End. Words from the Margins—New York City

A spread from the book

A spread from the book "The Sound of the Woodpecker Bill: New York City"

In this exhibition, more than six hundred photographs, accompanied by maps and drawings, document a journey on foot along the natural edges of the five boroughs of New York City. Together, they create an original image of the most iconic and represented city in the world. The Sound of the Woodpecker Bill: New York City, published by Humboldt Books and on display in the Loeb Library, is divided into chapters that chronicle this long, cinematic walk along the city’s waterfronts. This book — the fruit of a collaboration between Italian artist Antonio Rovaldi and Francesca Benedetto, Design Critic in Landscape Architecture at Harvard GSD — features contributions from a series of authors who, through their own accounts, share a New York with the reader that is ordinary, hidden, and far away.

Their descriptions constitute an essential and highly contemporary lens through which one can view the city’s neighborhoods and their inhabitants and thereby imagine the future of the city

 

In this exhibition, more than 600 photographs, accompanied by maps and drawings, document a journey on foot along the natural edges of the five boroughs of New York City. Together, they create an original image of one of the most iconic and represented cities in the world.

The book The Sound of the Woodpecker Bill: New York City, published by Humboldt Books and on display in Frances Loeb Library, is divided into chapters that chronicle this long, cinematic walk along the city’s waterfronts. This book—the fruit of a collaboration between Italian artist Antonio Rovaldi and Francesca Benedetto, Design Critic in Landscape Architecture at Harvard GSD—features contributions from a series of authors who, through their own accounts, share a New York with the reader that is ordinary, hidden, and far away. Their descriptions constitute an essential and highly contemporary lens through which one can view the city’s neighborhoods and their inhabitants and thereby imagine the future of the city.

Further investigations in the form of photographs, drawings, videos, sounds and objects come to the fore in the rooms of the library, helping bring to life the journey narrated in the book.

The overall scenario that emerges is a sort of silent archeology which draws out a timeline weaving together a geological past with a present in a constant state of change and an uncertain future.

The illustrated maps are presented in tandem with the long photo sequences, and through a range of various space-time scales, the reader is led through a geography which is at the same time physical and virtual.

A brief walk along the natural edges of Queens and Brooklyn:

Both the publication and the exhibition are the creations of a project by Antonio Rovaldi, promoted by GAMeC (Galleria d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Bergamo/Italy) and winner of the 2019 Italian Council call (now in its fifth year), in partnership with Harvard GSD, Magazzino Italian Art, and the St. Gallen Kunst Museum.

Exhibition Acknowledgments

Curators: Francesca Benedetto, Lorenzo Giusti, Steven Handel

Exhibition based on the book The Sound of the Woodpecker Bill: New York City, authored by Antonio Rovaldi and Francesca Benedetto, with Francesca Berardi, Cecilia Canziani, Claudia Durastanti, Lorenzo Giusti, Steven Handel, Mario Maffi, and Anna de Manincor; published by Humboldt Books

Exhibition supported by: The Directorate-General for Contemporary Creativity and Urban Regeneration of the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism under the Italian Council Program (2019)

Exhibition promoted by: Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Bergamo  Partners:  Harvard Graduate School of Design, Magazzino Italian Art, Kunst Museum St.Gallen

Exhibition installation by: Dan Borelli, David Zimmerman-Stuart, Raymond Coffey, Jef Czekaj, Anita Kan, Sarah Lubin, Jesus Matheus, and Joanna Vouriotis

With thanks to Harvard GSD's Sensory Media Platform: Danielle Choi, Robert Pietrusko, and Krzysztof Wodiczko, with Nora Chuff

Special thanks to: Anita Berrizbeitia, Mohsen Mostafavi, Sarah Whiting, Charles Waldheim, Gary Hilderbrand, Gareth Doherty, Jill Desimini, Silvia Benedito, Ken Stewart, Julie Cirelli, Paige Johnston, Karen Schiff