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Public Art Fund to Install Anish Kapoor’s Descension at Brooklyn Bridge Park

Public Art Fund has announced that it will install Anish Kapoor’s Descension—a seemingly endless hole in the ground filled with black water that ceaselessly churns—in May as part of its fortieth-anniversary season.

The massive whirlpool will be exhibited at Pier One in Brooklyn Bridge Park, where it will create a striking contrast with the adjacent East River. Kapoor first created Descension on a smaller scale for the 2015 Kochi-Muziris Biennale. He then reimagined it for his solo exhibition at Versailles in 2015. This will be the first time the artist brings the work to North America.

In a statement about his Versailles iteration of the work, Kapoor said, “The odd thing about removing content, in making space, is that we, as human beings, find it very hard to deal with the absence of content. It’s the horror vacui. This Platonic concept lies at the origin of the myth of the cave, the one from which humans look towards the outside world. But here there is also a kind of Freudian opposite image, that of the back of the cave, which is the dark and empty back of being. Your greatest poet, Dante, also ventured into a place like that. It is the place of the void, which paradoxically is full—of fear, of darkness. Whether you represent it with a mirror or with a dark form, it is always the ‘back,’ the point that attracts my interest and triggers my creativity.”

Twenty-six feet in diameter, Descension’s spiraling funnel of water, which is treated with an all-natural black dye to make it opaque, will be surrounded by a railing so that visitors may peer into the work’s depths. It will be on view from May 3 to September 10. Kapoor will also give a talk at the New School on May 3 to discuss the installation as it relates to public space and his oeuvre.

Public Art Fund director and chief curator Nicholas Baume said, “With Descension, [Kapoor] creates an active object that resonates with changes in our understanding and experience of the world. In this way, Kapoor is interested in what we don’t know rather than in what we do, understanding that the limit of perception is also the threshold of human imagination.”

Kapoor’s last major outdoor sculpture in New York City was Public Art Fund’s 2006 presentation of Sky Mirror, his thirty-five-foot concave mirror at Rockefeller Center.