MoMA PS1, Long Island City

MoMA PS1 | 22-25 Jackson Ave. at 46 Ave., Queens
NY 11101 Long Island City

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press release

(Long Island City, New York – September, 2004) – P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center is proud to present new Special Projects on October 24, 2004, including works by Paolo Canevari, Petra Lindholm, and Amy O’Neill. Special Projects are selected individually, without attention to a theme in order to reflect the extraordinary energy and variety of practices among young artists working in New York City and abroad.

Paolo Canevari: Welcome to Oz Courtyard. Selected by P.S.1 Executive Director Alanna Heiss. Paolo Canevari’s (b. Rome, 1963) installation, Welcome to Oz, revolves around a photograph that ran in several newspapers depicting American soldiers outside the entrance of Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison with the words “Welcome to Oz” hanging over their heads. Underscoring the irony and sarcastic implications of this sentence, Canevari defines and develops the idea of imprisonment as both a physical and psychological state. This site-specific installation, a barbed wire structure in P.S.1’s courtyard, is constructed of rubber from tire inner tubes bound to a wooden structure. This “fence” designates a private protected territory, defining a space that cannot be entered or escaped as well as addressing an ambiguous concept of prohibition. Viewers in the space, by experiencing a sense of physical and mental constriction, are encouraged to reflect on the authoritative and symbolic meaning of signs, barriers, and borders.

Paolo Canevari’s work has been included in major group and solo exhibitions throughout the world, including at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, XIII Quardriennale di Roma, Palazzo della Esposozioni in Rome, Centre for Academic Resources, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok and The Liverpool Biennial, 2004. He was awarded the International Fellowship in Visual Arts by the Mid American Arts Alliance and US Information Agency (1996), and received an art prize for his work in the Art for the World, Playground and Toys for Refugee Children project in New York (2001). His work can be viewed in many permanent public outdoor projects, such as Uomoerba at the Sculpture Park in Villa Glori in Rome.


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Special Project: Paolo Canevari: Welcome to Oz
Kurator Alanna Heiss