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aws账号(\u0027Water\u0027s Soul\u0027: Massive white sculpture makes a statement in New York harbor



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NEW YORK - A towering statue of a woman's head with her index finger pressing on her lips now faces lower Manhattan along the Hudson River, inviting the chaotic metropolis to stop and listen.

"The water, when it moves, makes a special sound, very special," Barcelona-based artist Jaume Plensa said.

The message of his 80-foot (24-meter) "Water's Soul" - Plensa's biggest work to date - is "to keep silent, ... to listen to the profound noise of the water talking to us," he said in an interview.

The snow-white head commands a sweeping view of the river in front of a forest of high-rise buildings in Jersey City's rapidly developing Newport waterfront. It stands directly across from Greenwich Village and about four miles (six km) upstream from the Statue of Liberty, a more familiar sentinel of the harbor.

On a recent morning when Plensa saw the piece fully assembled for the first time, its call for silence competed with hum of diesel engines from the nearby Hoboken train terminal, the overhead roar of helicopters, and the cries and laughter of children riding in strollers along the river walkways.

But those are not the kind of noises that Plensa says his artwork is targeting.

"I'm talking about the noise of information and messages to us," he said at New York's Galerie Lelong Co, where an exhibit of new work will open on Oct. 29.

Plensa, 66, was commissioned to create the piece about two years ago by LeFrak and Simon Property Group, which have developed the area, including the plot jutting into the river where "Water's Soul" stands.

Depicting a real-life model whose image was scanned, the piece was fashioned from polyester resin, fiberglass and marble dust at Plensa's Barcelona studio and shipped in 23 containers, each 40 feet (12 meters long), to the Jersey City site for assembly.


The sculpture, whose official unveiling is on Thursday, is visible from far and wide, leaving some locals who have watched the piece being put together since August scratching their heads.

"Why is she shushing?" asked Cleveland Rice, 63, a city worker.

"I'm sure there's got to be some kind of meaning behind it," said William Schoentube, 53, a New Jersey Transit train conductor.

"I'd say it's telling New York City to keep this area a secret because we don't want to drive more people to work here," said Huan Yan, 31, a software engineer.

Miriam, 46, a travel agent who declined to give her last name, has a direct view of it from her apartment window. She gave it a thumbs-down. "I don't find it fitting in the entire environment," she said.

Plensa, who has been exhibiting his work around the world for more than 40 years, said it can take time for his art to become accepted into different environments.