This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001



Davina Semo’s Reverberation rings out in Brooklyn Bridge Park through April 18 (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

Who: Davina Semo, Daniel S. Palmer
What: Livestreamed discussion
Where: Public Art Fund Zoom
When: Monday, November 16, free with RSVP, 5:00
Why: “Ring them bells, ye heathen / From the city that dreams / Ring them bells from the sanctuaries / ’Cross the valleys and streams / For they’re deep and they’re wide / And the world’s on its side / And time is running backwards / And so is the bride,” Bob Dylan sang on his 1989 album, Oh Mercy. You can ring them bells from the sanctuary of Brooklyn Bridge Park, across the East River, in Davina Semo’s interactive installation Reverberation, which continues through April 18 along the Pier 1 waterfront promenade. Reverberation consists of five large-scale bronze bells in pearlescent orange paint, named “Reflector,” “Singer,” “Dreamer,” “Listener,” and “Mother,” that visitors can ring by pulling on a chain, each clapper with unique drilled holes to emit a slightly different sound, evoking wakeup calls, warnings, alarms, calls to action, prayer, and change, and the dinnertime announcement for families to come together, all taking on new meanings during the Covid-19 crisis. (You should bring your own hand sanitizer if you plan on grabbing the galvanized steel chain, and remember to observe social distancing.)

Davina Semo will discuss her outdoor installation in a virtual Public Art Fund talk on November 16 (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

“Bells are very much part of our urban landscapes,” Semo says in a Public Art Fund video. “They are easy to ignore in a way because they’re so ubiquitous, and oftentimes they are housed in institutions that for better or worse are no longer relevant or are maybe relevant in ways that we want to change. I was interested in taking the form and this ancient tool and democratizing the process in this way that I hope could be meaningful to the person ringing the bell and also to the community at large.” On November 16 at 5:00, the DC-born, San Francisco-based Semo will take part in a free Public Art Fund talk with curator Daniel S. Palmer, cosponsored by the Cooper Union. As Dylan also sang, “Ring them bells for the blind and the deaf / Ring them bells for all of us who are left / Ring them bells for the chosen few / Who will judge the many when the game is through / Ring them bells, for the time that flies / For the child that cries / When innocence dies.” (You can see twi-ny’s slideshow of Reverberation here.)

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