About the Project
Creative Time’s fourth installment of Art on the Plaza—a series of commissioned outdoor sculpture for The Ritz-Carlton in Battery Park City—featured Shirazeh Houshiary and Pip Horne’s Breath, which imbued the cool formality of minimalist sculpture with spirituality and human presence. The twenty-foot-tall tower of white enameled brick shaped like a double helix concealed a sound system that emitted four spiritual vocal tracks at a low sequence from dawn until dusk every day.
The continuous eighteen minute loop of interwoven invocations included the Azan, the Islamic call to prayer; a Jewish tribute to God; tonal breathing exercises of Buddhist monks; and “O Jerusalem,” a historical Christian work by 12th-century composer Hildegard von Bingen. As the recording expanded and contracted in intensity it conveyed a sense of inhalation and exhalation to the inanimate sculpture. _Breath_’s structural spiral further underscored a sense of perpetual motion, defying the potential stasis of its medium.
Photograph by Charlie Samuels