In these times, when society is dominated by commercial value systems and established cultural institutions, an unexpected cultural phenomenon will emerge on this small island that is a deserted military outpost on the outskirts of one of the largest and most intensely watched cities in the world, New York. It is here that a community of creative pioneers will explore the human situation, in an attempt to re-introduce or re-inject a sense of inclusion and empowerment into the cultural mainstream by pushing the boundaries of traditional practice.
The theme, ‘Emergence: Creative pioneers in uncharted territory’ was chosen to resonate with the context of Governors Island and the emergence occurring on this site that is so rich in history. This show in the ‘Commanders House’ (Building 14) is part of the growing cultural renaissance of the island and an exploration of its creative potential.
Emergence is a show of transformation. The Commanders house has morphed from an abandoned outpost into an inclusive, interactive, 3-dimensional, living exhibit, featuring contributions from visual artists working across fields of media which include but are not limited to sculpture, installation art, aerial kinetic sculpture, photography, and computer graphic sequencing. The installation will change over the course of the summer as a result of the interactive elements and the engagement of visiting participants.
What are the resultant artifacts in the experience of discovery of land, creating a new set of rules and culture? What is the romanticized idea of moving to a brave new world? These can include authentic objects and ephemera of time or contemporary objects that reference people and things of the past. Who are the people who lived and passed through the island? The present reveals our questioning of economic, political, environmental, social and sustainability issues. What are challenges that we are facing today? Creative explorations of the future will reveal new inventions, manifestos and fantasies that illuminate our understanding of self, place, change and time.
EMERGENCE Curators: Johan Kritzinger, Joyce Manalo, Elke Dehner and Audrey Boguchwal
Thanks to everyone who helped make this incredible and successful exhibition of new and experimental art on Governors Island during the summer of 2008!