Every so often I pass this San Francisco civic center intersection and ponder its quoted wisdom. Eye opening sometimes the city speaks of memories...or the future. My most recent and probably last intersection crossing here for some time, reflects less of my present state of mind (upon reading my favorite urban quotes at Kahn and Keville auto-garage).
The city always has a way of projecting future relevance from past foresight.
I always seem to be trailing new discoveries but here is one that caught my eye recently by the artist Gerhard Richter. Clearly his art extends well beyond his photo-real paintings which appear to have taken root in the 1970's. His lifetime achievements touch on the everyday. This goes without saying for many artists however it is splendid color, reverence for time and experience which stand out for me in his work.
The Cologne Cathedral plays canvas to this recent project. A remarkable posit of time and place. It is such striking and questionable juxtapositions (objectionable to some) that shape great cities. We are tempted to critically examine history with present view. A side by side reasoning even if through unsettling methods that challenge complacent spirituality.
A few more inspiring Kölner Domfenster images courtesy of melekalikimaka on flickr.
You may of heard by now of the recent work by renowned artist Andy Goldsworthy titled 'Spire'. Along San Francisco's distinctive northern edge, where city gives way to defunct military quarter is the Presidio and here you will find his latest installation. The sculpture is a collection of trees; literally. Fallen and slated for removal as part of a reforestation project in the heavily wooded terrain, Goldsworthy collected these gentle giants and has carefully fastened them together. Not soley in the name of nature, but rather city as the name should suggest.
What appears now as distinct, naked form in the landscape will gradually transform over time. As Goldsworthy describes "taking root" in context both physically and metaphorically. Projecting forward some twenty or thirty years from now one can only imagine the disguised relationship between the 'Spire' and a rejuvenated coastal forest. It is as though this latest work, and undoubtedly it was in its creation, had the foresight of incremental change through time.
Spire speaks gracefully of structure and permanence and yet exhibits the fragile reality of natures vulnerability. We view its dialogue with city towers peeking over distant hills and we are also witness to its place among trees. It is the delicate balance between these two conditions that so appropriately defines this work at the cities edge.
To visit 'Spire' travel west on Pacific Avenue along the Presidios southern border. From the southeastern most corner of the park proceed west about 3/4 of a mile to Arguello Blvd. Go right and a foot path to 'Spire' picks up approximately 200 feet from the intersection of Pacific and Arguello just past the parking area of the Presidio golf course. Traveling there on foot (even from the center of the city) is most satisfying.
This page is a collection of observations and ideas about the cities and environments, the architecture and art, that we experience both momentarily and eternally. It is meant to be read as a random amalgam of points of view from various points in time. Much like the city itself as a random, ever condensing, collection of 'things', this page will continue to become dense with words and images.