Román Montoto’s artist statement
April 30, 2012
Román Montoto’s statement about Urban Counter-Pose
The approach taken to design Urban Counter-Pose for the Bay View Art Stop Design Competition includes satisfying several design criteria. One of the primary goals identified from the Request for Proposals asks that the intervention establish a northern entry into the Bay View District. This inspired a design process that activates the intervention’s scale and proportion as “Urban Counter-Position” to movement and views around the site; a process of finding equilibrium to an imbalanced and ‘lost’ place. The traffic island’s context of vehicular circulation results in an urban residue and rift at the cross-roads. This scheme’s development is accelerated by mending that rift and creating a highly visible and monumental sculpture emerging as a unique marker of Bay View while satisfying the functional requirements of the Lincoln Ave, Howell Ave, and Kinnickinnic Ave bus stops. Approaching, waiting, moving, and gathering in and throughout the site and intervention unfolds into a sweeping experience of scalar variation from the intimate to the broad and gestural. With this, Urban Counter-Pose responds to its position within the city as much as its position within the district of Bay View, at the traffic island with adjacencies to evolving commerce and close proximities to dwellings. It engages both the city and district communities through a series of unique visual, spatial, and experiential dynamics. Bay View’s independent mind-set and industrial history are filtered into design sensibilities for this scheme by materials selection and composition. A heavy concrete base eludes to the well-rooted and independent thinking community while the animated steel structure springing up from that foundation does so with a sense of industrious and creative resurgence, open-ended and optimistic for the future. The Urban Counter-Pose establishes ‘place’ with compositions of space and materials that evoke a sense of ‘becoming’; becoming a celebrated gathering node for the community, becoming a stimulant for future commerce in the area, and becoming a marker and signifier of Bay View within the City of Milwaukee.
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