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mast. south los angeles wetlands park. 2016.

Mast, a collaboration between LA-based artist Joshua Callaghan and architect Daveed Kapoor, is a public sculpture that resembles the mast and unfurled sails of a ship, transforming the South Los Angeles Wetlands Park into a maritime setting.

 

Marooned and without a ship to support it, this mast—made mainly from a wooden utility pole—stands in the southwest corner of the park as a new landmark. The elements used to create the work are far from those employed in traditional shipbuilding: Mast is made from the same materials used in the public street furniture found around the park.

 

Despite being stationary, this ship sails in the park as part of a trip within the present, while simultaneously remaining anchored in the past. Surrounded not by water, this ghost vessel takes its inspiration from San Salvador, the first European ship to arrive on the Californian coast in 1592. This contemporary artifact recalls the joy of a sailor who sees new land while also subtly invoking a cultural shipwreck that questions notions of territory and the right to exploit it.

 

Versatile in its use, this sculpture also invites passersby and locals to freely interact with the work, whether to use it as shade to relax in or as a place to hang posters (for lost pets, musical events, yard sales). It also insinuates the possibility of a flexible community space or the open sea.

 

—Ruth Estévez

Member, Curatorial Committee

CURRENT:LA Water

 

 

Project team:

Marek Ficinski, Brett Goldstone, Henry Goldstone, William Goldstone, Sam Greenfeld,

Grant Levy-Lucero, Nick at West Marine, Santa Fe Bending, Susan Sirota, VT Electric,

The Maritime Museum of San Diego, City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs,

Dyson-Womack, Miranda Rodriguez, Community Services Unlimited.