'Fearless Girl' New York

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Geoffrey from New York

Knowing and loving New York is having lived through many of its manifestations.....

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Around noon on September 16, 1920, a horse drawn cart containing 500 pounds of iron shrapnel and 100 pounds of TNT exploded outside the JP Morgan bank at 23 Wall Street instantly obliterating 30 people on the sidewalk less than 25 feet way. Ultimately, 40 died.

It was suggested that the event was attributable to radical opponents of capitalism (though no individual person was ever held to account), an act of defiance the kind of which, sadly, cannot be unexpected even now. Shrapnel scars on the walls of the bank were purposefully not repaired by the Morgan bank’s owner and remain to this day.

Right around the corner on Broad Street, facing the New York Stock Exchange building stands a bronze sculpture named Fearless Girl (Kristen Visbal, 2017) which exudes bravery, pride and strength but not, according to the artist, ‘defiance’.

But defiant she looks, and neither more nor less than the teenage dancer (‘Little Dancer’—La Petite Danseuse de Quatorze Ans —1880)) created by Edgar Degas in 1880 who so closely resembles her.

Both are young and appear to innocently and inspiringly defy that which—as children—the viewer can imagine each faces: authority, curriculum and a forced choice between determinism and free will.

What they will do in their future as imaginary adults is the question prompted in the first place just by their existence, and what we will do in our own is the question prompted in the second.

So there they be, two acts of defiance, around the corner from each other.

Ars longa, vita brevis.

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Geoffrey from New York

Geoffrey Dunbar photo

Knowing and loving New York is having lived through many of its manifestations.....

Read all articles

Details about this spot

Categories

Address

23 Wall Street, New York, NY, USA, New York

Opening Times

24 hours daily

Price

Free
Last Changed Date: 2016-05-19 11:45:13 +0200 (Thu, 19 May 2016)