THE PARK AVENUE ARMORY | AUGUST 3 – SEPTEMBER 9, 2012
The history of the drill hall carries its own weight. The history of the unconscious similarly traces a lineage of effects waged by war: community, a sense of connection forged in darkness, the flicker of nightmare and equal parts light, at times visual and at others purely aural, haunting, familiar, elusive, as if existing just beyond the boundaries of the physical world.
Having traversed a field of 98 black, two-foot-by-twelve-inch speakers—auditory soldiers poised on simple folding chairs, extending from steel rods secured to the massive expanse of the armory floor, or suspended from black cables anchored in the vaulted ceiling—I pause on one of the folding chairs, reserved for the audience in a semi-circular formation, and close my eyes.
a fan overhead
the recounting of a nightmare: a factory
marching in step
visions of postwar Europe
I open my eyes.
The operatic score draws me back in.
I think of my visit to Auschwitz as a young girl.
another nightmare: this time a foreign landscape
the drill hall
a third nightmare: a beach, a house
denouement, a lullaby
crows, caws, crows
the power of oratory
the power of technology
the power of mind
643 Park Avenue // NY, NY
ContributorKara L. Rooney
Kara Rooney is a Brooklyn-based artist, writer, and critic working in performance, sculptures and new media installation. She is a Managing Art Editor for the Brooklyn Rail and faculty member at School of Visual Arts, where she teaches Art History and Aesthetics.