From now until winter 2016, visitors to new york’s madison square park can find themselves enveloped beneath a mirrored labyrinth, hovering above both them and the surrounding landscape. mad. sq. art presents ‘fata morgana’ by american artist teresita fernández, a 500-foot-long sculpture comprising mirror-polished discs that create kaleidoscopic canopies above the park’s central pathways and recreational areas.
‘my concept was to invert the traditional notion of outdoor sculpture by addressing all of the active walkways of the park rather than setting down a sculptural element in the park’s center’, fernández describes. ‘by hovering over the park in a horizontal band, fata morgana becomes a ghost-like, sculptural, luminous mirage that both distorts the landscape and radiates golden light.’
the 500-foot-long sculpture spans across the central park walkways
photo by noboru morikawa
courtesy of lehmann maupin, new york and hong kong, and anthony meier fine arts, san francisco
A fata morgana is an optical phenomenon that forms across the horizon line, distorting objects in the distance — boats, islands, and the coastline — such that they become completely unrecognizable to the human eye.
Alluding to this rare occurrence, fernández’s sculpture introduces a visual, shimmering element to the park that engages visitors in a dynamic experience and warps the landscape surrounding them. each of the suspended mirrors are perforated with intricate patterns reminiscent of foliage, referring to madison square park’s botanical resources. as sunlight filters through, abstract flickering effects sift through the horizontal metal forms, casting a golden glow across the expanse of the work, paths, and passersby.
The installation refers to the phenomenon of a mirage, evident in the mirror’s kaleidoscopic qualities. Reflections from the surrounding environment bounce off the mirrors above. The canopy stretches across the length of the park.
Trees and leaves and multiplied through the fragmented reflections cast by the surrounding mirrors.