Dina Wind’s monumental installation Hanging Gardens of Babylon has been on view at the URBN Urban Outfitters headquarters at Philadelphia’s Navy Yard for the past two years. The work was very well received and a great fit for the repurposed industrial campus that served as its temporary home. Now in late summer 2017, the piece is scheduled to be taken down, pending renovation and a changing program at the building.
Originally created for a solo show at Nexus Gallery in Philadelphia in 2003, Hanging Gardens of Babylon then spent a decade as the centerpiece of Dina’s South Philadelphia studio before being selected for display at the URBN offices.
Reinstalling Hanging Gardens in the former Acid Bath Foyer of a shipbuilding warehouse presented interesting challenges. Dina originally suspended the 100+ segments from an 18’x18’x10’ industrial steel armature. The elements were at eye level, with open, winding paths for the viewer to walk through. At URBN, the work is hung overhead in a 10’x30’ room. The high, narrow view is completely different from the 2003 installation, and yet the work retains its conceptual thrust. It also gains a dialogue with its post-industrial surroundings, now home to a company known for its own urban renewal initiatives. The work was located in building 543 of the Philadelphia Navy Yard, an award-winning model of adaptive reuse.