Danielle Durchslag and Ryan Frank are New York artists and creators of the towering “Wandering Sukkah” for the city’s inhabitants. The art installation features stacked Dibond aluminum composite trapezoids that are vinyl-painted in various colors. The sky blue, peach, pastel yellow, candy and red brick geometry was modeled after New York City skyscrapers, according to the artists.
The drivable booth was designed to celebrate the Jewish festival of Sukkot, although traditionally these temporary shelters are built near homes or synagogues and used for meals as the holiday is observed in fall, five days after Yom Kippur. Yet the intention of the artists is not religious; in fact, their design was meant for anyone who seeks reflective refuge in the busy metropolis.
According to Forward, online news and cultural magazine, “The Part of the inspiration for the art show came from Mitzvah Tanks, recreational vehicles with an image of Rabbi Schneerson on the side that Chabad-Lubavitch Jews drive around on holidays to reach out to less observant Jews and invite them inside to partake in mitzvahs. One aspect of the Mitzvah Tanks is mobile sukkahs, which are strapped on the vehicles during Sukkot.”
Interestingly, Durchslag comes from a conservative background with her mother being a Jewish Reconstructionist; she built sukkahs every year as a child. Frank, however, is Catholic and predominately an artist. The mixture of the two created a contemporary version of a traditional idea.
Designed first as a Styrofoam model, a graphic designer joined the team to establish a color palette. After drawings were produced, they were taken to Brooklyn fabrication studio, The Factory, who created 3-dimensional sketches and renderings that then brought the project to fruition. The team even consulted a landscape architect for the potted plant portions of the structure. Amazingly, the duo raised $26,000 for their project, with equal contributions of their own as well.
While inside the sukkat, where only one person can fit at a time, you’ll notice a provoking sentence “I am made of dust and the world is made of me.” Durschslag explains, “It’s about looking up at the heavens and remembering how small you are.”
Information courtesy of Forward
Photography courtesy of Assembly Required, “A Wandering Sukkah” via HyperAllergic.com