German-born New Yorker Josephine Meckseper traveled to Electra, the self-described “pumpjack capital of Texas” to gather source material for her new installation, Manhattan Oil Project, observing working pumpjacks in the vast panhandle prarie. On March 5, life sized kinetic sculptures of two of the ubiquitous pieces of oilfield equipment (minus the rust) began pumping away in New York’s Times Square.
Intended to provoke a moment of thought about the industrial underpinnings of luxe Manhattan consumerism, or the politics of oil, or the old economy/new economy divide, or energy conservation, or something, everyone agrees the pieces are funny and spectacular, although some of the press coverage for the Texas/New York overlay piece has been painful: Blake Gopnik of the Daily Beast starts off with the thoughtless: “Yeehaw! We done struck crude down alongside Times Square!”
also by Bill Davenport
- DMA Crane Flip Video - April 26th, 2015
- Helmreich New Dean of Fine Arts at TCU - April 25th, 2015
- Two Cents for Houston's New Cultural Plan - April 25th, 2015
- New Art Lands in the Woodlands - April 24th, 2015
- Bob Wade Revamps First Public Sculpture - in Waco! - April 19th, 2015