A new public art piece, titled "Manifest Destiny," has just been installed four stories above ground, attached to the side of the Hotel Des Arts (447 Bush Street). It's the work of San Francisco architect Jenny Chapman and Brooklyn artist Mark Reigelman, and was the winning proposal for a grant from the arts org Southern Exposure.

Chapman and Reigelman were the recipients of Southern Exposure's Graue Award, which funded the piece. It's meant to evoke ideas of place-making and establishing territory, playing off the theme of westward migration and the concept of planting oneself in an available space, and claiming that space as one's own. The irony being that the urban West is now so developed, there is no available land anymore for claiming. The wood comes from an Ohio barn built around 1890.


Using a 19th-century architectural style and vintage building materials, the structure is both homage to the romantic spirit of the Western Myth and a commentary on the arrogance of Westward expansion. The interior space of the tiny house can be seen day and night through the curtained windows, a lonely beacon in the city’s dense landscape, and an incongruous, haunting vision from below.

The cabin was installed via crane, using an aluminum frame affixed to the side of the hotel, just above the roof of Le Central, a small French restaurant. And no, you can't go inside. It will remain in place, and get weathered by the elements, through October.

[Bay Citizen]
[Southern Exposure]

Cesar Rubio Photography