PUBLIC ART COMMISSION

The Lighthouse Works annually commissions a peice of temporary site-specific public artwork to be installed on the platform just west of the entrance to Silver Eel Cove on Fishers Island, NY. The commission was established in 2014 with goal of engaging our community in a continuing conversation about place, artwork, and their intersections.

2016 PUBLIC ART COMMISSION

Sam Moyer Fishers Hinge
Carrera Marble, Steel, Concrete, and Beach Stones from Fishers Island

Fishers Hinge is based on a very simple form of wood joinery called the box joint, referencing the engineering moment of bringing two materials together, and via their intersection becoming stronger both individually, and as a whole form. This sculpture looks to pursue this gesture in materials outside of wood, and magnify it, amplifying the reciprocal nature of the joint.

The marble is a cast off, or remnant from a damaged slab of Carrera, manufactured for interior, domestic use. The concrete wall was built on site using stones and found debris from the beaches of Fishers. It's an industrial construction meant to represent exterior function and connect the work to the specific landscape of Fishers Island.

The marble is a natural stone fabricated into a decorative state. The concrete wall is a man made thing made up of natural things, but rendered for function. It is all the same stuff; it is all rock. Formatted and manipulated for particular function, the two materials come together in Fishers Hinge and at their confluence shrug off their specified function in physical support of each other.

The polarity of the man made versus the natural, form versus function, is echoed in the physicality of the work in space. Upon approach from the parking lot (land) the structure feels closed off, but upon approach from the water it is wide open, proving the work to be both inclusive and exclusive, public and private. Fishers Hinge is positioned to have a relationship with the sun, so when one side is in silhouette or shadow, the opposite side is harnessing or reflecting the light, letting the piece enact its own duality.

 

Sam Moyer has exhibited her work at The Drawing Center (New York, NY), The Bass Museum (Miami, FL), University of Albany Art Museum (Albany, NY), The Public Art Fund (New York, NY), White Flag Projects and The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (St. Louis, MO), LAND (Los Angeles, CA), Tensta konsthall (Stockholm, SW), Cleopatra’s Greenpoint (Brooklyn, NY), and Société (Berlin, DE). She has also participated in "Greater New York" and “Between Spaces” at PS1 Contemporary Art Center, Queens. Exhibitions of her work have also been shown at Galerie Rodolphe Janssen (Brussels, BE), Venus over Manhattan (New York, NY), Autocenter (Berlin, GE), and Artists Space (New York, NY) among other venues. She received her BFA from the Corcoran College of Art and Design and her MFA from Yale. She lives and works in Brooklyn.

Sam is represented by Rachel Uffner in New York City.

2015 PUBLIC ART COMMISSION

That Might be a Wisecrack, but I Doubt It.
By Daphne Fitzpatrick

That Might be a Wisecrack, but I Doubt It
Daphne Fitzpatrick, The Lighthouse Works, Fishers Island, NY

By Katie Brewer Ball


A kazoo is sounding on the ferry to Fisher’s Island. The boat sprayed my poem somewhere between the Connecticut and New York state lines, between Eileen Myles and Walt Whitman, swashed it across the bowed breast of crisp white linen. As a kid, Daphne Fitzpatrick slipped on a banana peel and was desperate for a “bald-haired wig.” That might be a wise crack, but I doubt it.

Fitzpatrick’s work could be characterized as absurdist. Playwrights like Alfred Jarry and Eugene Ionesco come to mind—the “merdre” that caused a riot in Théâtre de L’Oeuvre in 1896. Language falls apart as it hits against her objects, which are simultaneously riotous and mundane. In viewing Fitzpatrick’s sculptural and photographic work, I am reminded that reason never cleanly aligns to begin with. It is not that nothing makes sense, or that objects randomly stack up, rather Fitzpatrick’s work calls into question the manner in which sense is organized. Logic is deemed logical by its own logic. Like Martin Kippenberger’s lampposts that appear askew, stitched across the gallery wall, or with two lamppost feet that come together to form a city’s torso, That Might be a Wise Crack, but I Doubt It undoes the grounding sobriety of sense. Just as the iconic drunk needs a lamppost to hold himself up, to set the landscape in a straighter perspective, so too a limp cement pretzel draped on the shoulder of an erect old-timey crutch makes a certain sense, even as it does away with the steady ground of reason.

In the 1929 Marx brothers film, The Cocoanuts, Groucho Marx plays the hotel owner with a sea of bellboy rockettes. When they approach Groucho en masse to demand fair wages, he tells them, “Money will never make you happy, and happy will never make you money. That might be a wise crack, but I doubt it.” In the wise crack that appears on the ferry docks of Fishers Island, the linguistic turns sculptural, flesh becomes cement leaning out over the Atlantic, where happy makes you something, but it sure ain’t money. The bellhops groan in protest, but Groucho continues, “I’ll put extra blankets free in all your rooms, there’ll be no cover charge!” This is the logic of the joke: the rule of order is undercut by the collision of words whose meanings cannot be held apart. Blankets creep into the cover charge and the Marx brothers, with their Vaudevillian sensibilities, poke holes in the proprietary logic. America was not founded on the solid ground of truth and freedom, so why not call it a stage; there is humor in the reveal. As Wayne Koestenbaum writes of Harpo Marx, his “gestures obey a mysterious nonlogic of mere adjacency. The schtick’s fragments stack up like cubes or buttons—impropriety’s rosary-beads. His performances, like the ocean’s, are abstract. We observe the ebb, but we don’t expect an explanation.” The adjacency of objects, like the ocean, takes us on a ride, on a journey whose boat is a slab of concrete. Sedimenting the everyday in stucco Portland cement, the crutch and the pretzel become friends hanging out at the beach, back again for another summer, salty and defiant. The horizon line moves as the pals stay put, afloat, askew, standing tall.

 

2014 PUBLIC ART COMMISSION

In Advance of a Storm
(for Luis and Antonia)
(for A and L)
(for parents)
(for two)


By Gabriela Salazar

"Each structure of 

In Advance of a Storm 
(for Luis and Antonia) 
(for A and L) 
(for parents) 
(for two) 


is based on a cube reconfigured into a room.

These sculptures realize descriptions made by the artist’s parents in playing the Cube Game, a pop-psychology self-knowledge exercise (see Kokology). The Cube Game asks the participant to imagine and describe in relation to one another a cube, a ladder, a horse, flowers, and a storm. Each element or object represents an aspect of the participant's relationships and self. Interpretation of the responses “reveals” the inner mind and spirit.

In Advance of a Storm engages in both minimalist strategies of variation of form and rule-making, and pop interests in the cultural readymade and symbolic association; juxtaposing and intersecting the two languages at a site that is both one (island) and two (found platforms). Situated askew to their bases and at eye level, the viewer can look into but cannot enter the structures. The pieces are located at the Ferry Dock and Airport—points of entry and egress to the Island—further acknowledging and embracing these dualities."

- images and text courtesey of Gabriela via www.gabrielasalazar.com

Current Commission

Sam Moyer
Fishers Hinge
July to November 2016

Past Commissions

Daphne Fitzpatrick
That Might be a Wisecrack,
but I Doubt it.

July to November 2015

Gabriella Salazar
In Advance of a Storm
July to November 2014

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