November 21, 2012 - Park Avenue Armory - Ann Hamilton
November 21, 2012

Ann Hamilton

Ann Hamilton
the event of a thread

December 5, 2012–January 6, 2013

Park Avenue Armory
643 Park Avenue (at 67th Street)
New York City
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 12–7pm
Special holiday hours:
December 24 & 31, January 1: 12–7pm
Closed December 25

Park Avenue Armory has commissioned Ann Hamilton to create a new installation, her first large-scale project in New York City in more than ten years. the event of a thread weaves together Hamilton’s exploration of time-based performance, the act of public speaking, and the poetic accumulation of material for which she is best known. Responding to the architecture and social history of the Armory, the participatory installation will feature a field of swings, suspended like pendulums from the drill hall trusses, and incorporate readings, sound, and other live elements that will animate the 55,000-square-foot Wade Thompson Drill Hall.

the event of a thread draws inspiration from the act of reading aloud and its relation to the varied experiences of speaking, listening, and recording. Over the duration of the exhibition, a succession of attendant readers, two at a time, will read aloud while seated at a table near the drill hall’s entrance. Their live voices will become a constant presence broadcast throughout the installation on a radio bandwidth designed to occupy a single city block, the physical footprint of Park Avenue Armory. Radio receivers will circulate to visitors who will be able to “carry” the voices as they traverse the installation. Continuing this theme of transmission, 42 trained homing pigeons, historically used to communicate messages, will be housed in cages surrounding the readers’ tables. On the opposite end of the expansive drill hall, an attendant writer—a quiet presence and visual counterpoint to the readers—will inscribe a response to the radio transmissions, the reading voices, and the room behind them as seen in a mirror reflection.

At the center of the installation, a field of 42 swings suspended from the hall’s elliptical wrought iron structural trusses will connect via ropes and pulleys to a massive cloth that bisects the space and will be animated by the movement of the swings. The shifting constellations of people gathered and invited to use the swings will create a complex kinetic system and an experience of communal connectivity.

About Ann Hamilton
Ann Hamilton is a visual artist internationally recognized for her large-scale multimedia installations. Hamilton has received a MacArthur Fellowship, Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship, NEA Visual Arts Fellowship, United States Artists Fellowship, the Heinz Award, and was chosen to represent the United States at the 1999 Venice Biennale. She is currently a Distinguished University Professor of Art at The Ohio State University.

Artist Talk: Ann Hamilton
Saturday, December 8, 2pm
Join Ann Hamilton for an informal discussion with Kristy Edmunds, Consulting Artistic Director at the Armory, about her artistic process, collaborations, and the ideas that inform her work.  
Tickets available at

About Park Avenue Armory
Part palace, part industrial shed, Park Avenue Armory fills a critical void in the cultural ecology of New York by enabling artists to create, and the public to experience, unconventional work that could not otherwise be mounted in traditional performance halls and museums. With its soaring 55,000-square-foot Wade Thompson Drill Hall and array of exuberant period rooms, the Armory invites artists to draw upon its grand scale and distinctive character to both inspire and inform their work. The Armory is currently undergoing a revitalization of its historic building, named among the “100 Most Endangered Historic Sites in the World” by the World Monuments Fund in 2000. The renovation and restoration, designed by Herzog & de Meuron, will stabilize and preserve the building and create new resources and spaces for exhibitions, installations, and performances, as well as Artist-in-Residence studios, rehearsal rooms, and back-of-house amenities—offering dynamic environments for artists and audiences alike.

Park Avenue Armory
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