起死回生 kishi kaisei // Wake from death and return to life

by WildChild

The Mayor of Tokyo, over 100 years ago, gave D.C. 3,000 Cherry Blossom Trees which created the National Cherry Blossom Festival.  Tourists from around the world come during this time to see the beautiful trees lining the streets filled with monuments from America’s growth as a nation.

This turned into an art project, covered by Interview Magazine:

This past weekend marked the centennial of the gift, and a year since Japan was hit with a devastating tsunami. “5×5,” initiated by the D.C. Commission on the Arts & Humanities, asks five curators—Amy Lipton, Justine Topfer, Laura Roulet, Steve Rowell and Richard Hollinshead—to select five international artists who create temporary site-specific works throughout the city’s eight wards in vacant or dormant spaces.

On any given day, the National Mall is peppered with demonstrators championing various causes, while holdouts from the Occupy movement can still be found voicing their message. It’s not surprising then, that many of the 25 installations—up through April—reference protest and political activism. Berlin artist group KUNSTrePUBLIK replicated a version of the Temperance Fountain, complete with a working fountain and equipped with a microphone and speakers, to act as a portable “protest vehicle” for anyone’s use.

“We created this sculpture to be adaptable to the different needs of the area communities to make a better life,” described the collective’s Philip Horst. This weekend alone they brought it to a party where Fugazi singer and straightedge pioneer Ian MacKaye explored ideas of how best to use it for change, and later, many saw it as a memorial when it was brought to a vigil for slain Florida teenager Trayvon Martin. With Polygonal Address (PA) System, Chicago-based artists Deborah Stratman and Steven Badgett produced an homage to activist Abbie Hoffman who, during the Vietnam War, marched on Washington intending to “levitate the pentagon to exorcise the evil spirits” using psychic powers. For their part, Stratman and Badgett built a solar-powered, rotating mini-pentagon that hovers above the waters behind the Titanic Memorial, broadcasting a range of historical sound recordings and political addresses.

For Cherry Blossom Cloud, Charles Juhasz-Alvarado fashioned a xylophone from cherry wood and invited the community to engage with the piece;

and then there’s “Home Mender” by Monica Canilao, who drove cross-country with fellow collaborators collecting salvaged materials for a massive work in progress that spans the top floor of a building that once stored police evidence documents. “We came here to a completely empty room and built our own city,” Canilao described of the structure that they assembled to look like a woman’s legs; her torso turned into a small living room.

Most moving of all, however, is Office of Experiment’s 1×1 comprised of 1,000 small vials of “tears,” water collected in Japan after the earthquake. Visitors are encouraged to pour the water on a cherry tree bringing about a symbolic rebirth. This act also reflects what Tokyo’s mayor hoped to do a century ago: promote an international exchange between the two continents encouraging new life and friendships to blossom. As evidenced this weekend, the vibrant 5×5 project is the start of a new era of tradition.

See 5×5’s Website

5X5 Art Locations

Amy Lipton‘s Artists:
Natalie Jeremijenko Location: Intersection of Cedar Street and Piney Branch Road, NW
Tattfoo Tan Location: Yard’s Park -East Lawn – 10 Water Street SE
Brandon Ballengée Location: The National Zoo – 3001 Connecticut Ave NW
Chrysanne Stathacos Locations: Textile Museum – 2320 S Street NW (until June 1st)
Sasha Bruce – 5032 D Street SE
Sasha Bruce – 1022 Maryland Avenue NE
Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital – 921 Pennsylvania Avenue SE
Habitat For Artists Location: THEARC – 1901 Mississippi Avenue SE

Justine Topfer‘s Artists:
Monica Canilao Location: Old Evidence Warehouse in Anacostia – 2235 Shannon Pl, SE
Jefferson Pinder Location: Corcoran Gallery of Art – 500 Seventeenth Street NW
Rebar Location: Central 14th Street (between Longfellow & Colorado)
Reko Rennie Location: Meridian House – (exterior wall facing 16th Street)
Clare Rojas Location: National Museum of Women in the Arts – 1250 New York Avenue NW

Laura Roulet‘s Artists:
Ben Ashworth Location: Capital Hill Arts Workshop – 545 7th Street SE
Garfield Park – 800 3rd Street, SE at the underpass
The Floating Lab Collective Locations: Deanwood Rec Center – 1350 49th Street NE
Brentwood Rec Center – 2311 14th Street, NE
Corcoran Gallery of Art – 510 17th Street NW
The Pepco Edison Place Gallery – 8th Street between G and H streets NW
Deanwood Rec Center – 1350 49th Street NE
Old Evidence Warehouse – 2235 Shannon Pl, SE
Charles Juhasz-Alvarado Location: Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater – 1101 Sixth Street, SW
Patrick McDonough Locations: http://www.prhg.net – Citywide
Wilmer Wilson IV Locations: The University of the District of Columbia – 4200 Connecticut Ave, NW (between the cafeteria and law library)
Lincoln Theater – 1215 U Street NW
Old Post Office Pavillion (at 9AM) to National Postal Museum (at 2PM) – 1100 Pennsylvania Ave. NW / 2 Massachusetts, Avenue, NE

Richard Hollinshead‘s Artists:
Cath Campbell Location: Yard’s Park – 10 Water Street SE (within the Lumbershead)
Ben Jeans Houghton Location: National Building Museum – 401 F Street NW
Jo Ray Location: 7th and Water St, SW
Isabella Streffen Location: Library of Congress – 10 First Street, SE
Martin Luther King Library – 901 G Street NW
Wolfgang Weileder Locations: DC Jewish Community Center – 1529 16th Street NW
Parking lot between Cosmos Club & International Arts and Artists – Parking lot in front of 9 Hillyer Court NW
TechWorld Plaza – 800 K Street, NW
2nd St NE and East Capitol Street SE

Steve Rowell‘s Artists:
KUNSTrePUBLIK Locations: Cherry Blast + Lumen8 Anacostia – 2235 Shannon Pl SE
Follow on Twitter: #FountainsofDC
Lize Mogel Locations: Distribution and tour points begin at all DC Public Libraries
Follow on Twitter: #sightlines
Office of Experiments Locations: Transformer Gallery – 1404 P Street NW
Cherry Blast + Lumen8 Anacostia – 2235 Shannon Pl SE
Follow on Twitter: #OOE1x1
Charles Stankievech Locations: Gang Plank Marina – 600 Water Street SW (outside of Cantina Marina)
Cherry Blast + Lumen8 Anacostia – 2235 Shannon Place SE
Follow on Twitter: #Over&Out
Deborah Stratman & Steve Badgett Locations: GangPlank Marina: E Dock – 600 Water Street SW
GangPlank Marina: Titantic Memorial – 600 Water Street SW
Follow on Twitter: #polygonaladdress