and removed. Even the animals avoid it.

Would the plantings be harmed if the fence was lowered and pathways made through the parcel? There would be pathways made by animals even before humans made them.