The 2023 – 24 Open Call artists. Standing, left to right: Kayla Hamilton, Bryan Fernandez, Christopher Radcliff, Calli Roche, Garrett Zuercher, Armando Guadalupe Cortés, Jake Brush. Seated, left to right: Kyle Dacuyan, Lizania Cruz, Asia Stewart, Luis A. Gutierrez, Minne Atairu, Sandy Williams IV, Jeffrey Meris. Not pictured: Cathy Linh Che, The Dragon Sisters, Nile Harris, NIC Kay, Yaa Samar! Dance Theatre. Photo: Dana Golan. Courtesy The Shed.
From November 4 to January 21, the exhibition features 10 new interdisciplinary works as part of Open Call, The Shed’s large-scale commissioning program for emerging NYC-based artists, in the Level 2 Gallery.
As part of the third edition of The Shed’s cornerstone Open Call program, the Open Call 2023 Group Exhibition features 11 visual artists who live or work in New York City presenting new commissions in disciplines from sculpture to filmmaking to poetry, each proposing care- and community-based responses to the urgent issues of our time. The exhibition will be on view from November 4, 2023, through January 21, 2024, in The Shed’s Level 2 Gallery.
This exhibition will focus on the artists’ personal diaspora experiences and how they intersect with global history, as well as commentaries on our digital landscape. Artists featured include Minne Atairu, Jake Brush, Cathy Linh Che & Christopher Radcliff, Armando Guadalupe Cortés, Lizania Cruz, Bryan Fernandez, Luis A. Gutierrez, Calli Roche, Jeffrey Meris, and Sandy Williams IV. Admission is free. Tickets will be available beginning Tuesday, October 17 at theshed.org/opencall.
“With an emphasis on BIPOC artists and disability arts integration, Open Call is the cornerstone upon which The Shed is growing and evolving as a civic cultural organization,” said Tamara McCaw, The Shed’s Chief Civic Program Officer. “The 11 artists featured in the Open Call 2023 Group Exhibition represent some of the most innovative and inspiring artists emerging in the visual arts today. This fall, we are thrilled to welcome neighbors, tourists, and all New Yorkers to experience their works, which explore urgent themes of reclamation, repatriation, resistance, healing, and access.”
Open Call is The Shed’s recurring interdisciplinary commissioning program for early-career artists across the visual and performing arts disciplines. After being selected by The Shed in partnership with 67 external industry professionals and artists from across disciplines, artists receive a commissioning fee of up to $15,000 depending on the scope of the proposed project, in addition to production support and resources to develop their new projects.
In March, April, and June of this year, panelists and reviewers from various arts disciplines reviewed more than 1,200 proposals for this third edition of Open Call, a significant increase from the 900 applications received during the inaugural call for proposals in 2018. With a citywide focus, the panels selected 18 inventive, thought- provoking, risk-taking, timely, and culturally sensitive proposals that will resonate with a wide range of audiences.
Open Call continues to be integral to The Shed’s institutional and civic vision to produce and welcome innovative art and ideas across all forms of creativity and to build a shared understanding of our rapidly changing world and a more equitable society. In addition to the 2023 Group Exhibition, in summer 2024 in The Shed’s Griffin Theater, the remaining eight commissions in this third edition of Open Call will feature immersive, multidisciplinary performances by Kyle Dacuyan, The Dragon Sisters, Kayla Hamilton, Nile Harris, NIC Kay, Asia Stewart, Yaa Samar! Dance Theatre, and Garrett Zuercher.
The third edition of Open Call is organized by Tamara McCaw, Chief Civic Program Officer, and Darren Biggart, Director of Civic Programs, with Eduardo Andres Alfonso, Associate Curator at Large, and Deja Belardo, Curatorial Assistant. The exhibition is produced by MK Meador, Associate Exhibitions Coordinator and Registrar, and Freddy Villalobos, Associate Exhibitions Coordinator & Head Preparator.
The Open Call program was conceived by The Shed’s Artistic Director Alex Poots; Tamara McCaw; Emma Enderby, former Chief Curator; and Senior Program Advisor Hans Ulrich Obrist. Special thanks to former program team colleagues who facilitated the third call for proposals and selection process: Solana Chehtman, Sarah Khalid Dhobhany, Alessandra Gómez, and Andria Hickey.
OPEN CALL 2023 GROUP EXHIBITION OVERVIEW – Full project descriptions will be available at theshed.org/opencall.
Minne Atairu: To the Hand
A sculptural installation that uses artificial intelligence to imagine an Afrofuturism inspired by the oral tradition and material culture of Benin
Minne Atairu (she/her) is an interdisciplinary artist whose research- based practice seeks to reclaim the obscured histories of the Benin Bronzes.
