Cycles of Violence: Standout at DUMBO Arts Festival
As I approached the DUMBO Arts Festival, the first thing I saw was on Adams Street. In fairness, I knew about this piece in advance, but I didn't realize it would be my entry into the festival – and become the benchmark by which I would judge all that followed.
"Cycles of Violence," by Ahron Weiner, could be missed easily if you weren't looking for it. New Yorkers familiar with posters on scaffolding all over the city could tune it out all too easily. In this case, that would mean missing an impressive exhibition – of the sort that can shape your perspective on public art.
The use of 10 images repeatedly drives home the notion of cyclicality, and it doesn't take long to feel the effects of history repeating itself in this public exhibition. From the moment I turned the corner on to Adams Street, I could tell the scaffolding had something different on it, and I was captivated by the artist's creation.
Weiner has put up a bold statement that draws you in further with every second you look at it. As I moved from the scaffolding to the wall beneath it, where I could get a closer look, I was able to take a look at the progression within the cycle of violence, as portrayed by Weiner. Upon close inspection, I was able to appreciate the true horror of violence that he sought to convey (I suspect), with shocking eye-shots, weapons prominent and the aftermath evident. Somewhat unintentional, I believe, is one of the later images, a solider from the 10th Mountain Division (the hardest of the hardcore) on a radio with a heavy weapon by his side. I can't tell if he's calling in an airstrike or getting coordinates for a mortar, but the implication is clear: war is about to happen.
The display is as chilling as it is poignant, and Weiner effectively conveys the fact that violence, at least in our world, does not come to a conclusion. If you weren't able to get to the DUMBO Arts Festival, don't sweat it. According to Weiner, "[T]he installation will be up until the scaffolding comes down."