“True art, which is not content to play variations on ready-made models but rather insists on expressing the inner needs of man and of mankind in its time–the art is unable not to be revolutionary, not to aspire a complete and radical reconstruction of society.”
-André Breton and Leon Trotsky in Manifesto: Towards a Free Revolutionary Art
As two people of color who are currently based in Brooklyn, New York, we recognize the complexities of generating visual art and making it accessible to working class people—especially during art festivals that promote artists from upper class backgrounds. We recognize the complexities of living in a city that has undergone a set of crises linked to the financial crash of 2008 and Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The neighborhood of Gowanus is ensconced by a canal that bears its name—and stands as one of the most polluted sites in the state of New York. This body of water reflects the environmental
We have a critical view of the social, political and cultural issues within the city and want to bring to light how the spirit of revolutionary art—found objects and vintage pieces can take a political dimension. As such, we hope to create a space that makes art more accessible to the working class people and color. In New York City, the sidewalk is the space in which people and their bedfellows linger about and can start to imagine themselves as creative subjects. In our work, we hope to deconstruct the confines of art within a walled space by engaging with everyday pedestrians during Art Gowanus–an annual art event where local galleries are open for the general public. By engaging with subjects who might ordinarily attend the formal art world, we hope to touch upon issues of class and race in the public space. We hope to negotiate with the silences, tensions, and engagements that will come to bear.
The main objectives of the project was as: (1) to provide an opportunity for pedestrians during Art Gowanus to ponder about economic, environmental, and social issues that impact the community, (2) to utilize performance art to illustrate the different modes of being of people of color living in Brooklyn.
With these course objectives in mind, our team has created a number of underlying goals and objectives to accomplish through this specific project, detailed below:
- Bring to light the intersectionality of gender, nationality, race, and class in Brooklyn, New York
- Present a collage of visual and performance pieces that generate aesthetically pleasing messages and spark conversation about public space in the midst of an art fair
Structure of the Project
We sold some items on a busy intersection in Brooklyn, New York. With every item sold, the participants will include a book, article, or magazine that engages with leftist politics.