About the Exhibition
Sculptor Robert Taplin (b.1950, USA) and poet Daniel Wolff have collaborated on a wonderful, whimsical idea: What if there was this man who met a woman and had an affair? What if the relationship didn’t quite work out and the man was left brokenhearted? And what if the man was so obsessed with this relationship that he made each of their meeting places a shrine?
“This is the place—it happened here.” The supermarket where they first met. The bus stop where he could have sworn he saw her. The post office where he waited and waited for her letters, which never came.
What if hundreds of people came from miles to see these shrines and realized just how important something as impersonal as a bus stop can be—which is just what the man wanted.
So he decides to share his shrines with the world and brings them to New York City and sets them up in Union Square.
Strange? Yes. But true. The shrines are a series of view-boxes that look like utility boxes or other bits of public machinery except that they have a peephole and a crank. A passerby, turning the crank, gets one part of the love story through poetry and moving sculpture. Each view-box memorializes one stage of the affair and the place where it occurred. The nine view-boxes together complete the story and at the same time describe a very human “map” of the city.
Nine Views of New Haven is a month-long show consisting of nine viewers (or peepshows) set up throughout New Haven and now in Manhattan. If all nine are seen, a story emerges—in poem and sculpture—about a love affair. The end of the sequence has transformed the city into a memorial—a symbol of the affair. Thus the epigram which accompanies the project, “inside this city, there’s another city.”