Last November, independent curator Lance Fung descended on an abandoned lot overgrown with weeds, grasses, and wildflowers in Atlantic City, N.J. The vacant space was the former site of the Sands Casino Hotel, which was torn down in 2006 and since overcome by the natural landscape. Fung was called upon to turn the space into a haven of public art for a project called "Artlantic."
Since 2012, Fung has facilitated the installation of a variety of public artworks, including Wonder by, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov and Kiki Smith, a giant earthwork that transforms the lot into a landscaped figure eight, and John Roloff’s Étude Atlantis, a black-and-white spiral painted on a stage with a cistern in the middle.
"Artlantic" is funded by casino tax money and is part of Governor Chris Christie’s plan to revive the gambling town and convert it into a tourist destination instead of a seedy strip along the shore.
This month, "Atlantic" will be completed with the addition of land artist Peter Hutchinson's thrown rope installation, Robert Lach's "nests" formed from trash, and Jedediah Morfit's aluminum garden furniture that references Hurricane Sandy.
Next year, Fung plans to install similar spaces of public art in Atlantic city. “The money is slated for public art,” he told The Art Newspaper, “but rather than creating an art exhibition, we’re creating much needed public space that is esthetic.”
[via The Art Newspaper]