New York, N.Y. – Desire Lines, the first public commission in the United States by Paris-based artist Tatiana Trouvé , translates 212 of Central Park’s winding pathways into lengths of colored rope. The same number of wooden spools wound with the ropes fill three industrial shelving units positioned in Doris C. Freedman Plaza, where some of the paths originate and where Scholar’s Gate acts as a major entrance to Central Park.
Through Desire Lines, Trouvé not only documents the paths as they are today, but also traces their cultural history. In addition to titling the paths with literal descriptions, she has assigned them “cultural titles” based on a march or walk from the realms of history, politics, music, literature, and art. This layer of historical information deepens the work’s relationship to visitors’ experiences of walking in the park. An interactive map illustrates the project and provides insight into her process.
“Trouvé’s work transforms industrial materials like rope, wooden spools, and steel storage units into muscular and evocative sculptural forms,” says Public Art Fund Director and Chief Curator Nicholas Baume. “Measuring the length of every pathway through Central Park with individual lengths of rope, Trouvé has created a conceptual index to the entire park in a single installation. Rather than simply illustrate the park, Desire Lines creates a parallel experience of its extraordinary density, mass, and variety. Trouvé’s color choices for the rope and placement of each spool are intuitive, just as our own navigation through the park might follow any number of different routes, according to our personal ‘desire lines.’”
Presented by Public Art Fund, Desire Lines opened March 3 and will be on view through August 30.