Animal Style

The success of Andy Goldsworthy’s Spire means we get more outdoor art in the Presidio. Yes! Nevada City–based art group For Site (“art about place”), emboldened by the crush of people who come to see Goldsworthy’s poignant pile of sticks, now gives us “Presidio Habitats.” This time, a gaggle of artists, architects, and design firms concentrated on animals living in the coastal area, and came up with elegant, artistic ways of helping them. Well, that’s the idea, anyway. No one knows whether foxes will really move into the wood-block pyramid built in their honor, nor owls come to either the geodesic tepee or the porcelain vase-houses installed for their convenience. A hawk’s trajectory through the forest, traced by an iron rail, makes a nice place for hawks to sit, and they might. Robins: Will they use the straw set out for them, housed in metal-cage lettering trumpeting the admirable qualities of robins? The exhibit includes its own temporary building, plenty of cellphone-tour information as you walk around to see the installations, and a gallery of good ideas that somehow didn’t get past the conceptual stage. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter whether the animals do what they’re supposed to, because the works are beautiful and fascinating all on their own, and those that don’t biodegrade will be removed after their full year of display — unless someone is living in them.
May 16-Sept. 30, 2010

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