Ann Hamilton: The Event of a Thread at The Park Avenue Armory is really as beautiful as you’ve been hearing. I didn’t know much about the installation before going last month – and I’m still not entirely clear on some of the particulars. What I do know is that it is a mesmerizing participatory art experience that should not be missed in New York.
The view upon entering the Armory: two cloaked attendants at a desk stacked with caged pigeons. They are writing feverishly and do not look up. It’s a curious start, but most visitors are simply taken by the soaring beauty before them: 42 large wood-plank swings interconnected and suspended from the ceiling. And a huge white silk curtain flapping gently amidst the easy breeze from the swings.
Beneath the beautiful billowing silk curtain. So serene.
Couples reading, couples swinging. I surreptitiously captured this quartet enjoying the show in different ways. Turns out one of the women swinging is a mutual friend. And when the Armory retweeted this photo, the newspaper-reading couple got in touch with me. It’s for this sort of reason that I love social media – connecting and sharing with people in meaningful ways.
This was the littlest swinger at the show. The soothing rhythms of the swings and curtain cast a spell on visitors of all ages. All the kids there were entranced and so well behaved.
At the end of each day, the lights dim and shadows are cast on the last of the swingers. The Event of a Thread is a nice reminder that sometimes good lighting and some swings are enough to inspire one for days.