Bronx River Art Center (BRAC) is proud to announce Shifting Communities: BroLab; J&J; Nicky Enright. This is the first of four exhibitions and the beginning of the roundtable dialogue series from our 2011-2012 gallery program.
Shifting Communities highlights dynamic initiatives in culture and the arts currently at work in the margins of the art world and American society. The goal of this project is to create a paradigm where community-centric contemporary art and artist think-tanks can be a tool for public service; a language for the exploration and investigation of the broader aspects of culture and society; and a magnet that can bring different cultures and ideologies together in order to strengthen a more inclusive definition of community.
In the first exhibition of the series, Bronx based artist Nicky Enright, and collectives BroLab and J&J, respond with projects offering a variety of services specifically geared towards the Bronx community.
Nicky Enright’s Glocal Card is a functional and free international phone card. Designed to resemble the many calling cards locally available, it offers free worldwide calls in exchange for filling out an anonymous survey. The name conflates “global” and “local” both to interrogate the connotations of these words and to evoke a vision of local immigrants reaching out across the globe.
BroLab has developed two proposals for community based projects and is using this exhibition to inform and solicit support to complete them. Thrust of Sorrows will take the form of a roughly 12-15’ trebuchet (on display in the gallery) and give local residents a chance to unburden themselves of their personal symbols of broken dreams, heartache and failure by catapulting them to destruction. Additionally, BroLab is initiating conversations with the Mott Haven Library to temporarily repurpose their courtyard into Piazza Gratissima, a free and open public space designed with help and guidance from local community members. BroLab will form a committee made up of library goers and staff to inquire what they think would make the space most inviting. Through a series of discussions and polls with Mott Haven residents they will settle on a proposed design for the space by the end of the exhibition and launch a fundraising campaign to build out the courtyard in the spring of 2012.
J&J, in addition to building the custom roundtable that will host a series of lectures and events during the exhibition season, will present Web of Invisibility. J&J will work, in uniform, outside of the gallery on the streets of the neighborhood stewarding the city trees and street parks, clearing away weeds, and rubbish. They will map the neighborhood, the coordinates being the trees and parks they have assisted. The map will be drawn on the walls of the gallery and will expand as they work over the course of the exhibition.
Alongside this exhibition will be a series of roundtable presentations, workshops, and discussions. Please refer to our website for the ongoing schedule of events.
This exhibition is made possible with support from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency. Additional support is provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Majority Leader Joel Rivera, the Bronx Delegation of the New York City Council, New York State Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson, The National Endowment for the Arts, the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation’s Arts & Enterprise Place-Based Revitalization Program, and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.