Washington Park

Public Art Installation By Beka Goedde On View At Old Stone House & Washington Park

Thursday, April 23, 2015
No. 28

On Display in Washington Park Starting April 20, 2015

NYC Parks and the Old Stone House & Washington Park, Brooklyn present Fictitious Force, a temporary public art installation by artist Beka Goedde. Constructed from nearly 1,000 colorfully dyed concrete tiles, the piece is embedded in an elliptical pattern in the lawn in front of Old Stone House, an historic site dating back to the colonial period. The work is currently on view starting through April 2016. An opening reception will be held May 13, 2015 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Old Stone House & Washington Park.

Washington Park is particularly suitable as a location for the work. In August of 1776, the American Revolution erupted in Brooklyn. The Battle of Brooklyn, the first and largest conflict of the Revolution, engulfed the surrounding area including the site now occupied by The Old Stone House. The reconstructed 1699 Dutch farmhouse is a museum that explores the Revolution, colonial life, and Brooklyn. This historic site is particularly suited to host a work that references traditional American craft. Fictitious Force is composed of concentric circles that resemble the early American hooked or braided rug, and is intended to be trod upon like paving stones.

The rug is a household object Goedde employs in her artwork especially for its concentric, circular, centrifugal pattern. She began working with the rug as an object in an interior setting—in drawings she located the rug on floorboards or among other objects in a room. She has made several rugs that hang on the wall as large, flat, collaged paper objects. In sectioning the rug into discrete trapezoidal shapes, the rug becomes a drawing in concrete, planted in the earth. Fictitious Force was first installed at the Helen Day Art Center in Stowe, VT from July through October 2014. In Stowe, Goedde cast approximately 400 concrete bricks, then dyed and sealed them to achieve the watercolor-like surface. She cast over 500 additional bricks for Washington Park, more than doubling its original size.

As defined in physics a fictitious force is an apparent force, occurring not due to an object’s acceleration, but instead due to acceleration or rotation the natural frame of reference itself: a car makes a turn and the passenger inside the car “moves” side to side, or the earth rotates and ocean currents ”move” directionally. While Fictitious Force is meditative and still, the pattern of the piece conveys a sense of movement that echoes the energy of the nearly 3,000 people attracted to the park daily.

The Old Stone House is grateful to Groundworks Inc. for donating 3,000 square feet of sod for the exhibit. Though the piece will be on view starting April 20, 2015, temporary fencing will surround the piece for one month to allow the new horticulture to take root.

This exhibit is sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC).

Beka Goedde is a sculptor and printmaker whose work explores duration, the perception of change, and movement in physical space. Goedde has exhibited work at Inside Out Art Museum (Beijing, China); Deborah Berke Partners, IPCNY, 80WSE, Recess, Cheim and Read (NY, NY); SHOW ROOM, Bushwick Cooperative, Sunview Luncheonette, The Gowanus Studio Space, GRIDSPACE, and Saffron (Brooklyn, NY); Habersham Mills (Atlanta, GA); Helen Day Art Center (Stowe, VT); Incident Report (Hudson, NY); in the online journal Triple Canopy; among other venues. She is a graduate of the Bard MFA program in Sculpture, and holds a BA from Columbia University (Barnard College) in Behavioral Neuroscience and Philosophy. Goedde has been awarded residencies at Yaddo, JTHAR, Millay Colony, and PS122. Goedde is the recipient of a 2015 Community Arts Fund grant from Brooklyn Arts Council. www.bekagoedde.com

The Old Stone House & Washington Park—site of the Battle of Brooklyn/August 1776 and the original home of the Brooklyn Dodgers—was originally built in 1699. The House was an active farm for nearly 100 years. Today, OSH is a year-round site for culture, education and recreation.

NYC Parks’ Art in the Parks program has consistently fostered the creation and installation of temporary public art in parks throughout the five boroughs. Since 1967, collaborations with arts organizations and artists have produced hundreds of public art projects in New York City parks. For more information visit www.nyc.gov/parks/art.

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