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Arts Imbalance

November-December 2012


Photograph by Jim Harrison


Photograph by Jim Harrison

This past summer, a temporary art installation titled Arts Imbalance brightened the days of many in downtown Boston. On July 1, a dozen volunteers, working from a small boat on the water and a scissor lift on land, strung a 300-foot-long yellow tightrope across the city’s Fort Point Channel, anchoring the ends to the Summer Street and Congress Street bridges. A pair of life-size, aluminum, sheet-metal figures—modeled on a classic wooden artist’s manikin—counterbalanced each other above and below the rope. They were coated in refractive dichroic film, which transmits certain wavelengths of light but reflects others, treating observers to prismatic displays of reflected sunlight. Now and again the figures moved in reaction to the wind. The installation was the work of Peter Agoos ’75, a multimedia artist who has trained in stage design, sculpture, graphic design, and film (http://agoos.com). “I’ve lived here for more than 30 years and walked over those bridges thousands of times,” says Agoos, who lives only a couple of blocks from the installation. “I have just been wanting to do something in the air over that water.”

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Click on arrow at right to see full statue and additional images
Prince Shōtoku at Age Two, a thirteenth-century Japanese icon made of wood with inlaid quartz eyes

Image courtesy of the Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Partial and promised gift of Walter C. Sedgwick in memory of Ellery Sedgwick Sr. and Ellery Sedgwick Jr., 2019.122.

Harvard Art Museums Exhibition on Prince Shōtoku Icon

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Image courtesy of Amy Chu

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