Monday, December 03, 2012

Goodbye, Columbus

Yesterday was the last day of an art installation in Columbus Circle that placed a contemporary living room around the city's 120-year-old Columbus statue.

The exhibition, by the Japanese artist Tatzu Nishi, required visitors to mount six flights of stairs and step into a room 70 feet above the swirling traffic.

The idea was to give people a close-up view of the statue, which is taken for granted as part of the New York landscape and yet never seen up close (it's normally too high in the air for anyone to get a good look).

The living room had couches, a bookshelf and even a television.

The main purpose of the art (and art in general) was to get you to view the world in a different way. In that goal, the installation definitely succeeded.

But you couldn't get too cozy with Columbus, as Elliot learned from an irate guard. "No touching!"

Columbus may be surrounded by pink wallpaper, but he still has his dignity.