March 6, 2017 - Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum - Lenka Clayton and Jon Rubin: A talking parrot, a high school drama class, a Punjabi TV show, the oldest song in the world, a museum artwork, and a congregation's call to action circle through New York.
March 6, 2017

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Design: Brett Yasko.

Lenka Clayton and Jon Rubin
A talking parrot, a high school drama class, a Punjabi TV show, the oldest song in the world, a museum artwork, and a congregation's call to action circle through New York.
March 1–August 31, 2017

www.guggenheim.org
Twitter / Facebook / Instagram

Lenka Clayton and Jon Rubin
A talking parrot, a high school drama class, a Punjabi TV show, the oldest song in the world, a museum artwork, and a congregation's call to action circle through New York.
March 1–August 31, 2017

www.guggenheim.org
Twitter / Facebook / Instagram

Following over a year of research and planning, artists Lenka Clayton and Jon Rubin, together with the Guggenheim and five other sites, launch a six-month presentation that brings together city communities often separated by cultural, economic, geographic, or circumstantial boundaries. The artists have drawn an imaginary circle through Harlem, the South Bronx, Queens, and Manhattan’s Upper East Side and invited six public venues along the circle’s path to participate in a system of social and material exchange. These spaces, which include a pet store, a high school, a TV network, an academic research institute, the Guggenheim, and a church, serve as the project’s cocreators and hosts. The artists worked with the venues to select aspects of their identities—referenced in the project’s full title—that will rotate among the six locations over a period of six months. 

Each month, as the six elements move one step around the five-mile-wide circle, new and unique collaborations will occur and subtly expand the partners’ everyday routines. During the month of March, for instance, a group of drama students from Frank Sinatra School of the Arts will broadcast new performances live at Jus Broadcasting, a Punjabi TV network, while a 3,400-year-old Hurrian hymn—considered to be the oldest notated song in the world—will travel from the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World to the Guggenheim, where it will be hummed in the galleries daily by museum staff. In April this Hurrian hymn will travel to St. Philip’s Church in Harlem, where it will be sung by a choir during church services and drummed by a community-based arts and spirituality group. A month later at Pet Resources in the South Bronx, a staff bird trainer, who is also a DJ, will remix the song with pets and humans in mind. In June the Frank Sinatra School’s band will play the hymn, and in July it will be incorporated into the on-air soundtracks of Jus Broadcasting’s programs. Through this choreography of material and social exchange, . . . circle through New York engages each partner site in a process of learning about and caring for the others’ value systems, public functions, and social characters.

By encouraging moments of mutual cooperation, . . . circle through New York creates connections and interactions that may be invisible to some but exceptional and profound to others. The project aims to engage members of an expanded and heterogeneous public, whose daily lives may be fundamentally—and playfully—altered as they encounter this work of art. Clayton and Rubin’s project forges a shifting network of social relations founded on quiet humor, empathy, and the power of art to transform reality. A complete schedule of collaborations, related programs, and responses to the project can be found at circlethroughnewyork.com.

The project can be viewed at select times at any of the six partner sites collaborating on . . . circle through New York:

Pet Resources
814 Westchester Ave, Bronx, NY 10455
This independent neighborhood pet supply store dedicated to providing all the resources and supplies pet parents need will send a talking parrot—Pinkie, a salmon-crested cockatoo—around the circle to be cared for and taught new words at each venue.

Frank Sinatra School of the Arts
35-12 35th Ave, Astoria, NY 11106
This public visual and performing arts high school founded by Tony Bennett, with majors in art, dance, music, drama, and film, will send a high school drama class and its teacher around the circle to devise site-specific performance works at each venue.

Jus Broadcasting
36-01 36th Ave, Floor 4, Astoria, NY 11106
Home to four internationally broadcasted TV channels producing live Indian Punjabi entertainment for 1.5 million viewers, this broadcasting company will send a Punjabi TV show—whether a call-in show, a news program, a talk show, or a cop comedy—around the circle to be recorded on-site at each venue.

Institute for the Study of the Ancient World
15 East 84th St, New York, NY 10028
This New York University graduate research and exhibition center cultivates and presents comparative, connective investigations of the ancient world and will send the oldest song in the world—a 3,400-year-old Hurrian hymn—around the circle to be uniquely reinterpreted and performed at each venue.

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
1071 Fifth Ave, New York, NY 10128
Dedicated to collecting and interpreting modern and contemporary art through exhibitions, performances, and educational programs, the Guggenheim will send a museum artwork—Felix Gonzalez-Torres’s “Untitled” (Public Opinion) (1991)—around the circle to be exhibited at each venue.

St. Philip’s Church
204 West 134th St, New York, NY 10030
The oldest black Episcopal parish in New York City and the second oldest in the country, founded in 1809 by free Africans, this church will send a congregation’s call to action around the circle to be collectively addressed at each venue.

#CircleNY
 

. . . circle through New York is organized by Anna Harsanyi, Project Manager; Nat Trotman, Curator, Performance and Media; and Christina Yang, Director, Public Programs. It is commissioned as part of Guggenheim Social Practice, an initiative made possible by a major grant from the Edmond de Rothschild Foundations.

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A talking parrot, a high school drama class, a Punjabi TV show, the oldest song in the world, a museum artwork, and a congregation's call to action circle through New York.
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