LIZ NIELSEN: FORCEFIELD
15 July - 30 September 2022
On view Nightly, Sunset - Midnight
134 Grand St. Newburgh, NY
Dutch Reformed Church, c.1835
STRONGROOM is pleased to present Liz Nielsen: Forcefield, a large-scale, site-specific installation at Newburgh’s Dutch Reformed Church located at 134 Grand Street. The work will be viewable from sunset to midnight every night, from July 15 through September 30, 2022.
One of the most important examples of Greek Revival architecture in the Hudson Valley, Liz will encase the1835 monumental church in a glowing “forcefield” of lights, which will pulse to the sound of the community’s heartbeats.
Stemming from a longstanding interest in creating spiritual protection through light, and quantum field theory, Liz will express an imagined sense of space by wrapping the building in a glowing “forcefield” 60 feet high. Liz will utilize light to create defined energy pathways, marking energy in space through architecture that yields a metaphorical protective shield.
While expressing an underlying, non-denominational spirituality, the installation acknowledges the passage of time - the world changing as the church has stood there, as both witness and participant in its varied uses, deterioration, attempts at revival, and its current state of “limbo.” In this way the lights create a protective barrier between the harmful elements and extended time that have allowed the building to come into its current state.
The lights respond to the sound of heartbeats collected from local community members, expressing our collective history and responsibility towards this structure, and Newburgh. This poetic gesture further emphasizes the building as a spiritual being, with 187 years of life and history, waiting for its next chapter to unfold.
Newburgh’s Dutch Reformed Church was built in 1835 by Alexander Jackson Davis, and is considered one of the most important examples of Greek Revival architecture in the area. It is a National Historic Landmark, and has had many attempts and false starts at revitalization, since being saved from demolition in the 1960s. The pained history of urban renewal and economic decline in the City of Newburgh, and strong desire to have this building restored and repurposed, make it an impassioned site for Liz’s first major public work on this scale.
Liz Nielsen is a contemporary artist working in light and photo, based in Brooklyn and Newburgh, NY. Her photographs are made without a camera and can also be described as light paintings. She works in the analogue color darkroom exposing light sensitive paper and processing it through traditional photographic chemicals. Liz has exhibited her work extensively including recent solo exhibitions through her gallery representation in New York, Los Angeles, London and Paris. Her work has been featured at international art fairs such as Paris Photo, Photo London, and Unseen Amsterdam, as well as the Untitled Art Fair in Miami, FL. Liz has been reviewed in Artforum, the New Yorker, the Guardian, the London Financial Times, LensCulture, Vogue UK, and FOAM magazine among others.