Where the Wild Things Are
Tina Kesting travels to a new urban jungle
One hot summer Tuesday night I discovered wild animals dancing to disco lights at dusk, and it was not in my dreams. They pranced and grimaced over a Metro North platform on 125th Street and Park Avenue, Harlem.
Grimanesa Amoros has transformed an entire floor of the Lee Building into a venue for window theater with her site-specific public art project Frente Feroz. Before visiting the site of Amoros’ creation, I had seen computer renderings of the all0night light show on her website. In the slick sequences, colors stream and change; huge rams lock horns, an elephant flashes by, vines snake along the panes, ferns sprout from the corners. Amoros’ proposal is colorful and rich and fluid, like the location in which it is sited, the heart of a vibrant and diverse New York City neighborhood.
First, I was fascinated by the colorful idea: a project designed for the accidental viewer; daily commuters, neighborhood walkers and visitors can watch the looped animated sequence, and be pulled out of individual thoughts into a (communal) dream. A fantastic initiative; an exciting injection into an ebullient canvas. And yet, it takes a rare and inspiring installation to make a mark in such a location.