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Gates, Borders, Barriers: george emilio sanchez and Patty Ortiz

October 12, 2022, 5 pm7 pm.
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Join us on Wednesday, October 12th for unlocking the cages of captivity while sitting on a park bench—a performance and site-specific installation created by performance artist george emilio sanchez and visual artist Patty Ortiz. The piece explores the intersection and interplay between our dreams and the realities of our existence. This piece is intended as a companion work to Fred Wilson’s Mind Forged Manacles/Manacle Forged Minds, on public display in Columbus Park, located near Borough Hall, Brooklyn. unlocking the cages of captivity while sitting on a park bench will be performed in a 2-hour cycle between 5pm and 7 pm on Wednesday, October 12, in recognition of Indigenous Peoples Day.

The performance acknowledges the geographic location of the public space of Columbus Plaza, and the ancestral homelands of which they lie upon/over. sanchez will spend 2 hours stationed on a park bench in the plaza at Columbus Park, at times silent and observing passers-by, other times seemingly sleeping. During active moments he will address each of the three historic figures acknowledged by the park: Christopher Columbus, Henry Ward Beecher, and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. He will speak directly to the monuments regarding the history and legacy of each historic figure, as a counterpoint to Fred Wilson’s sculpture work, and draw parallels and contradictions between the legacies and realities of these figures, against that of underrepresented people and cultures who are more likely to experience the cages of captivity on view in Fred Wilson’s artwork on public display.

This event is part of Gates, Borders, Barriers, a series of public programs in connection with Fred Wilson’s year-long installation Mind Forged Manacles/Manacle Forged Minds. This program is presented in partnership with Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, the Dumbo Business Improvement District, DTBK + Dumbo Art Fund, New York State’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative, VIA Art Fund, and Pace Gallery.


Columbus Park, Johnson Street
Brooklyn, 11201

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