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Brooklyn Street Art

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Trippy Clusters of Inflated DNA at the NYC Ballet: Jihan Zencirli AKA GERONIMO

Posted on February 6, 2018

Ephemerality is a core aspect of art on the streets that differentiates it from conventions of art making and collecting and displaying in institutional settings. The fact that an artist is willing to let go of their work in the public sphere is an act of courage in some way, willing for it to be entrusted to the rules of the street and the natural elements – to be painted over, damaged, taken, beaten by the weather.

That aspect of Street Art was on display during a recent installation inside the New York City Ballet as well when Turkish American artist Jihan Zencirli AKA GERONIMO filled the modernist Philip Johnson-designed theater atrium with twisting ephemeral DNA-strand sculptures made of balloons.

Thousands of balloons.

Jihan Zencirli AKA GERONIMO. NYCBallet Art Series at Lincoln Center. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Much like a graffiti writer with cans running through tunnels, along train tracks and over back lots, Zincirli is specializing in a hit-and-run practice that will fade quickly. With a practice that includes public space as well as private, outdoor as well as indoor, Zencirli and team creates an engaging otherworldly moment for you to engage with for just a short time.

Inspired by the palette of an Ellsworth Kelly painting, the tens of thousands of primary colored orbs of multiple sizes were blown up in 4 hours, clustered, and strung high above the travertine, gently nestling the Carrara marble Elie Nadelman sculptures, Circus Women and Two Nudes anchoring each end of the promenade. Normally these plump and smoothed figures dominate the massive space with 4 stories of pedestrian balconies to view them in 360 degrees but on a recent frigid January evening after the performance of an often envelope-pushing ballet program, guests circulated among and above them to see their newest temporary neighbors. Some of the clusters on the floor came alive when cued by the music and began to dance, adding an additional element of trippiness to the transformation.

Jihan Zencirli AKA GERONIMO. NYCBallet Art Series at Lincoln Center. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Biodegradable and ranging in size from ten inches to ten feet, Zincirli’s balloons have cavorted with bodegas, health clinics, the LA Broad Museum and the occasional Frank Lloyed Wright house, each time an ephemeral flourish, an outcropping of exuberance, a temporary festooning and claiming of space before slowly and gently deflating.

As guests took selfies and swung or danced, drinks in hand, to the sounds of a DJ stationed somewhere up above, the artist swerved through the crowd on her roller skates across the travertine and beneath the colorful canopy. She, more than anyone perhaps, knew that with temporary installations like this, it is important to savor the moment.

Jihan Zencirli AKA GERONIMO. NYCBallet Art Series at Lincoln Center. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jihan Zencirli AKA GERONIMO. NYCBallet Art Series at Lincoln Center. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jihan Zencirli AKA GERONIMO. NYCBallet Art Series at Lincoln Center. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jihan Zencirli AKA GERONIMO. NYCBallet Art Series at Lincoln Center. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jihan Zencirli AKA GERONIMO. NYCBallet Art Series at Lincoln Center. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jihan Zencirli AKA GERONIMO. NYCBallet Art Series at Lincoln Center. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jihan Zencirli AKA GERONIMO. NYCBallet Art Series at Lincoln Center. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jihan Zencirli AKA GERONIMO. NYCBallet Art Series at Lincoln Center. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jihan Zencirli AKA GERONIMO. NYCBallet Art Series at Lincoln Center. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jihan Zencirli AKA GERONIMO. NYCBallet Art Series at Lincoln Center. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jihan Zencirli AKA GERONIMO. NYCBallet Art Series at Lincoln Center. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jihan Zencirli AKA GERONIMO. NYCBallet Art Series at Lincoln Center. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jihan Zencirli AKA GERONIMO. NYCBallet Art Series at Lincoln Center. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 


There’s one NYC Ballet performance left on February 24th. Click HERE to order your tickets.

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