Vagaries of the Commons assembles a group of artists who make work in the penumbras of “the commons”. The concept of “the commons” predates the feudal era, when communal land ownership prevailed, and referred to the public’s right to access essential natural resources, including land, water, animals and fish. Gradually, as royalty and central government gained power, communal land ownership disappeared, and “the commons” evolved. Today, what is left of “the commons” is increasingly privatized, though often strategically presented as public space. The exhibition includes three commission that spill onto the streets outside of the gallery, and invite one artist to hijack the wesite.
Artists Include: Brad Armstrong, Ricardo Miranda and Brooke Singer, Lani Asuncion and Gary Aronsen, Mengyu Chen, The Elm City Dance Collective, Jason Friedes, Focus Lessness, Occupy New Haven, Phil Lique, Project Storefronts, Scott Shuldt, and Under 91 Project.
For Opening Night, Artspace commissioned Elm City Dance Collective to perform CrossWalkIt, dances made for cross walks in New Haven's Ninth Square.
For the Closing Day, Artspace organized a day long symposium, featuring panels on the public use of the New Haven Green, playing in the trash, and composting, and a workshop on how to make a proposal for a Public Art Work. The evening ended with a family meal composed of food salvaged by the Excess Project from local groceries, cafes and farmers markets, and cooked by local chef Nadine Nelson.
top photos: Installation Views of Vagaries of the Commons, on display at Artspace New Haven, July 25 - September 13, 2014. Photos by John Groo.
bottom photo: Performance still of Elm City Dance Collective, CrossWalkIt, July 25, 2014. Photo by Sarah Fritchey.