FLOW.11: Gregory Reynolds
The Project: Hey Poseidon
To construct Hey Poseidon, Gregory Reynolds installed a 17’ wooden boat on the wide strip of lawn between the bicycle/pedestrian path and the water on the south tip of Randall’s Island Park. The boat was buried, bow first, in the grass to a depth of about four feet. Many boats have foundered in the surprisingly strong currents of Hell Gate, on the East River, much as Randall’s Island and its residents have foundered throughout its history. Drastic change that occurs with little or no warning – such as a shipwreck or a ruined economy – is something we struggle with constantly, both as a society and as individuals. Hey Poseidon served as a reminder of our vulnerability to such tricks of fate and a monument to the vessels lost at Hell Gate over several centuries. Visually, it was both a striking geographical landmark – visible from the bridges, from the sites on the island, and from the riverbanks – and a humorous yet foreboding sign that warned viewers to guard those things they take for granted. By evocation of both the island’s history and more personal responses, Hey Poseidon created a memorable experience for visitors that was grounded in the site.
The Artist: Gregory Reynolds
Gregory Reynolds’ work reflects on the ubiquity of trouble, on how easily things can go completely wrong. He often depicts situations that sit between comfort and disaster, as an embodiment of the disquieting beauty that can emerge from something in the wrong place. He studied at victoria College of Art, victoria, Canada (1988), Emily Carr College of Art, Vancouver, Canada (1990).