If the thirty-foot-tall blow-up bottle of ketchup nestled inside City Hall Park interrupted your daily trek to work last week, don’t fret. The balloon is part of Common Ground, Public Art Fund’s annual summer art spectacular. Following last year’s fantastic Sol LeWitt retrospective, PAF delivers another showcase of ten fantastic contemporary artists: Jenny Holzer, Matthew Day Jackson, Elmgreen & Dragset, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Roger Hiorns, Christian Jankowski, Justin Matherly, Amalia Pica, Thomas Schütte, and Paul McCarthy, the maker of the aforementioned ketchup bottle. The works appropriate recognizable objects (like Pica’s cast concrete podium anxiously awaiting a speaker) and exhibit unconventional approaches to public sculpture.
A pair of benches are imprinted with pithy aphorisms from Holzer’s Truisms series, and an aluminium bullhorn is part of a structure by Elmgreen & Dragset titled It’s Never Too Late To Say Sorry, which is meant to be activated by a performer at some point each day. Christian Jankowski created an engraved granite gravestone, in which he delicately asks to be buried in the park after his passing. On a lighter note, Roger Hiorns takes a cue from his childhood choir in England to present Untitled (Choir), in which a daily performance by area youth ensembles croon excerpts from classical choral anthems.