Brit Bunkley, Wenda Habenicht, Marsha Pels, Robert Ressler, Hank de Ricco
Brit Bunkley, Triangular Monument
Brit Bunkley (USA) describes Triangular Monument as being “loosely based on a British folly known as the Triangular Lodge—a three-sided structure built in 1593. It is a once-functional hunting lodge in which nearly every aspect, from the number of gables to the number of letters of its Latin inscriptions, relates to the number three. It was built by Sir Thomas Tresham, [who was] born into a Catholic family that turned Protestant as a political necessity during the Reformation. He was secretly educated as a Catholic. The life of secrecy evidently went to his head and he became obsessed with the Holy Trinity. As an adult this obsession became manifest in this hermetic monument to the number three. It is a complex building that has been called by historians a progenitor of Rationalist architecture.
“After visiting the site, with its triangular grassy areas and the predominant red triangle over the entrance of the (Neo-rationalist) Polytechnic University Library, I thought that some sort of triangular sculpture in the tradition of the Triangular Lodge might be fitting for the site. Symbolically the number three is perhaps the most loaded of all numbers. Virtually all the world’s religions have significant trinities in their mythological orders from the three person Ashanti’s moon goddess to the Celtic “Three Blessed Ladies” to the Buddhist’s “Three Precious Jewels.” For Pythagoras, for whom numbers represent the origin of all things, three is the symbol of completion. The astronomer Johannes Kepler thought there was a relationship (erroneously) between the five “Pythagorean” (or “platonic”) solids and the distances of the planets from the Sun as proscribed by the “Hand of God, Geometer.” The Pythagorean solids that represented the four earthly elements and a fifth heavenly element in ancient Greek times were made up of regular polygons, themselves made up of triangles.
“My 171” x 57” Triangular Monument incorporates as many aspects of the number three as possible as well as images that refer to the scientific, technological, and high finance interests of MetroTech Center. The images in the square ‘windows’ on the top third tier include iconic abstractions of a silicon chip, a Pythagorean solid, a bar code, the chemical symbols of the ternary of Alchemy, and two variations of the plaque aboard the Pioneer 10 and 11 spacecraft featuring the third planet from the sun and the symbol the spacecraft itself. In the six-sided polygon on the second tier stand in relief a variation of the number nine, the number three, and a 93—standing for this year, 1993, as well as the 93 on the façade of the Triangular Lodge that refers to 1593, its building date.”
Supported by the Public Art Fund, Inc., which is supported, in part, by an anonymous contribution, and by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.