Wheatfield — A Confrontation :
Agnes Denes, 1982, New York.ADDPMP633
In May 1982, in an act of protest against climate change and economic inequality, Hungarian-born American conceptual artist Agnes Denes planted a 2-acre wheat field in downtown Manhattan, two blocks from Wall Street and the World Trade Center, facing the Statue of Liberty.
Denes deliberately chose the site of Battery Park — a landfill created when the Twin Towers were built, just a stone’s throw from Wall Street, home of the stock exchange where such commodities as wheat are traded — to simultaneously comment on the world’s economy and the state of the earth itself.
For 2 months of preparations, two hundred truckload of dirt were brought in, 285 furrows were dug and cleared of rocks and garbage, then seeds were sown by hand, the furrows covered with soil and an irrigation system was set up. The field was maintained for four months weeded, fertilized and sprayed against fungus.
On August 16, 1982, more than 1,000 pounds (454 kg) of the wheat were harvested. It then traveled to 28 cities around the world in an exhibition called the International Art Show for the end of World Hunger (1987–1990), which provided people with seeds to plant.