Read artist bios and view descriptions of block party projects and performances below.
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Location: Gansevoort Street, in front of the Museum
On Saturday, May 2, join us for a free block party on Gansevoort Street, sponsored by Macy’s. Created in the spirit of a neighborhood festival, the Whitney Block Party will welcome visitors of all ages with free art and performance, including hands-on activities and participatory events.
Throughout the day, booths designed by a diverse group of contemporary artists and community organizations will offer activities for a range of audiences, including karaoke, map making, and performance workshops. Large-scale acts on the main stage will include all-ages performances, including puppetry, dance, music, and poetry. These distinctive projects embody the Museum’s multidisciplinary and inclusive approach to contemporary art.
The festivities will encourage audiences to experience the new location and new architecture as part of the Museum’s active engagement with artists and the city.
Booths and activities will be offered by Ei Arakawa and Shimon Minamikawa, Trisha Baga, Bed-Stuy Love Affair, Friends of the High Line, K8 Hardy and Ryan McNamara, J.T. Jobbagy Inc., the Meatpacking District Improvement Association, Lize Mogel, My Barbarian, Nari Ward, and the Whitney Education Community Advisory Network.
Performances will be presented by Mark Beasley, Camp & Street (DonChristian, Le1f, Rahel, Boody, and special guest), The Door – A Center of Alternatives: the performing arts program, The Eichelburglers (Jennifer Miller, Heather Green, and special guest), The Tracie Morris Band with special guests Mr. Jerome Harris and Jemman, Jacolby Satterwhite with La’fem Ladosha and Nightfeelings, and A Tribe Called Red.
The Whitney Block Party is free and open to the public—no reservations are required for Block Party events and performances.
The Whitney is also offering free Museum admission on May 2.
Ei Arakawa (b. 1977, Fukushima, Japan) and Shimon Minamikawa (b. 1972, Tokyo, Japan)
Cyber Café & Digiscope Paintings
Ei Arakawa is a New York based performance artist who often incorporates other artist's paintings and sculpture into his own performance. He creates situations that encourage collective improvisation and remove the boundaries between performers and audience members.
Shimon Minamikawa is a painter based in Berlin and New York. His work communicates with the abstraction of urban life in Tokyo and other cities. Together with Arakawa, he created the film works PARIS ADAPTED HOMELAND in 2013.
Cyber Café & Digiscope Paintings is their work-in-progress collaborative performance. Using a Swarovski digiscope from the street level, visitors can use their smart phones to take photos of Minamikawa's paintings appearing and disappearing at the outdoor terrace of the museum on 6th floor. The artists also provide an airport-style phone charging station, as well as Cyber Café Painting Tables imported from Germany.
Bed-Stuy Love Affair (est. 2014, Brooklyn, New York)
Bed-Stuy Love Affair is a gallery founded by artist Jared Madere that presents exhibitions by emerging artists. Initially hosted in Madere’s Brooklyn apartment, the gallery has recently become a mobile exhibition space housed in a 1978 RV.
For the Block Party, Madere collaborated with artist Ben Schumacher to create an installation that serves as a literal gate to welcome visitors to the event as well as an environment in which the musician Gobby performs.
Trisha Baga (b. 1985, Venice, FL)
Whitney Idol Karaoke
Trisha Baga is an artist based in New York who is known for creating immersive installations. She often projects videos onto carefully composed displays of handmade sculptures and found objects in order to highlight the subtle variations between images and their material counterparts.
Whitney Idol Karaoke offers visitors the opportunity to sing karaoke songs within a unique environment inspired by the Whitney collection.
K8 Hardy (b. 1977, Fort Worth, Texas) and Ryan McNamara (b. 1979, Phoenix, Arizona)
The Poseurs, a Dance
K8 Hardy creates photographs, sculptures, performances and installations that investigate representation and identity through the vocabulary of the fashion world. Ryan McNamara uses movement and dance to explore how media culture shapes human experiences in unprecedented ways.
Hardy and McNamara have collaborated to create The Poseurs, a Dance specifically for the Block Party, which takes place at various sites on Gansevoort Street.
Nari Ward (b. 1963, Saint Andrew Parish, Jamaica)
Sugar Hill Smiles
Nari Ward is known for his large-scale sculptural installations made of found materials collected from urban environments. Often working with discarded objects, he creates new compositions with recognizable items that are intended to evoke a range of memories, experiences, and emotions.
For the Block Party, Ward invites participants to write recipes for smiles in exchange for “canned smiles.” These were created initially for his Sugar Hill Smiles project. Examining ideas of value and exchange, Ward solicited smiles from passersby in Harlem and preserved them in specially designed metal cans. The canned smiles were then sold in order to benefit the early childhood education program led by Broadway Housing Communities, a nonprofit dedicated to housing those in greatest need.
My Barbarian (est. 2000, New York and Los Angeles)
Classical Music Dance Party
My Barbarian is a collective project by the artists Malik Gaines, Jade Gordon, and Alexandro Segade. Combining theater, visual art, and experimental performance to create a multi-faceted body of work—including music, videos and live performances—to “playfully reenact serious artistic, political, social and historical situations.”
My Barbarian invites visitors to a Classical Music Dance Partywhere the pomp and formality associated with classical music is combined with a high energy club event to create a new atmosphere for interaction.
