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Re: A Lost Civilization?: The ruins of a miniature fortress lie in Jersey City
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Beware, those of you who may seek it out. The last time I visited the city was at a different time of year, probably late summer, but I left covered with ticks. It wasn't pleasant.
I had to get one removed from my navel.
The doctor got a big kick out of it.

Posted on: 2007/4/8 23:34
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Re: A Lost Civilization?: The ruins of a miniature fortress lie in Jersey City
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Some where here in JCLIST photo gallery is pics of this.

Posted on: 2007/4/8 15:55
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A Lost Civilization?: The ruins of a miniature fortress lie in Jersey City
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A Lost Civilization?: The ruins of a miniature fortress lie in Jersey City

Jersey City Magazine - by Christopher Zinsli -- 04/01/2007

Few know it exists. Fewer still have seen it with their own eyes. But it's there, lying at the heart of a maze of narrow footpaths amid the towering reeds of Liberty State Park.

A journey to this mysterious site ends when the reeds give way to reveal an entire civilization in miniature. Thousands of tiny, individual bricks form a castle complete with turrets, ramparts and stairways. The petite fortress seems to have lain abandoned for years. And indeed it has - 23 years, to be precise.

The castle is actually a piece of public art named Lost City that was commissioned in 1984 from New York sculptor Charles Simonds. It's just one of hundreds of diminutive landscapes Simonds has built across the country.

Park literature doesn't advertise the sculpture because wildlife uses the marshy area, park superintendent Josh Osowski says. Osowski recommends a tour guide for any trips through the 10-foot-tall, likely insect-filled reeds. However, for anyone willing to settle for a bird's-eye view of this little-known curiosity, Lost City can actually be seen - very faintly - in satellite images of the park.


=================================
Charles Simonds at Joseph Helman
Art in America, Sept, 1999 by Vincent Katz

Although he has a long history of exhibitions both here and abroad, Charles Simonds has also worked outside the gallery context. In the 1970s his ritualistic acts, sometimes documented on film, included coating his body with clay to express the bond between man and earth. Later he built tiny clay-brick villages that seemed to belong to ancient cultures. (One is permanently installed in a stairwell at the Whitney Museum.) He often situated them on the sides of crumbling tenements, linking the fates of indigenous cultures to our own time. He left them to decay or be destroyed.

In his first New York show in five years, Simonds addressed similar concerns. Awareness of the skill required to make the pieces does not impede one's ability to enter into their space. There is a momentary shift as one adjusts to the miniature scale. A pleasing variety of presentations--on walls, pedestals, the floor, even extending from the wall--was echoed by variations in the red and gray tones of the clay.

Most works dated from 1997 to '99, with one from 1983 and one from 1993. In the recent work, Simonds makes analogies between man-made structures and plant and animal forms. His main tactic is to give soft contours to things that should (because they are brick) appear rigid. But Kill (22 by 11 by 9 1/2 inches) droops from rods projecting from the wall, and the elements themselves are not perfectly rectilinear, as they are handmade. The floor pieces Houseplant I, II and III form a series of towers that sometimes writhe against one another--in a struggle for preeminence or perhaps in some erotic ritual. The most fascinating piece was the most recent, Wall Dwelling (30 by 34 by 42 inches), which projected precariously into space. Here, as in some early works, an entire world is seen, complete with a steep mountain pass, a wooden stairway and a plank bridge over a rocky stream on an ascent to a tiny fortresslike village. Simonds's implied inhabitant is tiny, and when we shift back from his world to our own, it is with greater self-awareness.

Posted on: 2007/4/8 14:29

Edited by GrovePath on 2007/4/8 14:49:57
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