Detail, crystal clear, an installation
Gallery at Park Avenue Synagogue
50 East 87th Street, at Madison, 212.369.2600
Upper East Side
November 18 - December 20, 2012
Reception: Sunday, November 18, 9 - 4 PM
Opening Day, Sunday November 18, 9am – 4pm
The Gallery, Park Avenue Synagogue is pleased to show Manhattan/Long Island City artist susan c. dessel’s new work: crystal clear, an installation.
Dessel’s work is a timely reminder of the need of all people for help in recovering from natural and human-made disasters and how that help should be provided free of national or religious ties. She focuses on the symbol that accompanies the emergency workers, showing it as the fragile protection that keeps them safe and announces their good intentions. What we see, however, is a broken icon and it is not familiar. We are asked to consider this symbol in the light of our linked humanity increasingly expressed around the globe through social networking.
The exhibit is based on a statement made in October, 1930 by Max Huber, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) from 1928 to1944, about the humanitarian efforts undertaken by member countries of the ICRC: “Only the unity of the distinctive sign can ensure that it is respected internationally.” More than eighty years later, Dessel’s broken image covering the structures’ walls reminds us of the flawed reality: there is no unity because the ICRC has accepted two symbols, the Red Cross and the Red Crescent, while refusing to accept the Magen David Adom, the Red Star of David.
In 2005, the ICRC adopted a neutral symbol, the Red Crystal, but failed to make its use universal. It is that universality that Dessel asks us to consider and support by adding our names and thoughts to the expanding installation.
Dessel’s work is accessible to viewers regardless of cultural traditions or backgrounds. Through the engagement of the public in the creation of this work, the installation gives voice to the strength of our shared need for shelter without disparaging our differences. Through her choice of materials: raw wood and transparencies, the artist reminds viewers of the rawness of temporary shelters and suggests hoped-for accountability by governmental and non-governmental agencies. She sees comfort and discomfort existing side-by-side within the installation’s form and space.
This exhibit is made possible in part with public funds from the Manhattan Community Arts Fund, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.
Admission: Free and open to the public. Please visit the web site for Artist’s Hours.