Photo by Chris Arend
The museum roof is the latest venue for a new temporary installation by artist Chad Taylor, who has created a conceptual forest of larch trees, fireweed and other species viewable from the museum’s fourth floor Chugach Gallery. His work, titled State of Fluctuation, is inspired by the transitory nature of the Circumpolar North’s boreal forest and is constructed of wood timbers, water-preserved larch trees, paint, and rubber.
“I have always been interested in plants that exist in harsh climates,” says Taylor. “Larch trees are one of the predominant species of the boreal forest, and fireweed is a pioneer species that often thrives in newly burned areas. The rooftop installation is an abstraction of such a landscape and questions the future conditions of the boreal forest.”
The centennial bench project celebrates the history and future of public space within the Municipality of Anchorage. Both benches have been constructed out of steel, the material of the railroad which was a critical player in the establishment of the city, and out of reclaimed park signs that have been exhumed from Cold World-era missile bunkers located in Kincaid Park.
Anchorage’s first park, the Delaney Park Strip, was originally a fire break, then a golf course, then an airstrip and now is a public space – reflecting a history of reinterpreting and reimaging what public space can be. This evolution of public space is directly related to the repurposing of old park signs in the centennial bench project, asking what is a bench, what can a bench be, and how can a bench promote new perspectives and relationships?
The Centennial Bench #1 (1915), with its plow or ship-hull like form is intended to exemplify a new society that blazes through a landscape, addressing the needs and desires of city dwellers. The Centennial Bench #2 (2015) explores the opportunity to create and re-imagine our public spaces. While the first one hundred years of Anchorage created a city in a frontier-like landscape through the establishment of industry, housing and infrastructure, the next century of possibility presents many variables, with current, economic, political and environmental events.