Descension: A Bathtub Drain under the Brooklyn Bridge

Descension, the Public Art Fund's installation of Anish Kapoor’s art, is a bathtub drain in Brooklyn Bridge Park on display until September 10, 2017.

Descension: A Bathtub Drain under the Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Heights
DUMBO

When you receive a press release that describes its art subject as the "most viscerally arresting installations" in the first sentence, you definitely feel like you should go see it.


Since viscerally is defined by Webster as:

1) felt in or as if in the internal organs of the body :  deep;
2) not intellectual :  instinctive, unreasoning;
3) dealing with crude or elemental emotions :  earthy;

I'm hoping #1 is not what they were after with their description of Descension, the Public Art Fund's installation of Anish Kapoor’s art in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

I made the trek to see the 26-feet-wide whirlpool that will be on view May 3 – September 10, 2017 at Brooklyn Bridge Park's Pier 1. Unfortunately, I was less than amazed. Sometimes, I really don't understand how something is considered "art". I have seen real whirlpools and created whirlpools, and this is a whirlpool that is taking up space in a public park with a full time guard at its entrance. I did kind of feel it in my internal organs, but probably not the way the press release wanted me to.

Since the mid-1990s, Kapoor has explored the notion of the void by creating works that seem to recede into the distance, disappear into walls or floors, or otherwise destabilize assumptions about the physical world. Well, I guess that describes this bathtub in the park. His last major outdoor sculpture in New York City, also presented by the Public Art Fund, was Sky Mirror, his 35-foot-diameter concave mirror at Rockefeller Center in 2006.

"With Descension, he has created a dynamic negative space that descends into the ground, disturbing the familiar boundaries of our world. In the midst of a quintessential New York park, Kapoor invites us to experience the sheer perceptual wonder of an ordinary material like water made to behave in an extraordinary way," in the ever flowing prose from the press release.

I would rather go to Niagara Falls to see an ordinary material like water made to behave in an extraordinary way. And there, they have an actual whirlpool.

 


Descension, the Public Art Fund's installation of Anish Kapoor’s art, is a bathtub drain in Brooklyn Bridge Park on display until September 10, 2017. Photo by Mark D Phillips