Doxa Orange right arrow Rebar gets Gigantric on Hunters Point


It’s official–Rebar has been selected by the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency to create artwork for the new Hilltop Park at Hunter’s Point, in San Francisco, CA. The new piece, which we call Gigantry in honor of its gigantically miniature proportions, is a smaller version of Hunter’s Point’s iconic, 500-foot high gantry crane for servicing battleship guns–a feature that can be seen for miles around the Bay Area. Gigantry can be climbed on, turning the symbol of warfare (and the cultural dominance of the former Navy base) around to serve the playful impulses of human beings, especially the little ones. In our proposal we explained that Gigantry — in conjunction with the environmental remediation going on at the Navy Shipyard

is intended to signify the beginning of a process of social remediation, symbolically confronting this troubling legacy and reclaiming a visual landscape that has been dominated for decades by military infrastructure.

One interesting fact about the gantry crane is that 200-foot tower on top was used to test missile launches over the San Francisco Bay in the 1950s. Essentially, dummy missiles (that is, ones without nuclear warheads) were tethered to the tower with a length of cable so that they wouldn’t careen into the city of Oakland. How times have changed: in addition to its climbability, and we think this is quite neat, Gigantry can perfectly occlude the giant gantry crane, creating a kind of optical illusion that, we hope, transform children into building-dominating supermonsters. Or at least make them feel that way.

More on the Hunter’s Point art program is here, and there are pictures of the site and the gantry crane here and here. We’ll take the sculpture into production this year and will be installed by Summer 2011.

Written by Blaine

January 2nd, 2010 at 4:52 pm