back to press listing

Gimme Shelter
by Jonathan Sapers
The New Yorker, July 13, 1992


(about a community of Shelter)

The new sculptural installation-forms made of steel, hardware cloth, adobe, rope, rubber hose, and other materials-in the Thomas Paine Park, across from the U.S. Courthouse, transforms the tiny park into a kind of fairyland, a mystical place where strange shapes are tethered to trees. According to the sculptor, Nancy Cohen, the six pieces-two shell-like objects, a sort of shroud, something that looks like a giant Christmas-tree ornament, two pods filled with found objects like an old typewriter and hubcaps, and a grim metal box stuffed with computer paraphernalia-are intended, by their similarity to natural forms of shelter, as a statement about society's inablity to producce adequate housing for the homeless. The pieces are also, she said , meant to draw passersby into the center of the park, which is ordinarily frequented only by homeless people and pigeons.