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New Downtown Public Artwork Connects Columbus with Iran

Walker Evans Walker Evans New Downtown Public Artwork Connects Columbus with Iran
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What are the first thoughts that come to mind when you hear about the country of Iran? It’s regularly in the news, and many times not necessarily for positive reasons.

Pittsburgh-based artist Jon Rubin is asking passersby in Downtown Columbus to reevaluate those thoughts through a newly installed public artwork piece on East Broad Street called “The Time and The Temperature”. The piece electronically displays the current time and temperature in Tehran, the capital of Iran where more than 12 million people live.

The sign is similar to those commonly found in front of banks or churches that display local time and temperature, but the new installed piece asks viewer to project themselves to a foreign place and to take stock of how we view our own history and future through the lens of global affairs.

“The Time and The Temperature” is the latest public artwork piece installed in the “Finding Time: Columbus Public Art 2012” series, and will be visible through the Spring. While on display, public forums will be held at the Trinity Episcopal Church (located adjacent to the installed sign), with cultural, religious, academic and political leaders holding discussions on the issues at stake in US and Iranian relations. The first forum will take place on January 30th from 5:30 to 7:00pm.

Additional information can be found online at www.ColumbusPublicArt.com.

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  • osubilly

    Not art. Very uncreative.

  • mrpoppinzs

    He should have at least put the temperature in Celsius.

  • AlanBarber

    It’s definitely one of those modern art thought piece and not an asthetic piece to just enjoy looking at.

    Personally, I would find it much more interesting if it was a series that had signs for different locations around the world. Then it could be used to comment on the importance of columbus being more multi-cultural and reaching out to the world.

  • dtull

    I dig it, and I like that Iran is isolated. As if it’s creating some negative mental space for me to imagine other universal commonalities between the sidewalks of Tehran and Columbus. I wonder if other similar signs around town would dilute that impact or strengthen it, as you’ve suggested AlanBarber.

    In any event it certainly caught my eye driving down Broad St, so I’m glad to have some context now.

  • stephentszuter

    Clearly more for the drivers than the pedestrians…

    Creative idea, but…

  • geoyui

    It would have been great to see the sign in style that is consistent with that country’s signage standards, e.g. colors, shape, font, language.

  • I think this is a very good idea. We tend to only be fed images by the media of angry mobs of men protesting but this gives us a chance to pause and consider that in Tehran people are going about their daily lives: going to work, dropping children off to day-care/school, making meals, hugging their loved ones – just like us. I think this is brilliant.

  • warren

    It is not art, it is a sign, and it’s installed in the right of way, bad precedent, wake up Columbus

  • “it’s not art, it’s a painting.”

    “it’s not art, it’s a movie.”

    “it’s not art, it’s a bunch of people dancing.”

  • channelcity

    I love it, challenging the preconceived notions many have of Iran and pushing them to think of it in a different manner. I do wish there was at least a bit of Farsi on it (although perhaps its message wouldn’t be as clear) and it probably should be in Celsius as mentioned but overall a great piece. I only wish I and my friends (many from Tehran) could be there for the discussions as well.

    Art is subjective, open your mind to experience it. It’s nice to see art in Columbus, the more the better.

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