Private Passage
2005
Private Passage, 2005
Exterior: steel with thermal spray zinc coating & patina; security glass. Interior: stainless steel, incandescent lighting
8’-6” dia. x 30’ l.
Hudson River Park, NYC. Commissioned by the Hudson River Park Trust for Clinton Cove Park W. 54th–W. 57th Streets at the Hudson River

When considering this commission I knew I would want explore my personal relationship to the Hudson River Park site. In 1955 my father had a Fulbright to teach English in Helsinki. We sailed from New York to Europe that summer (I was six years old) and returned the following year on the Maasdaam, a Holland-American liner. The interviews for artists were held at the HRP Trust offices in Pier 40. I realized on entering the lobby that it was a former Holland-American Line terminal; I had disembarked in that building 45 years earlier.

 

The project is a cabin, rather than a ship, in a bottle. Visitors to the park view the interior through portholes along the sides and through openings in the neck and punty end. The porthole in the front left side is designed for young children. The interior is based loosely on photographs of the RMS Queen Mary. All components are stainless steel in a monochromatic scheme that evokes the look of a platinum print or a black and white film still.

 

The cabin is outfitted for a single individual, and it contains no personal effects. I aimed to create the sense that the room was ready to be occupied, that the viewer could project her- or himself into the space and imagine a solitary journey. Because Clinton Cove Park was under development at the time of this commission, I was able to work closely with the landscape architects to site the bottle smack in the middle of the granite esplanade and without visible support to suggest impermanence … that it might have washed up or could float downstream into the Atlantic. “Passage” is intended both on a literal and figurative level.

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Private Passage
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