Colossal Camera in Madison Square Park to Put Focus on Flatiron Building

By Heather Holland on January 31, 2013 8:57am 

FLATIRON — A new exhibit at Madison Square Park is bringing back an old-fashioned way of viewing the Flatiron Building.

Beginning March 1, park visitors can view an inverted moving image of the Flatiron building by looking through an exhibit called “Topsy-Turvy: A Camera Obscura Installation.”

Using a "camera obscura" — an old type of camera device that consists of a darkened chamber or room and a lens, which uses light to project an upside-down image to the viewer — visitors will be able to check out the iconic building in an entirely new way.

The "Topsy-Turvy" version is made up of a 10-foot-tall, 10-foot-wide cylindrical building, serving as the chamber, where visitors can enter and view the building through a small hole, or the “lens,” said Adam Glick, curator of the Madison Square Park art program.

“After giving their eyes enough time to adjust, they can look through the small hole that’s pointed toward the Flatiron Building,” he said. “It’ll be a projected, inverted image of what is outside in real time. It will look like you’re watching a film.”

“Topsy-Turvy,” created by New York-based artists Sandra Gibson and Luis Recorder, will be installed at the southwestern end of the park near the gravel, Glick said.

“The artists are very involved in film, photography and digital arts,” Glick said. “[The camera obscura] is a centuries-old precursor to cinema and photography. Now were taking it to a modern space and juxtaposing a contemporary space with the use of old technology.”

"Topsy Turvy," which is a part of the Madison Square Park Conservancy's Mad Sq. Art program for the spring season, will be on display at the park from March 1 through April 5.

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