Can a Sculpture Feel Pain?/Columbus Confessionals
at Recess Arts
46 Washington Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11205
A/C to Clinton-Washington
Friday, November 11, 6pm
Drop in Hours
Thursdays - Saturdays, 12-6pm
"Without art, there is no empathy; without empathy, there is no justice." ~ Darren Walker
It may seem that the most obvious and appropriate thing to do with unwanted or potentially obsolete public sculptures is to simply tuck them away out of sight.
Can a Sculpture Feel Pain?/Columbus Confessionals, however, proposes that there is greater potential in actively and publicly engaging discomforting histories by recruiting the very objects that represent ideologies inconsistent with an equitable, tolerant and empathetic society.
Can a Sculpture Feel Pain?/Columbus Confessionals, invites the public to collectively peel back the layers of mythological identities that dominant historical narratives have had to rely upon to tell their stories (and justifications) for Nationhood, Independence, Citizenship, Patriotism and Righteous Rebellion.
“Can a sculpture feel pain?” but also, “Can a sculpture feel others’ pain?”
"Have mercy on me, God, as it befits your faithfulness" - Psalm 51
At Recess Arts, on view during Drop-in hours, a life-size replica of a recently vandalized Columbus monument will be housed in one side of a confessional booth where the sculpture will remain partially exposed to visitors who may enter the other chamber and engage in a private dialogue with the sculpture.
Visitors are asked to explore their own connection to the various layers of meaning that have been ascribed to Columbus throughout American history. On an adjacent wall, large prints of Columbus's outline invite viewers to write down their responses to the questions “What did Columbus say in the past?”, “What should Columbus say in the present?”, and “What might Columbus say in the future?”
In this manner, Columbus Confessionals not only asks “Can a sculpture feel pain?” but also, “Can a sculpture feel others’ pain?”