WHERE LIES HENRY HUDSON?
Woodstock, New York
Rader+ Crews was one of the architects invited by The Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild to provide a site installation for an outdoor exhibition of memorials to Henry Hudson. Hudson never received a formal burial because his crew mutinied and set him adrift in the icy waters of Hudson Bay. The memorials interpreted the significance of Hudson’s historic journey within the context of 400 years of European occupation.
Our installation framed an exploration of the landscape. Each modern pilgrim was invited to embark on their own search for the northern passage conveniently contained on the Byrdcliffe property. In this case, a walk through the woods led to a series of shrines. Each shrine commemorated the farthest landfall reached on each of Henry Hudson’s four known voyages and included route maps, place images, site information and an actual relic collected at the site.
The pilgrimage of Hudson’s life was for something that did not exist and that he could never reach. Ironically, he is celebrated today for the landscapes he found along the way, landscapes that must have embodied frustrating defeats to him at the time. Our installation aimed to dramatize these conclusions by creating the physical experience of searching the landscape for something of dubious existence. Hopefully, we will be rewarded by what we find along the way. Ultimately, the pilgrimage to find what Hudson sought, following the same false leads and dead ends, pays homage to the spirit of the man and to the nature of all those who are driven to search and explore.