Inside the old Reading Terminal train shed
|Piss Christ, what the fuck were they thinking? Pic by fermicat.|
Back in 1992, the Great Wall of Pennsylvania a.k.a. the Pennsylvania Convention Center was still being planned. To satisfy its Percent for Art requirement, a search went out for artists that would enhance the super-massive interior space with public art. Instead of hitting up the 5 vigintillion great artists that already work and reside in Philadelphia, a call was put out to artists from everywhere but here, especially New York.
The lady in charge of finding artists liked the work of Judy Pfaff, so she specifically invited a submission from her for the largest piece of art of all, a work that would fill the 70,000 square foot Reading Terminal train shed. Pfaff was the only artist that was specifically targeted, and what a coincidence, they picked her proposal. Though it's not the first piece of art to have a stupid name, she gave it an especially disastrous one... cirque, CIRQUE. It's like someone's saying "cirque" and then yelling it at you.
This monstrosity was built over seven months in a barn in Putnam County, New York by Pfaff and six assistants, May-December 1994. They used/wasted 7 miles of steel and aluminum tubing, 150 gallons of auto paint, and 120 glass orbs bringing this thing to life.
|Materials being wasted for the piece in 1994.|
A New York Times article written shortly after laments that Pfaff made "only" $40,000 on the piece and how the so-called Art World doesn't care about public art, therefore making the work was a waste of time. Elite snobs. I don't think that public art is ever a waste of time or money... many great pieces can be found in this city... I just lament this thing because it sucks.
Albert Paley also submitted an idea for the train shed. Anyone out there have a pic of it? I've always liked his shit... I bet it would have turned out better than this mess. Oh, and would it kill whoever plans shit like this to use a Philadelphia artist once in awhile? It's not like there's a shortage of 'em.