Arch artwork goes up in 2 days, to last 4 months

The “Fences” installation took about two days to put up and was essentially all finished by Wednesday morning. Photos by Tequila Minsky

BY LINCOLN ANDERSON AND LEVAR ALONZO | There’s been a lot of discussion about the Public Art Fund’s Ai Weiwei project slated for beneath the Washington Square Park Arch since news of it finally became public in late August.

On the other hand, the installation of the cage-like fence underneath the landmark went very quickly, taking less than two days, and looked essentially finished by early this Wednesday.

Titled “Good Fences Make Good Neighbors,” the citywide project will also include 299 installations at other sites around New York that will each have some form or representation of a fence.

The project’s aim is to highlight the new administration’s restrictive policies on immigration, which famed Chinese artist Ai says are counter to America’s tradition of openness.

A few leading members of Community Board 2 were informed about the project back in June, but — in what basically amounted to a gag order — were forbidden by the de Blasio administration from speaking about it publicly until the Public Art Fund was ready to announce it.

For its part, the Public Art Fund said the plans had not all been finalized earlier this summer, so it wanted to hold off announcing the project until things were all firmed up.

The project will officially open Thurs., Oct. 12, and  last for four months.

In the case of Washington Square Park, the iconic holiday tree — along with caroling — will have to be relocated from the traditional spot under the arch.

Trevor Sumner, president of the Washington Square Association, said they are currently working with the Public Art Fund to figure out where to place the tree. There was a proposal last week to put it halfway between the arch and the fountain, but Sumner said he doesn’t agree with it just “based on aesthetics.”

According to Sumner, nothing has been worked out and they are still in the process of figuring out where to place the tree.