Southpoint: From Ruin to Rejuvenation


This project investigates the similar condition of the artist and patient, with specific attention given to the cyclical nature of the path. A path is simultaneously a physical construction and a mental process. For both a patient dealing with therapy and recuperation, as well as an artist struggling through the creative process, the route to success lies within that person’s ability to both physically and mentally overcome his or her specific obstacles. For an artist, the cyclical process of creation involves alternating phases of creation and presentation (to peers, the public, and the general community), followed by reflection. This process is not finite: it does not end with each sculpture or finished painting. Rather, the process builds upon itself, each success and failure firmly imprinted upon the next work. For a patient dealing with physical recuperation, or learning to mentally accept a permanent disability, the process is equally as infinite and cyclic. Each travels through a period of self-reflection and personal growth, followed by sessions of therapy and insistence of acceptance by his or her peers. This insistence may present itself through art or performance or gardening: the physical manifestation is not as imperative as the insistence of acceptance by that person to his or her peers.

The organization of Southpoint, in this investigation, is based on this cyclic process of reflection followed by creation and presentation, followed by reflection, etc. It arranges both the required program, as well new programs that emerge as a result of necessity and proximity. The second arranging factor is the presence of the urban quality of the city all around the island, and the desire by the community for Southpoint to provide a fleeting moment of the natural and ephemeral against the hardscape of the city. The conceptual ‘bands’ are stretched east to west across the island and alternate north to south, dividing the creative and performance oriented programs from those that are more reflective and personal in nature. The final band lies at the southern tip of the island, at the viewing platform, where conceptually an important presentation can be made to Manhattan, read here metaphorically as society.

This project was submitted for the 2008 ENYA Roosevelt Island International Ideas competition and jury selected for exhibition and publication.