Onyeka Igwe, The Miracle on George Green, 2022. Production image.

Igwe’s is the second commissioned film for the High Line Originals program

High Line Art today announces the premiere of artist and filmmaker Onyeka Igwe’s film The Miracle on George Green on May 11, 2022. The film will screen daily at dusk on the High Line at 14th Street through July 6, 2022. The Miracle on George Green starts with the social history of a treehouse in East London, and expands outward to other collective sites and social movements of the commons across time. Igwe’s film is the second commission for High Line Originals, a format for realizing new video artworks. The presentation of The Miracle on George Green is organized by Melanie Kress, High Line Art Associate Curator.

Working across cinema and installation, Onyeka Igwe creates non-fiction films that use text, images, and film from historical archives to shift the maps of how we understand the past and the present. Igwe’s films unfold like figure eights, led through music, performance, and mesmerizing voice-overs. Using a forensic lens, Igwe draws audiences into individual and shared stories that expand onto a multiplicity of narratives, rather than a singular, reductive history.

The Miracle on George Green tells a collective social history of the UK tradition of the commons—land collectively owned and used to gather, play, and debate. The film centers around the George Green treehouse in East London. In the early 1990s, when the old sweet chestnut tree that housed the treehouse was threatened, a group of schoolchildren wrote letters to the treehouse as part of a campaign to save it. From this story, Igwe’s film expands outward through archival materials from other social collective sites: the Diggers of the 17th century, radical summer camps in upstate New York in the 1930s and 40s, anti-war protests of Greenham Common in the 1980s, squatting communities of road protest camps in the 1990s, and the outdoor raves of the 2000s. Igwe’s vision of the past and potential futures for the commons is particularly welcome on the High Line, a space re-built for connection and communality.

The premiere of The Miracle on George Green will be marked with a conversation between filmmaker Onyeka Igwe and High Line Art associate curator Melanie Kress. The screening and conversation will be held on May 11, 2022 at 7:30pm in the covered passage at 14th Street on the High Line. The event is free and open to the public; RSVP at thehighline.org.

Onyeka Igwe (b. London, England) lives and works in London, England. Her work has been presented in solo exhibitions and screenings at LUX, London, England (2021); Mercer Union, Toronto, Canada (2021); and Jerwood Arts, London, England (2019). Her video works have been screened at institutions and festivals including KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany (2020); London Film Festival, London, England (2020 and 2015); Rotterdam International Film Festival, Rotterdam, Netherlands (2020, 2019, and 2018); CC Matienzo, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2019); Smithsonian African American Film Festival, Washington, DC (2018); The Showroom, London, England, (2018); Institute of Contemporary Arts: ICA, London, England (2017); and Edinburgh Artist Moving Image, Edinburgh, Scotland (2016). She has been featured in major international presentations including the Dhaka Art Summit, Dhaka, Bangladesh (2020); and Berlin Biennale, Germany (2018). She was awarded the 2020 Arts Foundation Futures Award for Experimental Short Film and the 2019 Berwick New Cinema Award.

Founded in 2009, High Line Art commissions and produces a wide array of artworks on the High Line, including site-specific commissions, exhibitions, performances, video programs, and a series of billboard interventions. Led by Cecilia Alemani, the Donald R. Mullen, Jr. Director & Chief Curator of High Line Art, and presented by the High Line, the art program invites artists to think of creative ways to engage with the unique architecture, history, and design of the park, and to foster a productive dialogue with the surrounding neighborhood and urban landscape.

For further information on High Line Art, please visit thehighline.org/art.

The High Line is both a nonprofit organization and a public park on the West Side of Manhattan. Through our work with communities on and off the High Line, we’re devoted to reimagining public spaces to create connected, healthy neighborhoods and cities.

Built on a historic, elevated rail line, the High Line was always intended to be more than a park. You can walk through the gardens, view art, experience a performance, enjoy food or beverage, or connect with friends and neighbors—all while enjoying a unique perspective of New York City.

Nearly 100% of our annual budget comes through donations. The High Line is owned by the City of New York and we operate under a license agreement with NYC Parks.

For more information, visit thehighline.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

Lead support for High Line Art comes from Amanda and Don Mullen. Major support is provided by Shelley Fox Aarons and Philip E. Aarons, The Brown Foundation, Inc. of Houston, and Charina Endowment Fund. Project support is provided by Charlotte Feng Ford and Vivian and James Zelter. Additional support is provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. High Line Art is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council, under the leadership of Speaker Adrienne Adams.

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