MOVING THE WATERS: CROTON FUGUES, 2017
Art in the Corner Room, Mid-Manhattan Library — New York, New York
Curated by Arezoo Moseni
MOVING THE WATERS: CROTON FUGUES is the third in a series of research-based projects that focus on New York City’s water supply system and the sacrifices people in the Catskills have made over the years to ensure that NYC has the water it needs.
CROTON FUGUES was inspired by the 2017 celebration of the centennial anniversary of New York City’s aqueduct system, and the location of the Mid-Manhattan Library across the street from the site of the former Croton Distribution Reservoir, the first reservoir in New York City. When that reservoir became inadequate for supplying NYC with water for its growing population, the City looked north to the Catskills for its water. The Croton Distribution Reservoir was then destroyed and the current New York City Public Library was built over the site instead. The layers of this history were reflected in the windows of the Mid-Manhattan Library across the street.
This project seeks to entice the viewer into imagining and investigating the history of NYC’s water supply system through the accumulated layering of the experience of exploring these windows. Focusing on the Croton Reservoir, photographs and video stills from my onsite research and documentation were layered with archival images from the NYPL digital files to form large panels of archival prints on canvas and paper. Inspired by paintings of India’s Deccan Court in the 16 and 17th century, these panels break down images into sections of narratives, abstractions and repetitive patterns.