The Awakening Sculpture, Part 2

January 20, 2011 — One of the first articles I ever posted on this site was about my visit to J. Seward Johnson’s statue, The Awakening, in Washington, DC. At the time, it was in a relatively secluded little spot called Hains Point, across the Potomac from Reagan International Airport. In early 2008, the statue was moved about 10 miles away and across the Maryland state line to the National Harbor.

A couple of months ago, I finally got to see the massive sculpture firsthand in its new setting (while visiting the National Harbor for the ICE! Grinch attraction). It’s now located on a small stretch of sand by the boat docks and towered over by all the shops, apartments, and restaurants there. It’s a much less secluded place, and the piece kind of gets swallowed up in it all, unfortunately. In addition, the thin layer of sand in which the colossus is anchored hurts the “I’m buried and I can’t get out” illusion a bit.

However, with the new prominent location and the fact that the statue won’t have to face the competition of all the more famous DC monuments so directly anymore might mean that The Awakening could start getting some well-deserved attention. Although I might hate that. It’s my giant, not yours.

Incidentally, since posting my first piece, a second casting of the sculpture was embedded in the Midwest dirt of Chesterfield, Missouri, meaning even more people will be able to experience what it’s like to slide down the knee of a buried titan. Just so you know, proper etiquette demands a “Whee!”








To give you more of an idea of the jarring context of the
sculpture, this Peeps store is more or less directly across from it.

3 comments:

  1. I can't believe that sign is impeding the view of the eagles!

    I saw the sculpture not long after it was moved. If the purpose of art is to spur thought, conversation and debate, it is definitely art. And, I mean, each piece is pretty amazing. But it is an ODD piece in that small setting. Wouldn't it look great among trees in a large wooded area?

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  2. I also saw this sculpture when it was in D.C. I spent a lot of time in DC when I was younger and we had a picnic there once... I wish I had a digital camera back then!

    XX
    Jessie
    http://87life.blogspot.com

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  3. He's all boxed-in now. Needs more space. Kind of like he went from a single family home to a condo:)

    Kevin

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