Near the United Nations, a Mash-Up of Humvees Fuses Art and Politics

NEW YORK—Across the street from the United Nations, there is a bulky metal sculpture. “Inveterate Composition for Clare” by Rachel Owens is composed of “dissembled parts from two replica ‘kit’ military Hummer shells,” and painted white. It’s lights dim and brighten and, while soldiers might typically blast hip hop or heavy metal rock, its speakers emit a soothing whale sound. Presented by the City of New York Parks & Recreation public art program, it is certainly a conversation starter, meant to make a political and environmental statement. But the fragmented remains of armored vehicles theoretically used in wars that claimed countless lives military and civilian, from America and many other nations, don’t add up to much aesthetically. Which may be actually be a profound comment.

The installation is on view from November 13, 2011 to May 31, 2011 at East 47th Street and 1st Avenue.

Top of page, “Inveterate Composition for Clare,” 2011 (repurposed replica humvees made of steel and fiberglass, humpback whale songs, lights). The sculpture is dedicated to Clare Weiss, the parks department curator who died in 2010 from breast cancer.

Photo by Arts Observer

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