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Organization Marks Anniversary With Arts Landmarks Around The City

Organization Marks Anniversary With Arts Landmarks Around The City

NY1 5/4/2007

We have landmarks designations for places our founding fathers ate and slept. Some say New York City is the center of the art world, and now one arts organization is marking artistic milestones around town. NY1’s Stephanie Simon filed the following report.

On a tour of 33 years of public art around New York City, the first stop is plaque 23 at the Department of Sanitation.

“We’re at the Gansevoort Pier on the West Side Highway and this is a spot where some really amazing art happened,” explained Maureen Sullivan of Creative Time. “We have two plaques here. One is Touch Sanitation, by Mierle Ukeles Laderman, is this amazing project where Ukeles shook hands with every single sanitation worker.”

The public art organization Creative Time is celebrating its 33rd anniversary with 33 artistic landmarks across the city. Anyone can journey to these markers — and take a cell phone audio tour where some of the artists, like Laderman, talk about their projects.

Also at the Gansevoort Pier is plaque number 30, which represents Gordon Matta-Clark’s “Day’s End.”

“He did one of the most important cutting projects here, cutting into the building to make a sun and light sculpture,” said Sullivan. “But the law heard about and it wasn’t official so he had to leave the country after that until they forgave him.”

In Chelsea, Creative Time looks back at its 33 years of public art projects big and small. For Artistic Director Anne Pasternak it was a fitting space.

“We had this wonderful archive that we’ve just donated to New York University but we though it would be fantastic to share it with the general public,” said Pasternak. “So we took over a construction wall right here in Chelsea at 18th Street and Tenth Avenue.”

The walking exhibit tracks art from the early 1970s when artists were taking over abandoned spaces, to social activism in the 1980s, and more recently the “Sleepwalkers” at MOMA.

The Green Café at Union Square once upon a time was Max’s Kansas City — the place to be in the ‘60s and ‘70s if you were in music or art. Everyone who was anyone came here: Andy Warhol, Blondie, The Ramones, The Velvet Underground, Basquiat, and those who listen to Creative Time’s audio tour will find out why.

The narrator said that if the artists came to the bar, then everyone came to the bar so he gave the artists bar tabs.

Creative Time is also celebrating with a new book and series of public performances, including forehead tattoos by Adrian Piper and a planned robot parade on Wall Street.

Currently, there are 32 plaques up around the city. And then the 33rd one will, of course, be chosen by the public.