The Extemporary Artist of the Canarsie Housing Project

A couple weeks ago I took a trip out to the second-to-last stop on the L train:
Brooklyn                                                                                                                                           (c) Angelika Friedrich
No! That's not East 105th street in Manhattan, but East 105th street in BROOKLYN. Ever been there? It looks like this when you exit the subway station:

Brooklyn                                                                                                                                   (c) Angelika Friedrich
The subway station is by that green and white structure in the upper right-hand corner. The field is an abandoned plot of land. If you've ever been on the outskirts of Russian cities, you will recognize this landscape. In the distance you see social housing:
Brooklyn                                                                                                                                          (c) Angelika Friedrich
The three story houses may be monotone, but they look quite nice and have lots of open space:

Brooklyn                                                                                                                                           (c) Angelika Friedrich
But this housing project has more than just a nice landscape. It also has an extemporary artist. Lets call her the Improvisor of the
Brooklyn                                                                                                                                            (c) Angelika Friedrich
Since it's autumn, or was, when I caught her impromptu exhibition spread out across multiple buildings, the Improvisor of the Breukelen Houses featured fall themes in her installations of everyday objects, including trash:
Brookyn                                                                                                                                                (c) Angelika Friedrich
Brooklyn                                                                                                                                            (c) Angelika Friedrich
Brooklyn                                                                                                  (c) Angelika Friedrich
Brooklyn                                                                                                 (c) Angelika Friedrich
Brooklyn                                                                                                                                            (c) Angelika Friedrich
Brooklyn                                                                                                                                             (c) Angelika Friedrich

Brooklyn                                                                                        (c) Angelika Friedrich

It may be hard to seen in the photos, but the intermingling of trivial objects in small installations against the backdrop of low, uniform houses and open space raises you out of your ordinary routine and encourages you to ask what other ordinary features of the landscape might become beautiful with a minor embellishment. The exhibition is an extension of the environment in Canarsie. It would be out of place with massive 15 story buildings. It would feel odd if there were no large expanses of green. The artistic plots rise out of nature. They are inconspicuous at first. You are likely to miss them. When you see them, the individual items are nothing precious: broken toys, artificial flowers, pots, pieces of plastic, trash. But arranged, placed in a certain relation to each other and their surroundings, they penetrate to an essence in life - interruption's ability to inspire.

One resident told me the exhibition is even more spectacular in the spring...

Angelika Friedrich
December 10, 2014

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