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Acid Park

© Burk Uzzle

Acid Park

Artist: Burk Uzzle (Born in Raleigh, North Carolina, 1938)
Culture: American
Date: 2009
Medium: Chromogenic print
60 1/8 x 75 3/8 inches (152.7 x 191.5 cm)
State: 1
Edition: 3
Classification: Photograph
Credit Line: Gift of Charles Weinraub and Emily Kass in honor of Kimerly Rorschach
Label Text:Following his retirement, Vollis Simpson began building whirligigs using the spare parts remaining from his careers as machine repairman and house-mover. These whirligigs, which are reminiscent of carousels, windmills, and weather vanes, are part kinetic art (art that moves) and part assemblage (art created from a variety of non-traditional art materials). Simpson created more than thirty of these monumental works, some standing over fifty feet tall, able to move and spin in the wind. Made up of everyday materials, such as ceiling fans, bicycle parts, and mirrors, Simpson’s whirligigs reconfigure the refuse of daily life into a playful illustration of consumerism.

In Burk Uzzle’s photograph, the whirligigs have been captured on a foggy morning in 2009, while these works were still installed on Simpson’s own land. (Many of these sculptures have since been moved to the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park in Wilson, North Carolina that officially opened a few months after Simpson’s death in 2013.) The title of this work, Acid Park, refers to the unofficial name locals have given the land and art installation. Many legends have circulated regarding Acid Park, and the fog that rolls through the whirligigs in Uzzle’s photograph underscores the mysteries of the park and these odd markers of modern life. Burk Uzzle has extensively photographed the American South, from his early years as a member of Magnum Photos cooperative, to his practice today in Wilson, North Carolina.

Object number: 2012.15.1