APF Edition [TK], 2012 - Josephine Meckseper
About the Work
About APF Edition [TK]
Manhattan Oil Project by Josephine Meckseper is the second installation at The Last Lot project space, on 46th Street and 8th Avenue in New ...Read More
Manhattan Oil Project by Josephine Meckseper is the second installation at The Last Lot project space, on 46th Street and 8th Avenue in New York City. In Manhattan Oil Project, Meckseper will present two new monumental kinetic sculptures, each standing 25 feet tall. These full scale sculptures are inspired by mid 20th century oil pumps the artist discovered in Electra, a boarded-up town once famous for being the pump jack capital of Texas.
Each sculpture is fully motorized to simulate the motions of a working oil pump. Placed in a vacant lot next to Times Square, the black and red steel structures slowly creak in the ceaseless oscillations of phantom oil excavation. The pump jacks recall the ruins of ghost towns, forgotten monuments of America's decaying industrial past. This pairing of the pump jacks and the Times Square location merges a classic symbol of American oil production and wealth with the center of New York City commercial culture.
"I hope to draw parallels between the American industrial system, transitioning from a past of heavy industry, factories, and teamsters and the disembodied present of electronic mass-media, surface advertising, and consumerism—so clearly embodied in Times Square," explained Meckseper, "The critical placement of the pumps is a conceptual gesture that raises questions about business and capital; land use and resources; wealth and decay; decadence and dependence."
The oil pump sculptures formally refer to the large-scale kinetic sculptures of Jean Tinguely, Alexander Calder, and Mark Di Suvero. Yet, though mirroring the forms and materials of the mid-century oil industry, Meckseper locates her work firmly inside the contemporary debate about American business, wealth, and consumerism. The pumps are intended as ignition points for critical discussion engaged directly with modern life, as opposed to operating in the realm of disengaged abstract geometries. They evoke speculation about a functional reality and the notion of use value.
About the Artist
About Josephine Meckseper
DescriptionDigital Print on Mirrored Acrylic
DimensionsThis work comes in a frame measuring 33" x 46".
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