Set amidst the fancy designer shops of West Broadway sits another Dia Foundation supported site. On the ground floor of the building next to Eileen Fisher’s flagship fashions, visitors will find a corridor leading to a large open room with Corinthian columns. Spanning the entire length of the cavernous room 500 shiny brass rods, perfectly lined up in five rows. Each rod is 2 inches in diameter, and spaced apart in increments that increase by 5mm, so that they will appear all equidistant from the front. This piece, called Broken Kilometer, is comprised of rods that are two meters in length, and if set end to end, form one kilometer. The gleaming brass is superseded only by the fact that this ground floor space on West Broadway contains nothing other than brass rods- rather than designer goods. It also gives a glimpse of what the raw spaces of Soho in the late 1970s looked like (Corinthian columns and all).
Broken Kilometer is the companion piece to Vertical Earth Kilometer in Kassel, Germany, which is a one kilometer long, 2 inch diameter brass rod that DeMaria placed into the earth, with the top end flush with the surface of the ground.
Broken Kilometer has been on view consistently since 1979. Be sure to stop by Earth Room a few blocks away to really Walter De Maria it up.
What: Broken Kilometer
Who: Walter De Maria
Where: 393 West Broadway, New York, NY 10012