“Please Touch” Art Comes to Brooklyn Bridge Park – Next City

“Please Touch” Art Comes to Brooklyn Bridge Park

(Courtesy of König Galerie, Berlin; 303 Gallery, New York; and Galleri Nicolai Wallner, Copenhagen; photo by James Ewing)

New art installations dot Brooklyn Bridge Park, and they’re designed specifically to be touched or used by parkgoers.

Created by Danish artist Jeppe Hein around the theme “Please Touch the Art” 18 pieces cover one-mile-plus of the park.

Curated by the Public Art Fund, the artwork is divided into three sections. There’s the water-centric “Appearing Rooms,” and the vertical planks of “Mirror Labyrinth NY” mirror the Manhattan skyline. “Modified Social Benches” scattered throughout the park reinvent the typical park bench — with the hope that alternative structures will potentially reshape social interaction.

Hein frequently makes art meant to be part of public spaces, and the installations shine a light on the built environment and community connections.

According to Gothamist, post-visit:

Likely to be the most heavily “touched” piece is “Appearing Rooms,” set on a platform right at the entrance to Pier 1 and, basically, acting as a water attraction, with impressively powerful jets building and collapsing walls to make four separate chambers over and over again. Time it right and you can enter the work without getting (too) wet. Time it wrong, as most of the dozens of kids were deliberately doing, and you’re sopping.

(Courtesy of König Galerie, Berlin; 303 Gallery, New York; and Galleri Nicolai Wallner, Copenhagen; photo by James Ewing)

(Courtesy of König Galerie, Berlin; 303 Gallery, New York; and Galleri Nicolai Wallner, Copenhagen; photo by James Ewing)

(Courtesy of König Galerie, Berlin; 303 Gallery, New York; and Galleri Nicolai Wallner, Copenhagen; photo by James Ewing)

Engaging programming for parks and public spaces has become standard in cities, and the Public Art Fund didn’t just stop at “exhibit.” To fully play up the seemingly random placement of the benches, the nonprofit arts group created a scavenger-hunt-themed, self-guided tour. Visitors can download a map revealing the location of all the art and are encouraged to share their “finds” on social media.

The artwork will remain at Brooklyn Bridge Park until April 2016.

Marielle Mondon is an editor and freelance journalist in Philadelphia. Her work has appeared in Philadelphia City Paper, Wild Magazine, and PolicyMic. She previously reported on communities in Northern Manhattan while earning an M.S. in journalism from Columbia University.

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Tags: new york cityparksarts and culturepublic space