About the Exhibition
David Finn’s life-sized figures, made of found materials wearing various brightly painted sheet metal masks, are arranged across the Manhattan Bridge Archway. The figures are arranged across the Bridge’s architecture as both participants in and observers of the elaborate drama represented on its Manhattan façade. To the left of the arch’s entrance, perched high, are four figures with bird masks. This “bird-audience,” as Finn (b.1952, USA) refers to it, is intent on events taking place on the archway’s pier. At the top of the arch is a symmetrically placed group of four figures. To the right, a clinging, unmasked figure; farther below another masked figure, “the narrator,” sits below the stone sculpture of Commerce. At ground level are three unmasked figures.
Finn describes the Bridge installation in terms of theatrical paradox, “The scene, in its entirety is ‘theatrical’ rather than ‘dramatic,’ more ‘fake’ than ‘real.’ The actors are not real actors, but rather, life-sized figures.” Through such carefully engineered confusion of audience and viewer, Finn hopes to temporarily relieve the viewer from the role of spectator so that “we may find ourselves, for a moment, outside our ordinary roles.”
Manhattan Bridge Archway