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Brooklyn Street Art

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Ann Lewis + StudioSpaceNYC Leave Things “Unspoken” in Manhattan

Posted on February 5, 2018

Some existential thoughts and questions are left UNSPOKEN in our lives. A new collaborative exhibit in a 14th Street pop-up space offers you the opportunity to engage with some of yours. Of course, you need not say anything.

Ann Lewis + studioSPACEnyc “Unspoken”. Manhattan, NYC. February 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Street Artist/conceptual artist Ann Lewis has been working with the design team of studioSPACEnyc to create and interactive an experiential installation incorporating linear digital rainstorms of light-mapped emotion and memory for you to lay beneath and look up into as it glitters and trickles and flickers across your mind. You may also just wish to walk around them as they flicker in geometric masses, easily punctuated by your hand or body.

Lewis invites you to contemplate weightier (or loftier) matters of impermanence and infinity with toe tags hanging at the end of these 115,000 feet of reflective strings. To further engage with the immersive installation, you can leave your mark on one of the toe tags by filling out short answers to some of life’s magnificient and somehow elusive questions.

Ann Lewis + studioSPACEnyc “Unspoken”. Manhattan, NYC. February 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We spoke with the artist and the curator, Zahra Sherzad, of Killer Media, who produced the exhibition that runs through February 15th.

Brooklyn Street Art: You have used toe tags previously in your work. What do they symbolize for you.
Ann Lewis: Toe tags carry the weight of our lives on them. As much as their 5 or 6 lines can define a person they’re so impersonal but infer this inevitability to the living. I have used them in the past to humanize the data surrounding those who have lost their lives to police brutality, or drug addiction. They have, up until this point, symbolized a finality.

Brooklyn Street Art: As an interactive exhibit, viewers are invited to contribute their answers to rather existential questions like “ Do we actually exist” and “What is the ultimate freedom?” How did you arrive at these questions?
Ann Lewis: While developing this project the curator Zahra Sherzad and I lost a mutual friend to drug addiction. I spent a lot of time considering her death and began to recognize for the first time that the only reason I’ve ever feared death is because of the loss I associate with it when others have passed. Then I began to consider what if death is an amazing adventure? Just because it’s an unknown doesn’t mean it has to be feared. I went down a meta wormhole wondering if we’re even alive right now! It’s so great not to have the answers

Ann Lewis + studioSPACEnyc “Unspoken”. Manhattan, NYC. February 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: Immersive exhibitions usually have to strike a balance between leaving you alone and engaging you to participate. How do you plan for the variety of responses?
Ann Lewis: In my opinion good installation art must really consider how a participant will flow through the space. It must offer space and time for reflection as well as opportunities to engage. I like to offer those opportunities at the beginning of the experience and if possible create a movement throughout the space that is nonlinear which lends itself to personalized, unique experiences that in turn become strong memories that stay with the participant long after she leaves the space.

Ann Lewis + studioSPACEnyc “Unspoken”. Manhattan, NYC. February 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: When you work on the street do you ever think of elements or people in public space as part of your exhibition?
Ann Lewis: That’s the first thing I think of even before I know what the work will be. A good percentage of the work I’ve put outside has been site specific. Scouting is such a fun part of the job. One must recognize the context in which the work will be viewed in order to really have the opportunity to create an impactful experience for the viewer.

Brooklyn Street Art: What would be a good outcome for you if you could chose a viewers experience at this show?
Ann Lewis: I think having a participant leave the space questioning her understanding of her own perception of our world would be very exciting.

Ann Lewis + studioSPACEnyc “Unspoken”. Manhattan, NYC. February 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: How did you select Ann Lewis and studioSPACEart for this exhibition?
Zahra Sherzad: We wanted to create an interactive art installation, around the conversation of dying with dignity for the TV series “Kill Me”. We chose Ann as a multidisciplinary activist artist using painting, installation, and participatory performance. She has an ongoing work called “…and counting”, an interactive installation made with hung toe tags.  We brought the StudioSpaceNYC boys in with their projection mapping strings to add a cinematic experience and as a way to transport people into another world.

Brooklyn Street Art: Your projects have a social mission that runs parallel to your exhibits you curate. Are there particular symbols here that resonate with that mission?
Zahra Sherzad: “Unspoken” is a way to provoke thought around how we view death, which is what the series “Kill Me” is about.  We are not telling people what to think nor are we asking them to take a definitive position on the issues around mercy killing and dying with dignity. The viewers of the exhibition are asked to participate by filling out a questionnaire tailored to the shows script on the toe tags that asks questions about their relationship and experience with death.  As the days tick forward the installation grows as participants add new tags.

Ann Lewis + studioSPACEnyc “Unspoken”. Manhattan, NYC. February 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ann Lewis + studioSPACEnyc “Unspoken”. Manhattan, NYC. February 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ann Lewis + studioSPACEnyc “Unspoken”. Manhattan, NYC. February 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

Ann Lewis + studioSPACEnyc “Unspoken”. Manhattan, NYC. February 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ann Lewis + studioSPACEnyc “Unspoken”. Manhattan, NYC. February 2018. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 


UNSPOKEN

Ann Lewis + studioSPACEnyc

January 18 – February 15, 2018

Killer Impact, a Killer Content company, is pleased to present “Unspoken” – a collaborative exhibit between artists Ann Lewis and studioSPACEnyc, curated by Killer’s Director of Visual Art, Zahra Sherzad at
149 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10011.

 

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