About the Exhibition
Alexander Brodsky (b.1955, Moscow, Russia) transforms the Canal Street Subway Station into a Venetian canal, employing a shadow puppet style to create the illusion. The gondolas are made out of tin and wooden cutouts are placed in a shallow tank of water gently rocked by waves. Lights and faint sounds of music and lapping water are used to enhance the experience. The rear wall of the installation is filled with a perspective drawing of an ancient Venetian street, creating a sense of depth. Upon completing his installation, Brodsky described the project as "one of the millions of strange things that happen to you in this city. You have to transfer subways—to do this you must go through a long space of dead station. You want to pass through this space as fast as possible and suddenly, in the middle of it, you see a mirage—lights, water, boats, sounds of street life. You see a canal. It's real and unreal at the same time. You stop for a few minutes trying to understand what it is and why it is here and then you go on with your life, keeping the mirage in your memory. You might come back another day to check—was it a dream or not?"