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Activities

These activities focus on works of art in the Whitney’s collection and special exhibitions. Through discussion, research, art making, and writing activities, we hope to encourage close looking, foster conversation between students, and connect artwork to classroom learning. Learn about our four artist-centered themes.

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T. J. WILCOX, PLACE AND MEMORY

Write a story about a personal memory of a place

“I would remember anecdotes, stories, histories, sort of relating to each part of the city that I was looking at. I became really interested in this idea that I was seeing the view in the present tense as I was looking at the New York cityscape, but that I was also looking across time. There’s that corner where you broke up with your girlfriend, and there’s a location that was the backdrop in a Sex in the City episode you saw ten years ago. And I wanted to make a film that could include all these things—A sort of sense that I think we all have looking at New York City—of seeing it in the past and present simultaneously.”

―T. J. Wilcox

Read the quotation above by T. J. Wilcox with your students. What are the places that they walk by in their everyday lives? What memories or associations do these places conjure up for your students? Ask students to think of a place that suggests a personal story from their past. Have students write the story or make a drawing of it and share their writing or drawing with the class. How do students’ stories relate to their current lives?

Quotation from video, T. J. Wilcox: In the Air

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Installation view of T. J. Wilcox: In the Air, 2013 (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, September 19, 2013-February 9, 2014). Photograph by Bill Orcutt