CAMBRIDGE â€“ Some people believe each day should take you to great places and present new experiences.
So, youâ€™d probably be batting .500 if you were standing in an abandoned lot at the corner of Shade and Kerr Streets on Thursday morning, watching a crane lift a 300-pound, steel disc into the air.
According to Toronto-based artist Derek Liddington, the â€œbanal object celebrates both the sunâ€™s rise and fall, engaged in a hopeless tracing of solar gesture â€“ an act of mimicry that is simultaneously archival and violent.â€
It also could be viewed as our tax dollars at work. But who doesnâ€™t like to see cranes adorning a cityâ€™s skyline?
Cambridge Galleriesâ€™ Curator Iga Janik conceded it cost a bit of dough to have Ayr Crane Service come out and manipulate the so-called banal object.
â€œThey advertise big jobs, small jobs, all jobs,â€ she laughed. â€œThis sounded like a big job.â€
The crane operator who goes by the nickname Mystro looked most sun-like on this bleak and chilly November morn. Decked out in his bright orange construction suit, it was his job to adjust the disk every 15 to 20 minutes, until sundown.
â€œIt rises from the east and sets in the west,â€ Mystro told the Times, rather knowingly.
According to Jannik, 1.25 degrees every five minutes would be accurate, but no one was holding Mystro to such preciseness.
â€œI think everyone experiences romanticism of the sun rising and setting,â€ Liddington said. â€œI think thereâ€™s something about trying to create that romanticism.â€
The artiste has been in Cambridge before, at the same great coordinates, to create an outdoor mini-golf installation. That was all about getting people moving through random outdoor areas of Cambridge and interacting with them, Janik recalls.
â€œArt is often about pulling people together for a moment,â€ Liddington noted.
â€œThis is about a moment that lasts.â€
Through drawing, sculpture and performance, much of his work explores horizons and potential moments that can occur between the rise and the fall of the sun. His first solo show within a public gallery will be on display at the Queenâ€™s Square gallery until Jan. 12.
Itâ€™s uncertain whether anyone â€œromanticizedâ€ with the sun on Thursday.
But, as Mystro adjusted the big steel disc at 9 a.m., the whole experience did evoke some thought – about the time spent there, the endless possibilities the rest of the day would present, what could be accomplished, and what wouldnâ€™t.