Lize Mogel (New York, New York)
Lize Mogel is an interdisciplinary artist who explores the connections between art and geography. She creates what is known as “counter-cartography”—maps and mappings that communicate new ideas about social and political issues.
Mogel invites Block Party participants to collectively build a scale model of New York City. Visitors can create small sculptures of places that are important to them personally, and install them on a table-sized city map. A time-lapse video will document the construction of the crowd-sourced city.
Friends of the High Line (est. 1999)
High Line Builders
Join Friends of the High Line to construct your own forts, cars, machines, or monsters with the Children’s Workyard Kit, a collection of over-sized nuts, bolts, pulleys, and beams inspired by the industrial history of the High Line. All ages welcome!
The Meatpacking District Improvement Association (est. 2010)
Meatpacking District Historical Tours
The Meatpacking District Improvement Association (MPIA) is a non-profit business alliance that works to beautify the neighborhood and unify its dynamic mix of ground floor businesses, upper floor tenants, and area institutions, such as the Whitney Museum.
MPIA offers walking tours with an expert guide for small groups to explore the Meatpacking District and learn about the history, architecture and spirit of the neighborhood.
J.T. Jobbagy Inc. (est. 1981)
JT Jobbagy, Inc. is a meat-packing company in the Gansevoort Market Meat Center. John and Tom Jobbagy are third generation meatpackers. Their grandfather, Thomas, opened the Pacific Hotel Supply Company in 1925, and their father, Edward, ran that company into the 1970s. JT Jobbagy, Inc. sells meat to high-end restaurants and retail stores in the New York area.
For the Block Party, Jobbagy meatpackers will be on hand to answer questions about the history of the meatpacking district and the ins and outs of their trade.
Whitney Education Community Advisory Network (est. 2012)
Get to Know the Neighborhood: Culture, Commerce, Community
The Whitney Education Community Advisory Network (WECAN) is comprised of local residents, teachers, parents, and representatives from local social service providers and community-based organizations. Visit the booth to learn more about our dynamic group of community partners and our new downtown neighborhood.
WECAN includes: Community Board 2 ; Elliott-Chelsea Housing ; Fulton Houses ; Greenwich House ; Hudson Guild ; The LGBT Community Center; Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) ; Westbeth Artists Housing and Center for the Arts; The YMCA New Americans Initiative; Local Public Schools
Mark Beasley (New York, NY)
Mark Beasley is a curator, writer and artist based in New York.
For the Block Party he will play a spoken word DJ set, with interjected live vocals, and excerpted tracks from his band Big Legs (a musical collaboration with Dan Fox).
The Eichelburglers (Brooklyn, NY)
The Eichelburglers is a project by Jennifer Miller, Heather Green, and Lee Free, and is a cover band and operatic tribute to the legendary performer Ethyl Eichelberger. Their performance in the Block Party will be accompanied by photographs and video tracing Eichelberger’s life and legacy, compiled and edited by Joe. E Jeffreys.
Jennifer Miller is a playwright, performer and the director and founder of Circus Amok.
The Door—A Center of Alternatives (est. 1972, New York, NY)
The Performing Arts Program
Since 1972, The Door has helped a rapidly growing population of disconnected youth in New York City gain the tools they need to become successful in school, work and in life. The Door’s mission is to empower young people to reach their potential by providing comprehensive youth development services in a diverse and caring environment. The Door’s Arts Program helps youth develop an understanding of the critical role of art to promote self-expression, personal creativity, healthy development, advocacy and leadership across a span of disciplines in the literary, visual and performing arts, and they showcase their talents at various venues through the City.
Jacolby Satterwhite (b. 1986, Columbia, SC)
En Plein Air: Diamond Princess
Jacolby Satterwhite’s work takes the form of video, performance, photography and installation. In all of these mediums, he brings together text, abstraction, surrealism, and collective and personal myths to evoke immersive worlds and imaginary landscapes.
For the Block Party Satterwhite previews a segment of his new video, En Plein Air: Diamond Princess, in conjunction with a performance by the artist with La’Fem Ladosha and Nightfeelings.
Camp & Street (New York, NY)
Camp & Street is a music collective of artists, producers, and singers based in New York, including Le1f, DonChristian, Rahel, and Boody, amongst others. They will be joined by special guest JunglePussy.
For the Block Party, Camp & Street will perform in conjunction with Jacolby Satterwhite’s new video, merging their artistic visions to create a unique environment specific to this moment of collaboration.
Tracie Morris (Brooklyn, NY)
Tracie Morris is a New York-based poet, performer, and scholar whose multidisciplinary practice is rooted in exploring words and language. Morris began performing in the 1990s on New York’s Lower East Side and her work was featured in the 2002 Whitney Biennial and in Blues for Smoke (2013).
For the Block Party she is performing with her band and special guests Mr. Jerome Harris and Jemman.
A Tribe Called Red (Est. 2010, Toronto, Canada)
A Tribe Called Red is a Toronto-based Producer/DJ crew consisting of DJ NDN, Bear Witness, and 2oolman. The group creates a unique sound that draws upon their First Nation heritage, mixing traditional pow wow vocals and drumming with contemporary electronic music.