Tatiana Trouvé’s Desire Lines in Central Park

Desire Lines
All Photos By Gail

For her first public commission in the United States, Tatiana Trouvé (b. 1968, Cosenza, Italy) has made a work that responds to Central Park. She came to see the miles of pedestrian paths that traverse its landscape as similar to the arteries of a living being. There’s no singular way to walk through the park, but rather a multitude of possible routes that may be followed according to our own desires.

Desire Lines Black Spools

Desire Lines Black Spools

Drawing on existing maps, Trouvé isolated all of the marked pathways in the park and estimated their distances. She identified 212, from secluded paths to prominent thoroughfares, ranging in length from around 60 feet to four miles. Translating her research into three-dimensional form, Trouvé created three large-scale storage racks that house a total of 212 spools.

Desire Lines Green Spools

Each spool is wound with rope equivalent in length to a corresponding pathway and labeled to identify its location in the park.

Desire Lines Pink and Purple Spools

Tatiana Trouvé’s work is also a reflection on the broader cultural significance of walking. It’s an activity that ranges from personal recreation to political statement, and has inspired poets, musicians, writers, and artists. Thus, the artist has associated each pathway with a title drawn from culture and history that relates to walking. In this way, Desire Lines is both a systematic inventory of the park and an invitation to explore the political and poetic resonance of the simple act of taking a walk.

Desire Lines Pink Spools

Desire Lines Pink Spool Detail

Desire Lines by Tatiana Trouvé (curated by Nicholas Baume) is on Exhibit Through Sunday August 230, 2105 at Fifth Avenue and 60th Street. Make sure you head into the Park for some exploring after you view it, because it’s gorgeous out there!

Central Park

Desire Lines Green Spools

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