Exploring Borders in Brooklyn with Art

This summer, artists are going outside in Brooklyn. Outdoor street performances of Borderline Bushwick in Brooklyn were part of the “Arts in Bushwick” open studio day. All around the area art studio doors opened, and spaces that looked like warehouses from the outside, revealed as hidden art galleries behind the steel doors. Walking the familiar streets becomes something like a childhood fairytale when the artists come out. Brooklyn has secret gardens of creativity behind her steel doors.

Brooklyn’s population is diverse and international. Actors from different origins performed their own stories on street corners and fire escapes, in different languages. On the L line above ground at Jefferson street, a performer emerged from the top of a building and another from street level.

Climbing toward one another, the actors shared their visions of “Borders”  calling out in Spanish and in English about forces beyond their control that keep them from being with those they love. Their performance crossed the street, traffic forming a barrier as a prop to the story.

A block further down the a street, a beautiful young actor recited poetry of Frederico Garcia Lorca. She danced and along the sidewalk as she acted out the poem, with fifty people trailing along behind, watching her. She shed a long shirt, used as a prop to symbolize a man she had lost, and gathered long stem red carnations as symbols of lost loves. She ended her poem sitting motionless under a street art mural of a Lorca poem. Children from the neighborhood were enchanted, and followed the walking art tour on bicycles.

A performing troupe of women created a human “wall” emerging from a basement stairwell and climbing up to the street. They struggled without words, forming barriers for one another. In the middle of their act, a local resident emerged from his apartment, guitar case in hand, surprised – and went on his way. Their final act was to break the barrier of bodies, simply by silently walking around the human wall without conflict.

These were only a taste of what is happening hidden in the studios, and I’m looking forward to seeing more over the summer.

Do the artists in your community come outside in the summer? Please share a comment, I’ll look forward to reading about what you see.

For more art spots and maps of hidden arts in Brooklyn see:  http://artsinbushwick.org/bos2012/directory/ and http://artsinbushwick.org/bos2012/

2 responses to “Exploring Borders in Brooklyn with Art”

  1. Sounds nice^ thanks for sharing the links for further info. So nice to hear about the festival. I would have gone if I was not sick, as you know. But it’s still lovely to hear that this all exists in my neighborhood 🙂


  2. In Kansas City, MO fiber artist Alison Heryer is supplying 5×5 white canvases to parents and their children who gather in parks to print, paint, splatter or write on them with red paint. On July 15, 200 canvases will be placed in checker board fashion with solid red canvases to form a giant picnic blanket on the grounds of the Nelson Gallery of Art. After that each painted canvas will be returned to its creator.




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