What art have I seen?
Socrates Sculpture Park: last visit was in 2009. This time the summer is taken up by Civic Action: A Vision for Long Island City, a show jointly put together with the Noguchi Museum. Civic Action includes projects by Mary Miss, Natalie Jeremijenko and xClinic, Rirkrit Tiravanija and George Trakas.
Quite a line up.
Various experiments in thinking about site, place, economy, conviviality and ecology. The projects started with discussions and seminars at the Noguchi Museum and have resulted in prototypes in Socrates.
Civic Action Curator, Amy Smith-Stewart states:
The exhibition at Socrates shows us what the neighborhood once was and what it could be. It asks questions. Why can’t the community reclaim its scenic riverfront? How can the cultural activity of the Park extend out beyond its immediate surroundings? Why does the ecology around us matter? And how can this place become an innovative district for artists, scientists and urban planners and how can the area improve the quality of life for New Yorkers?
What is Socrates: if a sculpture park is normally like a museum (ie looking after stuff), then Socrates is more like a contemporary art gallery (showing new ideas and installations) mixed with some aspects of a workshop (bringing communities into contact with artists). And its also a public park being used for walking, practising the trumpet and sitting in the sun.
The curatorial approach has also evolved. In the past it was perhaps more like a sculpture park as museum – some works installed for long periods, stand alone objects to be admired.
A publication for Civic Action would be good.