Viewfinding is a public art sculpture and queer poetry collaboration by artist Sarah E. Brook.
About this project:
When a poem resonates, it hits me with a kind of light. It is a lens, a glowing window, a bright punctuation onto the expanse of a day, or a life. Poetry itself is expansive; again and again it opens my way through my visual art practice. It illuminates, it widens, it clarifies. When I began plans for Viewfinding, my public art sculpture in Riverside Park, I knew that bright spots of poetry would be integral to a viewer’s experience of the piece. I wished, too, for the literal visibility of the public sculpture to magnify, amplify and center queer voices in a very public space. Directives for the open call for self-identified queer poets were these: seeking distilled works–approximately 15 words–on the themes of transformation and self-actualization.
I’m engaged in my own conversation with expanse, working with materials, structures and light in ways that reveal vastness–through our perception, our proprioception, through widening the physical and psychological awareness of ourselves in space. Growing up in the desert granted the gift of knowing myself in the context of geological time and space–an expansive narrative. I’m driven by the way an encounter with external vastness can become internalized, dismantling more limiting narratives of being. Viewfinding is built from a series of translucent and transparent color-gradient panels that align with the sun setting over the Hudson River. The piece offers viewers the opportunity to seek their own resonant orientation to the work through chosen sightlines, alternately illuminating, obscuring and revealing corridors of visibility. I’m particularly interested in the way queer and non-binary gender identities are affirmed through resonant physical and psychological orientations to space, and want Viewfinding to be a site for such seeking. The poetry is installed directly onto the sculpture, and deepens this invitation.
My heartfelt gratitude and admiration to all the contributing poets–your work glows!
Sarah E. Brook
Location: enter Riverside Park at the west end of 68th Street in Manhattan, head south along the water. Viewfinding will be installed on the lawn at approximately 67th street.
Our voices had to battle a lot of wind and a lot of helicopters, but here they are!