staring contest

a site specific installation video documentation, 2009

assistance in the filming, Robert Andersen

Two men peer through clusters of trees at each other across the dividing border of Woodward Avenue, Detroit, Michigan, to realize an implicit mirror. In the “west,” we have the Polish Roman Catholic astronomer, Nicolas Copernicus (fabricated by sculptor Ferenc Varga in 1973), landed on Detroit Public Library; and in the “east” we have the Persian Muslim scholar, Nasir al-Din al-Tusi, on the Detroit Institute of Art land.

Copernicus’ research would not have developed without the work of his predecessor, al-Tusi, 272 years earlier. Separated nationalistically, ideologically, and culturally; these two astronomers in the woods mir-ror each other, caught in wonder, gazing into space, fixed in a staring contest.

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chido johnson
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