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.