Tuesday, September 2, 2014

camminando | Rockaway and the Poetics of Places: Bunkers and Dunes

This is the fourth time in a week I am drawn to the somehow estranged beauty of the Rockaway beach, where urban hip meets surf culture and recent ruins stand in the untouched ocean beach. I am particularly attracted by Fort Tilden, which together with the larger Rockaway area is part of the Gateway National Recreation Area. Fort Tilden is home to the "Rockaway!" exhibition, organized by MoMA PS1, curated by Klaus Biesenbach in collaboration with Patti Smith, a Rockaway resident herself. A large part of the work is site specific, merging within the vine and graffiti covered bunkers and other ruins from the Fort: grass covered dunes and surf complement the almost surreal atmosphere of the Rockaway...and, of course, the dark Atlantic Ocean, celebrated by Walt Whitman; an installation dedicated to his poetry is also included in the exhibition.