Photo by Megan Stockton
Eliot Circle has witnessed many strange and unexplained phenomena over the years, but the sudden apparition of a terrestrial shipwreck involving a tugboat, a freight container, and random chunks of rusty iron was enough to make even the most battle-hardened administrator stagger in amazement.
The installation, dubbed Assembly of Freight, was created by sculptor Ben Wolf as part of RAW (Reed Arts Week, for those of you with short memories). This year’s theme, Geographies, emphasized the remapping of ordinary space and featured a labyrinth of hanging laundry in the Grove, a surreal living room in commons, rolling pallets of grass in Eliot Hall, theatrical performances, poetry readings, and lectures—all orchestrated by student directors Kylie Gilchrist ’12 and Allie Tepper ’11.
Assembly was definitely the highlight of the show, however. Wolf and his assistants spent several days camped out in the parking lot cattycorner from the 7-Eleven, cutting and welding individual components, which were finally assembled on site with the help of a crane and a forklift. At one point, metal thieves raided their makeshift staging area and made off with several tons of scrap, but the artists persevered in their vision, refusing to allow petty larceny to, uh, torpedo their shipwreck.