Art: Descension

Outdoor Art


In Brooklyn Bridge Park, right next to the Hudson, there’s a round pool of water. From a distance it looks like a kids’ play pool but as you get closer its visceral power becomes clear: this is no place for toddlers to splash around, this is Anish Kapoor’s Descension”.

Kapoor’s installation (it seems strange to call something that’s made of water a sculpture) is part of the NYCxDesign festival. While this isn’t the first time it has been shared with the world, it’s the first time Kapoor has decided not to dye it black. Perhaps this is because it blends in so beautifully with the adjacent river, or perhaps Kapoor didn’t want to overdo the political messages that he believes this ever-disappearing whirl of water implies. 

“Descension” is eight metres in diameter – and the ground trembles for a few metres wider than that. The whirlpool churns and growls as its central force gradually moves, dragging the spiraling water into unknown depths of the earth. Standing around the edge, protected from this seemingly dangerous power by a small fence, visitors feel the vibrating earth, hear the low roar and are mesmerized by the continuous swirl.

Pier One, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn, NY 11201.

Until 10 September.

Photo: Brooklyn Bridge Park.

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