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Public art 'Other Side of the World' at Market Square

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop
| Friday, May 4, 2018, 12:54 p.m.
Children from a local daycare play on the 'Other Side of the World' art piece installation which will be in Market Square through May 25.
Children from a local daycare play on the 'Other Side of the World' art piece installation which will be in Market Square through May 25.

The artwork, "Other Side of the World," by internationally renowned Ball-Nogues Studio from Los Angeles is an abstract representation of Amsterdam Island that visitors can explore and experience May 3 through May 25 at Market Square in Pittsburgh.

This Market Square Public Art Installation was brought here by the Public Art and Civic Design Division of the city of Pittsburgh, in collaboration with Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership and technical assistance from the Office of Public Art.

New art installation in Market Square. #pittsburgh @downtownpitt

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"The world is dotted with invisible places; places we never knew existed; places without names and stories that don't make it into guidebooks, literature or the news," says Benjamin Ball, of Ball-Nogues Studio in a news release. "Representing them and giving them specificity can help us consider our biases, or rather, how we ascribe value to one place versus another. Amsterdam Island is farther away from Pittsburgh than any other habitual place on earth, it is literally the opposite side of the world. By exploring this unfamiliar locale – far from what we know and without using a lens of tourism, we can deepen our understanding of how we shape our own place in the world."

The artwork encourages viewers to think outside of the box and reflect on the world's vast geography, and consider the histories and stories of largely unknown places like Amsterdam Island. The fantastical elements of "Other Side of the World" endeavor to spark curiosity, imagination, and new perspectives among Pittsburghers.

"We believe that 'Other Side of the World' is the perfect installation to kick off a season of free activities and events that enliven Market Square throughout the rest of the year," says Jeremy Waldrup, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, in a news release. "We are thrilled to have the world-class talent of Ball-Nogues Studio bringing such an interesting concept to Market Square."

Located in the South Indian Ocean, Amsterdam Island is one of the most remote places on the planet. Positioned between Africa, Antarctica, and Australia, the island is part of a rich ecoregion, and boasts several endemic species such as the Amsterdam albatross. The landscape itself reveals and extinct volcano, craters, and vents amid the island's coastal cliffs, grasslands, and mostly undisturbed shores.

Comprised of a modular timber substructure, coated with desiccated rubber from recycled tires, and finished with a gradient of brightly colored rubber granules, "Other Side of the World" becomes a playful, vibrant, and physically accessible representation of Amsterdam Island that invites visitors into a warm and immersive experience.


JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-853-5062 or or via Twitters @Jharrop_Trib.

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