Pool of Tears


What could be more private than the act of crying? What could be less permanent than a tear? This December, inside New York’s Park Avenue Armory, Scottish installation artist Douglas Gordon is teaming up with risk-taking classical French pianist Hélène Grimaud to transform tears into an imposing public spectacle and a vast audio-visual cityscape. In tears become… streams become…, Gordon will fill the Armory’s interior with a pool of water—an eerie manifestation of our collected, communal tears—to set the scene for ten nights of Grimaud performing a series of water-themed pieces by Ravel, Debussy, and Liszt, among others. “The field of water within this expanse is disorientating and forces us to reconsider our surroundings,” says Gordon, whose previous work in disorientating time and space includes bringing an Indian elephant into Gagosian Gallery in 2002. Along with the artist’s juxtaposition of the physical and the finite, Gordon promises that Grimaud’s musical extremes will be “almost otherworldly.”