New York City, NY
In their new project A talking parrot, a Punjabi TV show, a high school drama class, the oldest song in the world, a museum artwork, and an unanswered prayer circle through New York, artists Lenka Clayton and Jon Rubin gather a diverse group of local communities in a complex system of social and material exchange. Following a period of extensive research, the artists identified six very different public sites that lie along an imaginary circle drawn through Harlem, the South Bronx, Queens, and Manhattan’s Upper East Side. These spaces, which include community organizations, local businesses, and the Guggenheim itself, serve as the project’s cocreators and venues. As such, they worked with the artists to select important aspects of their identities—referenced in the project’s full title—which will be exchanged among the six locations over a period of six months. This will result in 30 unique collaborations, staged throughout the city, and will challenge each partner site to repeatedly accept and care for the others’ value systems, public functions, or social character within its own routines.
By encouraging moments of mutual cooperation, . . . circle through New York creates connections between sites that are usually separated by cultural, economic, geographic, personal, or circumstantial boundaries. At the same time, the project aims to engage members of an expanded and heterogeneous public, whose daily lives may be fundamentally—and playfully—altered as they encounter this work of art. Clayton and Rubin’s project forges a shifting network of social relations founded on quiet humor, empathy, and the power of art to transform reality.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.