HERE AND NOW / GLACIER, SHARD, ROCK: Central Park, New York
While many of us would like to believe that Central Park has been, and forever will be, a timeless paradise, Karyn Olivier’s work elegantly reminds us of the constantly mutable nature of the Park and its history. Sited on the banks of the Meer, a lenticular signboard displays an animated collage of images — a glacier, a pottery shard from an historic Central Park settlement and an image of the contemporary landscape — that seem to appear and disappear as the viewer adjusts perspectives. Together, these images provide a vision of the park’s past, present, and future.
Seneca Village was a significant Manhattan settlement founded by free black property owners in 1825. Its African-American, Irish, and German residents were displaced when the city claimed the right of ’eminent domain’ to purchase their properties and develop the Park for public use in 1857.