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Demolition Art?

by Allan Appel | Feb 25, 2013 5:07 pm

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Posted to: Arts & Culture, Visual Arts, Wooster Square

Allan Appel Photo Bricks, bricks, everywhere and not a building in sight. But maybe it’s art?

There is a perhaps unconscious art installation that greets passers-by of 776 Grand Ave., just east of Jefferson Street and adjacent to Catholic Charities. That is, if you think that destruction is a form of creation.

776 Grand was the site on Friday of a fire so severe, creating enough gaps in walls and masonry, that officials wondered whether the building should come down.

Wonder no longer.

The city condemned the building, and Cherry Hill Construction of North Branford began the work of demolishing it on Saturday. In the process it created lots of formations of those baked bricks.

By Sunday the heavy equipment operators had created an expanse of bricks that was attracting passersby, or at least this one.

Here and there, depending on the light,  hard lines of the bricks pile up into curving hummocks. In the distance, at the far end of the lot it almost seems as if there are brick undulations, a term associated more with water than the geometric lines of brick.

In literature, synesthesia is the term used for a metaphor that mixes the senses, like a “blue note.”

Has 776 Grand briefly become a “sea of bricks,” a site of temporary visual synesthesia?

The Cherry Hill guys were pretty matter of fact about their work, acknowledging only that there were a whole lot of bricks out there.

Still, they may have unconsciously made an evanescent contribution to the visual landscape: their demolition as our art.

You have to check it out while you can, and of course it all keeps changing. Cherry Hill Construction operations staffer Paul Scott said his crews expect to finish the job by Thursday or perhaps as early as Wednesday.

And the fate of the undulating bricks? “They’ll fill in the hole [of the basement] to ground level. The idea is to leave it looking like a parking lot,”  he said.

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