Raquel Rabinovich: EMERGENCES – Momentary Flux and Enduring Continuity

Emergences consist of moderately sized stones arranged in clusters along the shores of the Hudson River. Indigenous rocks mingle with those the artist introduces to the site –pink marble, bluestone, Corinthian granite, etc. Each mound is measurable according to human scale. Since 2002, Emergences have been installed on ten riverfront sites. In some, the periphery stones scatter from the core so that the sculptures appear to merge into their settings. In others, the borders between sculpture and site are delineated. Yet neither configuration intrudes upon the landscape. Instead of demanding attention, these sculptures beckon viewers to reflect upon the wondrous complexity of Nature’s rhythms.

The eastern-most stones within each installation are the first to receive the lapping of river tides. Over the course of the next six hours and twelve and a half minutes, the tides will extend ever further up the beach until the entire sculpture is submerged under water. It vanishes from sight, but only for the briefest interlude. Immediately the tips of the highest stones reappear as the tide retreats. It takes precisely six hours and twelve and a half minutes for the water to depart, leaving the sculpture completely exposed upon the land along the river’s edge, either basking in the sun’s warmth or reflecting the moon’s glow. Then the cycle of rising waters begins anew.

Each Emergence installation is formed out of the predictable tidal flows and the erratic behavior of the waves that comprise them. The tides register the force of distant galactic events, while the waves manifest the variability of earth-bound events. As such, these works celebrate the opposing forces that comprise Earth’s fundamental rhythms and determine all observable magnitudes, contours, and momentums.
Within the majestic scale of the Hudson River landscape, the tons of stones that are assembled for each Emergence installation appear as modest interventions. These works achieve grandeur by transforming inert mineral deposits onto messengers embodying the twice-daily crescendos of the Earth’s waters, the once-daily rotations of the planet, the cosmic source of sunrises and sunsets, the omnipresent authority of gravity, the ever-shifting border between water and land.
Emergences enable viewers to perceive the opposing dynamics that rule geological events and maintain life on Earth – momentary flux and enduring continuity.