Proteus Gowanus is pleased to announce a new public art installation located at the corner of Smith Street and Bergen Street in partnership with the NYC Department of Transportion’s Urban Art Program and the Boerum Hill Association. This is the second in a series of public art installations, performances and workshops called Battle Pass, a Proteus Gowanus initiative that will explore Revolutionary imagery over the next year. The project marks sites of the Battle of Brooklyn, the first and biggest battle of the Revolutionary War, sometimes forgotten in the very neighborhoods in which it occurred.
The installation by Sasha Chavchavadze was inspired by the “Liberty Pole,” a ship’s mast planted in the ground in the years leading up to the Revolutionary War as a symbol of protest, and by Walt Whitman’s poem about the Battle, “The Centenarian’s Story.” The installation, a 16-foot mahogany pole with directional signs “burned” with text from the Whitman poem, is topped by a weathervane referencing one that was affixed to the historical pole, drawing attention to the circular meaning of the word “revolution” and to the surrounding Battle history.
Chavchavadze is a multi-media artist whose installations explore the complexity and devastation of historical upheaval and war. Battle Pass: Revolution II draws parallels between past and present as it stimulates Brooklyn’s “memory” of this seminal moment in American history which took place in our midst.