Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Street Art III
This noon, I set out to find Mags Harries's 1976 urban sculpture, Asaroton (Unswept Floor). Originally embedded in the pavement at Hanover and Haymarket streets a short walk from where I work, the 55'-by-10'-by-9" bronze insert sculpture featured detritus you might find littering the streets and sidewalks around the open-air produce market: fish, flowers, newspapers, gloves, and corn cobs. The newspapers Harries used even featured headlines about busing in South Boston.

Commissioned to commemorate the U.S. Bicentennial, Asaroton refers to a Greco-Roman floor mosaic technique dating to 200 B.C. Because of construction of the central artery, however, Asaroton is no longer visible -- with most (hopefully all) of it in storage or on display at the Museum of Science. That's a relief, as I was prepared to write the MBTA to inquire what happened to the sculpture because of the Big Dig.

Unable to see the sidewalk sculpture, I grabbed a quick and unsatisfying lunch at Haymarket Pizza (two slices, $2), braved the cold wind of the pedestrian tunnel through the construction, and headed back to work. Hopefully I'll be more successful finding items of interest in Marty Carlock's A Guide to Public Art in Greater Boston in the future.

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