Maximum Security at Lever House
It seemed fitting to visit Liza Lou’s new installation Maximum Security Fence, currently on exhibition at New York City’s Lever House, while the U.N. General Assembly was in session last week and midtown Manhattan was transformed into a kind of mini-police state. (Read W’s profile of Lou from the September issue here.)
Walking up Park Avenue–past the Jersey barriers and phalanx of dark-suited Secret Service agents–toward 53rd Street, I couldn’t help but feel the uneasy moment Lou conveys in the work: her inspiration came from Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib, as well as the ubiquitous metal fences in Durban, South Africa, where Lou lives part-time and made Maximum Security Fence with a group of local artisans. Built from four sections of steel fence, every inch covered
with sparkling glass beads, the piece is dark but completely mesmerizing; it’s impossible not to feel, as Lou told W’s Chris Bagley, that Maximum Security Fence is “big enough to love anyone, forgive anything.”
Photos by Scott Rudd.