About the Project

In the spring of 1990, Creative Time commissioned artists Martha Fleming and Lyne Lapointe to explore and display the history of the Battery Maritime Building via a site-specific architectural project. For The Wilds and the Deep, Lapointe and Fleming gently and subtly exposed certain areas of the various layers of the building, recalling its once glorious past by revealing the history behind its years of embellishment and modernization. The building thus became a visual and aural site of history, addressing exploration, the mercantile trade, and the rush of European royal families to amass foreign and exotic goods as content for their cabinet museums.


Additionally, the project addressed the mystery of the water itself; the dwindling supply of clean water; and the urgency of ecological issues in New York harbors. The Wilds and the Deep was open to the public four days a week for five weeks, during which Sea Dogs, an integrated daily performance inside and outside of the building, took place.


Photograph by Martha Fleming




Martha Fleming and Lyne Lapointe

The Wilds and the Deep