Last week, David Thomas’Â In the Palms of Their HandsÂ (2007) was installed on the faĂ§ade of the museum’s Building 14, the former power plant of the Sprague Electric Company.Â The bannerâ€”part ofÂ Eastern Standard: Western Artists in China, curated by Susan Crossâ€”is twenty feet wide by fifteen feet high and required an impressive feat of engineering to be installed.Â
More photos documenting how Director of Art Fabrication Richard Criddle and his crew members Jason Wilcox and John Carli did it after the jump.
Jason secures one of the rigs.
The banner awaits its fate.
We have liftoff.
One of the rigs.
All three of the rigs. To hoist the banner up, Jason and John had to be harnessed in while cranking, becauseâ€¦
â€¦a two-story drop into some kind of cavernous furnace hopper was behind them. (See the rigs in the background.)
The view from the parking lot.
Here is information on the piece itself from curator Susan Cross:
Depicting Shanghai’s iconic television tower held between what appear to be a giant’s fingers, Thomasâ€™ humorous image is a familiar, joke photo snapped by countless tourists. In the context of the current exhibition the imageâ€”enlarged to the size of a billboardâ€”suggests a more serious motivation behind the impulse: to reduce a subject in order to grasp, or perhaps control it. The title of the work, In the Palm of their Hands, leaves its meaning ambiguous. Focused on one of the most recognizable symbols of the new China, the work seems to suggest that the country is at the mercy of a larger power. Yet, it is China that is a giantâ€”in population, land mass, and now economic might and global influence. The artist, however, was interested in the control that the government and its urban planners have over city residents. With the power to figuratively squash buildings between their fingers, they hold the future of the urban metropolis, and the homes and welfare of its people in their hands.