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Short-term stylish redesign of Dilworth Plaza

Friday, October 8th, 2010


A city-wide festival of all things design launches this weekend. Design Philadelphia features about 150 exhibits and events ranging from architecture to fashion to skateboards. A group of artists are using video to bring attention to a part of the city hiding in plain sight.

It should be a major congregating point for commuters, tourists, and brown-bag lunchers. But video artist Ricardo Rivera says that to many Dilworth Plaza is a mystery.

“No one that I know knows where it is. They’re like, Where’s Dilworth Plaza? That’s the weird sunken thing by City Hall. Oh, that place; smells funny.”

If you do know what Dilworth Plaza is: did you know there’s an abstract sculpture of a rising Phoenix in it? For four evenings, Rivera will project fragmented videos directly onto the different planes of the sculpture to create a Cubist motion effect. Seven other artist will also install projections in the alcoves surrounding the plaza. It’s the brainchild of Marianne Bernstein, who says the location is perfect because it’s both beautiful and sad.

“Sad because it’s neglected. Sad because of where it is. There’s so many treasures in Philadelphia, and this is one of them.”

The video installations will light up Dilworth Plaza every evening through the Columbus Day weekend.

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