Opposition Position is a social sculpture that is being hosted by the Northern Manhattan Art Alliance and NYC Department of Parks and Recreation at Inwood Hill Park as part of the Persuasive Visions exhibition. This work will be on view from October 28, 2018-April 1, 2019. To see the piece fully activated, visit at any of the following times:
Sunday, November 4: 1:30-3pm - Artist Talk and initial performance
Saturday, December 1: 12pm-2pm (rain date Sat. 12/8)
Saturday January 5: 12pm-2pm (rain date Sat. 1/12)
Saturday February 2: 12pm-2pm (rain date Sat. 2/9)
Saturday, March 2: 12pm-2pm (rain date Sat. 3/9)
Opposition Position intends to examine the forms of communication and discourse that contribute to social narratives. The piece is a small collection of school desks opposite from a short podium. Within our education systems there are limitless opportunities for propaganda to be unwittingly taught and passively consumed, and this piece is meant to challenge that notion. For the duration of the installation, visitors will be free to stage their own educational and informational interactions with the piece. However, once a month, there will be scheduled performances where public school students from Northern Manhattan will take on the role of a facilitator and all park goers are invited to participate in their dialogue.
Opposition Position is specifically related to the history of Inwood Hill Park and the monument that resides within it—Shorakkopoch Rock. This monument commemorates the “…sale of the island of Manhattan, for trinkets and beads…” and it literally lies at an intersection of paths with diverse endpoints. It is a space for contemplation and decision making; the word Shorakkopoch suggests that it is for ‘sitting down between two spaces.’ Within this installation, the space between speaker and listener is also one for contemplation and decision making. As new points of view are presented, new personal narratives are shared, and all participants are invited to bridge that “space between two ridges,” to draw a line through the ideological divide that permeates our daily existence.
Adjacent to these ideas, I’m interested in the visual juxtaposition of a school setting relocated to a public park, as there is a deliberate social critique implied in where learning can potentially take place. I believe ALL spaces are learning spaces, as long as individuals arrive with an open mind to hear new points of view. I hope that Opposition Position connects with viewers’ baggage of what these school chairs may personally represent, as well as the educational systems from whence we have all spawned.
Student Collaborators: Katelyn Baez, Abdul Balde, Benzion Balmin, Brynne Bennett, Aisha Bueno, Raquel Garcia, Sadiya Hussain, Chrisalis Irizarry, Georgina Martinez, Breana Ngamaleu Kemta, and Lauren Simmons.