new-york

“Plot09”

Creative Time at Governors Island

A mile of water is all that separates Governors Island from downtown New York, but the metropolis’s jackhammers and careening cabs couldn’t feel any more distant. For all its past—as a US Army and then Coast Guard base before it started to be developed into a public park in 2003—in 2009 Governors Island feels like a site without an identity. You get the sense that when the nineteen artworks in “PLOT09: This World & Nearer Ones,” Creative Time’s inaugural “public art quadrennial,” are removed, either ghostly silence will envelop the island or it will become a bland commemoration of military history. Marking the site’s transformation, several buildings will be demolished shortly after the show closes.

In New York, public art is normally shown in a park, plaza, or bloodlessly hanging on a corporate wall, each possibility hewing to conventions of how such art meets its public. On Governors

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