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Demetrius Oliver

September 7 – October 6, 2010
Billboard next to the High Line at 18th Street and 10th Avenue

For the High Line, Demetrius Oliver presents Jupiter, an image featuring five round photographs exposing mysterious acts and props, but lacking a human presence. In one photograph, a camera sits alone in a room in front of open violin cases placed in the windows. In another, the camera captures a group of closed umbrellas balancing upright on the edge of a bed. Set against a solid, black background, each photograph resembled a planet floating in a night sky, an association reinforced by how they appeared to be incrementally rotating in space.

Live musical performances and stargazing from the High Line accompany the photographic element to expand the spatial dimension of Oliver’s piece. Artist Blanche Bruce and multiple groups of student musicians performed “Jupiter” by John Coltrane on September 7, 18, 21, and October 2, 2010. Additionally, Oliver joined the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York on the High Line on September 21, 2010 to celebrate both the autumnal equinox and the Jupiter opposition–the day Earth passes between the Sun and Jupiter, making the distant planet most clearly visible. 2010’s Jupiter opposition was the closest the planet has been to the Earth since 1951.

(1) Photo by Jason Mandella; (2-4) Photo courtesy of Friends of the High Line; (5) Photo by Juan Valentin.

Demetrius Oliver

Demetrius Oliver (b. 1975, New York) lives and works in New York. Oliver’s work has been exhibited widely, with solo exhibitions at the Print Center, Philadelphia (2014); Franklin Artworks, Minneapolis (2013); Inman Gallery, Houston (2012); D’Amelio Terras, New York (2011); Light Work, Syracuse (2011); Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond (2009); and the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Atlanta (2006), among others. Additionally, his work has been included in group exhibitions at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Renaissance Society, University of Chicago, Chicago; and the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York. He is the recipient of the PEW Charitable Trust Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative Grant in 2012 and an award from the Rema Hort Mann Foundation in 2007.


This High Line Art Commission was presented by Friends of the High Line and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. High Line Art Commissions are made possible by Donald R. Mullen, Jr. Additional support for Jupiter was provided by The Greenwall Foundation, with in-kind support from Edison Properties and Maharam. This program was supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and from the New York State Council on the Arts, celebrating 50 years of building strong, creative communities in New York State's 62 counties.

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