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Artist Uses 2,000 Meters of Paracord to Breathe New Life into Vacant Church

Using over 2,000 meters of blue cord, Brooklyn-based artist Aaron Asis breathed new life into West Philadelphia's St. Andrew's Collegiate Chapel. The space, which had been closed for more than 20 years, was the site of his temporary installation called Ci-Lines (pronounced “see-lines”). Asis created the impressive environment by wrapping and tying the colored paracord around the ornamental posts and columns that laid inside of the forgotten church.

Ropes intersected one another in all different directions, extending from the floor to the ceiling. “The geometry of Ci-Lines is like an artistic exercise in connecting the dots,” the artist told Hidden City Philadelphia, “crisscrossing overhead and inviting visitors to visually explore a sculptural form as a portal into the nuances of a vacant [environment].” Their eye-catching presence highlighted bands of natural light that shined through the Gothic Revival-style building. The cords were also designed to draw the viewer's attention towards the painted ceiling.

A primary goal of Asis's project was for members of the Philadelphia community to occupy a normally-abandoned space. “Ci-Lines is deliberately visible and invisible at the same time,” he explains, “much in the same way vacant buildings are often perceived throughout our everyday urban landscape; as under-appreciated community icons, rich with memories of past and realities of the present.”

Photography by Michael Bixler

Aaron Asis: Website
via [DezeenHidden City Philadephia]

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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