Sunday, April 26, 2009

Spire by Goldsworthy

A week ago I walked the section the Bay Area Ridge Trail that runs through the Presidio of San Francisco and came upon this:

What the heck is that? Obviously tree trunks from the surrounding cypress forest stood upright against each other. I've wandered through here before and know the park is clearing out and replacing the magnificent forest planted in the late 1800s.

A little more research (notably here) revealed that the thing was "Spire" by the sculptor Andy Goldsworthy.

It's pretty magnificent.

In Building 49 on the Main Parade Ground of the old fort, there's a free exhibit showing more about the work.

Those are big tree trunks -- it took quite a crew and a crane to erect the piece, as recorded in this photo at the display.

Goldsworthy apparently goes in for outdoor sculpture, often ephemeral. I came away from watching this video with the understanding that he builds what amount to sandcastles in more durable materials.

Apparently when Goldsworthy visited the little exhibit in the Presidio, he felt it needed its own sculpture, homage to the old fashioned military buildings that give the former base its charm. This is the result:

The exhibit will only be up for one more week, though May 3. "Spire" will stand as long as it stands. There's a lot of concrete in that base and bolts through the tree trunks, so that will be awhile. Reach it via the Arguello Gate to the Presidio.
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