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