Thursday, September 17, 2009

Art Over Pasadena

Did any of you catch this on Saturday? We happened to be driving east on the 134 when we noticed the skywriting above. "LEAVE THE LAND ALONE."

Turns out it was an art piece designed by Bruce Nauman, who first came up with the idea in 1969 -- and finally pulled it off in 2009. The L.A. Times' Christopher Knight writes:

A small airplane buzzed into view around 11:37 a.m., and soon it began to emit puffs of white smoke. A never-before produced sculpture by Bruce Nauman – a little-known but emerging artist when he conceived the sky-writing piece in his Raymond Avenue studio in 1969, but now one of art's premier international figures – was finally coming to fruition.

Soon the words took shape in a gentle arc overhead: LEAVE THE LAND ALONE.

The fluffy words hung in the idle air, then slowly dissipated, leaving barely a smudge. The plane circled around and rewrote the brief sentence several times. (I counted four in the first 20 minutes.) A few groundlings took pictures, having been prepared for the event: It kicks off “Installations Inside/Out,” a 20th anniversary exhibition of installation art at Pasadena's Armory Center for the Arts. But mostly it went unnoticed or else puzzled recreationers in the park.

We're so ingrained to assume that these kind of messages are marketing tools that I spent some time wondering what product they were selling.

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