Parts, piled, piles, broken, pieces, stacks, clastic, stacked, identical, interchangeable—minimalist sculptor Carl Andre carefully selected these words as a preface to his own work, words that can also be used to describe Frida Escobedo’s Material Reservoir. The project creates a series of outdoor spaces to complement Rebuild Foundation’s Stony Island Art Bank.
Demolition debris from what was the St. Laurence Church, located at Dorchester Avenue and 72nd Street, gestures toward a series of permanent, thick-walled courtyards. In the project’s future form, the bricks will be stacked simply so that the walls can be deconstructed and reconstructed in a number of different configurations. The juxtaposition of Material Reservoir with the empty vaults of the Arts Bank is symbolic. Each courtyard can be read as a reverse Tower of Babel where communication, agency, and interaction will physically and symbolically demolish its walls to create a common ground to be repurposed or re-appropriated by different actors. The weaving and unweaving of this shared landscape allows viewers to question and acknowledge the commonalities between matter and meaning.