The Root – Dan Corson

I should have realized that this was a Dan Corson piece when I first saw it. Ran across this today when we were roaming in downtown Bellevue. It sits in a reflecting pool outside of Bellevue City Hall and is pretty dramatic. In fact, seeing it from afar drew me into the garden area where it is housed. I can see why they chose it since it fits with the theme of a public building as trying to make the unseen processes of a vast system more accesible to a population. But I also saw it as referencing the forests that covered the city in the not so distant past. Two hundred years ago, Bellevue was nothing but forest. Now it is a city. (A city devoid of much life on a weekend until you get near the mall I might add.) I do like this piece. But I also don’t know how much it really speaks to me. Why cast a root system in bronze and then paint it silver when the real thing is so much more fascinating? It reminds me somewhat of Mark Dion’s “Neukom Vivarium” which I have written about previously. I ran across an article where Dion was talking about how, even though it is trying to recreate a natural environment, the work is somewhat perverse because it will never be able to achieve its goal. I guess that also applies to this work too.

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