Monday, July 7, 2014

Agora: The Gathering Place - Grant Park, Chicago

Wandering around the south end of Chicago's Grant Park, Domo came upon a large group of armless, headless sculptures, seemingly caught suspended in a moment of walking meditation. There was something about these sculptures that made Domo feel incredibly warm, welcome, and included.

Agora is the name of this collection of sculptures by Polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz, and it is Greek for "gathering place" or "assembly". All 106 sculptures are 9 feet (2.7 m) tall and were made from a seamless piece of iron.

Pipkin isn't very fond of crowds (and neither is the artist, whose fear of crowds is thematic in her work) and he has a fear of being trampled underfoot, but he braved walking amongst these stoic figures. He loved their rusted, bark like texture.

Domo, who has often felt a little like an outsider (people don't "get" what he is. Brown, boxy, lock-jawed. He's been teased about being an ice cream sandwich - like that's a bad thing to be?) but walking amongst these sculptures he really felt like he belonged in this gathering place. That's the interesting thing about art. Everyone interprets it in different ways, depending on who they are and what they see.

Domo may have enjoyed being in the thick of the crowd but Pipkin appreciated seeing the mass from a little ways away.

However you may enjoy viewing these sculptures, you'll find them at the south end of Grant Park, at Michigan Ave and East Roosevelt Rd.


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