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AyzART组织支持法国艺术家Shani Ha在纽约西村(曼哈顿区格林尼治村的西部)第7大道安装了一个小小的地点装置----“Table For Two”。这是一张给两个人用的桌子,一半在室内,一半在室外。

Table For Two, NYC / Shani Ha第1张图片

Site-specific installation, West Village, New York
On view from February,1 to March,8
1, 7th Avenue South, New York, NY
AyzART, independent art nonprofit is thrilled to present “Table For Two”; a site-specific interactive intervention by French artist Shani Ha in Ayza curated by Sinem Disli.

New York is a very crowded city yet so many people are alone. In a city where more than half of the population is single, everyone seems eager to meet someone even if we keep on ignoring people around us, in the real life. Dating/meeting apps and websites are exploding. Most of our interactions happen behind a screen via texts, e-mails, Skype, Tinder etc. Virtual communication is slowly taking the place of our human interactions, accentuating egocentricity over empathy.

Shani Ha plays with the context and vocabulary of the restaurant by twisting an archetypal bistro table in an interactive installation. The table is split between the inside and the outside, playing with the boundaries of public spaces and questioning social interactions and relationships in New York. “Table For Two” appears on the corner of 7th Avenue and Carmine Street and evokes Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks.

Table For Two, NYC / Shani Ha第2张图片


为了遇见
纽约是一个高密度城市,同时这个城市约有一半以上的人口都是单身,大家似乎都渴望遇见某人。平常忙碌的生活常常让人们忽略身边的人,但于此同时,约会网站或约会APP越来越火爆。人们通过虚拟通信,变得越发的自我和对身边之事冷漠。
Shani Ha在一个转角小酒馆的大玻璃幕墙边上安装了这个一半在室外,一半在室内的桌子。有人匆匆而过;有人在一瞥中停了下来,注意里面坐着的人;还有人选择坐下去,休息一下,或者与对面的人面对面。中间的屏幕分割了两人,却又联系了两人。当然若是想独自游神也是可以的。
艺术家用白色的陶瓷杯承装薄荷茶放在桌面上,既款待客人,也彰显出自己双重文化身份。

Table For Two, NYC / Shani Ha第3张图片

Screens have invaded our everyday life becoming our main medium to communicate. In the same way, the glass that crosses through the table and separates the two seats becomes a screen that both connects and isolates, and through which people get to communicate spontaneously.

The installation questions our relationship to otherness, social-isolation and everyday co-presence situations in New York. By inviting the public to use the piece and sit at the table; the artist allows experimental forms of interaction and communication between viewers; passer-by and clients.

When two persons sit at the split table, they can decide to look at each other or chose to look at their own reflection; confronting the fact that we are becoming more and more self-absorbed and sometimes the presence of the other is simply here to validate our own existence.
When sitting alone, the viewer will face an empty table and his reflection in the glass as a reminder to introspection, narcissism or loneliness.

A white porcelain cup is installed in front of both seats. Anyone who sits at the “Table For Two” is offered a mint tea as a allusion to the conviviality custom in north Africa and Algeria where the artist is originally from. The tea bags are labeled “mint tea” in French and Arabic; questioning the notion of otherness, a central part of the artist’s dual culture.

Table For Two, NYC / Shani Ha第4张图片


重组空间和人
“Table For Two” 是一个对纽约这类大城市的隐喻,在这样的城市中,人们彼此亲近同时也高度独立。艺术家希望“Table For Two” 能引发人们的自发行动,重新定义空间和人的关系。
艺术家说,“我来自巴黎,住在纽约使我不得不使用电脑屏幕与我的爱人互动。这一切十分有趣,与遥远的人依旧亲近,而与身边的人仍有距离。我希望这个作品提供一个强调和探索差异与感悟的小舞台。我知道这样想比较理想化,但是艺术正是通过心中的理想世界去影响现实”。

Table For Two, NYC / Shani Ha第5张图片

“Table For Two” can be seen as a metaphor of social interactions and relationships in large cities such as New York where people can be together and very close but also alone and disconnected at the same time. Shani Ha’s intervention offers an allegorical possibility to reconnect spaces and people through a banal and spontaneous action.
“I’m from Paris and living in New York forces me to interact with people I love the most through computer screens. I find it really fascinating to see how we can be so connected to people who are so far away and yet so disconnected from people who directly surround us. This work attempts to highlight this paradoxes and set a stage to explore otherness and empathy. I realize it may sound idealistic but I believe art is the place to investigate these social utopia that can hopefully influence reality.” Explains the artist.

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