David Barr received his BFA in 1962 from Wayne State University and his MFA in 1965.
The Four Corners Project is the construction of the world's largest sculpture using the least amount of material. It consists of an invisible...spanning the inside of the earth with the outer four corners just protruding from the crust of the earth. These visible corners are located in Easter Island, South Africa, New Guinea, and Greenland, with imaginary planes extending through the earth from each corner to the other three. The corner is a pinnacle of marble (of four inch tetrahedron) barely emerging from the ground like a sprouting plant. The sculpture is a...of such vastness that like the planet itself, it is impossible to perceive it as an entity. Its viability resides in its being collectively constructed and collectively experienced. Its process of construction and communication will be a cultural/ geographic/ spiritual/ aesthetic metaphor.
The project has laminations of data and concepts which give it resonance beyond it's temporal physical character. Easter Island is known by its native inhabitants as..., the "Navel of the World," and the first corner was created there. Its exact coordinates are...27Â° 6Â° 20Â° S, 109Â° 25Â° 30Â° W.
The second corner was..., South Africa (near Kimberly, known for its diamond mines). The exact coordinates are 27Â° 30Â° 38Â° S, 24Â° 6Â° E, which placed it on the farm...
Greenland follows where 72Â° 36Â° 24Â° N, 41Â° 55Â° 12Â° W, is on the ice cap three kilometers above sea level.
And, finally, ....New Guinea with the coordinates of 2Â° 6Â° 36Â° S, 137Â° 23Â° 24Â° E, placing it about six miles inland from the NW coast.
Greenland is the largest island in the world. New Guinea is the second largest. Easter Island (fourteen miles long) produced one of the most isolated and spectacular cultures in the world. And Africa is currently considered the cradle of the human species.
Because of its scale (and thus proportion of error to size) the alignment of the corners establishes the most "accurate" man made structure on earth. It is the larges sculpture that can be built on (and of) the earth. The sides of the resultant tetrahedron are 6464.79 miles long. Paradoxically, it may be preserved by it's magnitude and it's obscurity.
This project, as an act of constructive creation, has at its core a faith in humanity and a faith that when we are united by the arts, the world community is most loving, most sane, and most human. The structures bind humans through interests, needs, relationships, heritage, intellect, faith, and understanding are an invisible degree of connective links, a degree that embraces innumerable people in the past, present, future. When our spirit is enlarged, enriched, and enjoyed through connection, it move quite naturally toward the celebration of that reality. The culmination of connection is celebration in its most transcendent form.
David Barr, 1981