Jake Brush: Petpourri
A video installation that creates an absurdist reboot of Long Island pet store owner Marc Morrone’s public access television show
Jake Brush (he/him) draws from reality television, horror movies, and comedy to make bombastic characters and worlds through video, performance, sculpture, and installation art. He currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Cathy Linh Che & Christopher Radcliff: Appocalips
A multichannel video installation based on the real-life experiences of Cathy Linh Che’s parents, Vietnam War refugees, who in 1976, while stateless in a refugee camp in the Philippines, were hired to play extras in Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now
Cathy Linh Che (she/her) is a Vietnamese American writer and multimedia artist from Los
Christopher Radcliff (he/him) is a Chinese American filmmaker living and working in New York City.
Armando Guadalupe Cortés: Palenque
A structure in the form of a palenque, a round cockfighting ring. The skeletal and ghostly architectural support for a seating arena for violent sport creates a space in which spectacle is both expected and denied.
Armando Guadalupe Cortés’s (he/him) practice builds on storytelling, object-making, and performance traditions. Merging forms and methods from his native México and broader Latin American literary traditions, he contrasts and hybridizes performances with elements of his life in the United States.
Lizania Cruz: Evidence 071: The Commission of Inquiry
A multimedia installation, based on Cruz’s research in the Dominican Republic, that explores the role of US imperialism and asks audiences to consider their relation to ongoing processes of colonization
Lizania Cruz (she/her) is a Dominican participatory artist, and designer interested in how migration affects ways of being and belonging.
Bryan Fernandez: Who I am, Quiénes Somos
A series of mixed-media assemblages exploring the Dominican diaspora across the Northeast United States and the Dominican Republic that examines how identity and material culture find ways to reimagine belonging within immigrant communities
Bryan Fernandez (he/him) is a Dominican American artist from Washington Heights, located in Upper Manhattan, born in 2000.
Luis A. Gutierrez: Las Nueve Demandas (The Nine Demands)
A series of monumental paintings that draw from archival records of the December 1928 Masacre de las bananeras, a mass killing executed by the United Fruit Company in response to a strike after the company failed to meet demands for fair wages and humane labor conditions made by plantation workers in November of the same year
Luis A. Gutierrez (he/him) is a mixed-media artist connecting our past and present through the exploration of historical events. He creates multilayered paintings and installations by dissecting canvases and abstracting historical images.
Calli Roche: Death to Dermis: Ecdysis
A metaphorical shucking of the body, searching for the core. Each work uses various pattern-making and sculpture techniques to peel layers of the self in an effort to dissect the various psychic and physiological components that constitute the self.
Calli Roche (she/they) is an American artist based in Brooklyn. Roche frequently works with reclaimed objects, wood, skins, and textiles. The materials take on different ontological significance in each work yet frequently reference the fraught relationships between violence, identity, and sexuality.
Jeffrey Meris: Catch a Stick of Fire III (Dark Man X)
A horticultural sculpture supporting orchids that was conceived during Meris’s Self-Care Saturdays, a personal ritual that provided psychological sanctuary over the past year’s dual crises of continued violence against Black individuals and the global pandemic
Jeffrey Meris (he/they) is a multidisciplinary artist whose practice engages with ecology, embodiment, and various lived experiences while healing deeply personal and historical wounds.
Sandy Williams IV: 40 ACRES: Weeksville
A multilayered public performance that took place in the sky above the remaining fragments of Weeksville, Brooklyn, a historical African American neighborhood founded by freed, formerly enslaved people in the 19th century
Sandy Williams IV (they/he/she) is an artist and educator whose work generates moments of communal catharsis. Their conceptual and research-based practice uses time itself as a material, and works collaboratively with communities to unfold hidden legacies in common spaces.
Support for Open Call is generously provided by the Howard Gilman Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and The Shed’s Creative Council. Additional support is provided by WarnerMedia OneFifty, The Wescustogo Foundation, and Jody and John Arnhold | Arnhold Foundation.
About Open Call
Launched as part of The Shed’s inaugural year program, Open Call is a large-scale commissioning program for early-career NYC-based artists. For the first edition of Open Call, 52 artists and collectives were commissioned to present their intentional and boundary-pushing new work beginning in May 2019. The second edition followed 27 artists with new work beginning June 2021. Each received commissioning fees, production support, and experience working with a large cultural institution and navigating the commissioning process. Open
Call continues in fostering and supporting the next generation of NYC artists. Open Call was conceived by The Shed’s Artistic Director Alex Poots; Tamara McCaw, Chief Civic Program Officer; Emma Enderby, former Chief Curator; and Senior Program Advisor Hans Ulrich Obrist.
Upcoming at The Shed
Here We Are: The world premiere of the final musical by legendary composer Stephen Sondheim, with a book by David Ives and directed by Joe Mantello, begins September 2023 in The Shed’s Griffin Theater. September 28 through January 7.
West Side Fest: On September 30, The Shed will participate in the inaugural West Side Fest, a day of free admission to museums, special programs, art-making, and crafts for kids, highlighting New York City’s newest cultural destination on the western edge of Manhattan.
The Fire Ensemble: The intergenerational choir community, led by composer and artistic director Troy Anthony, begins rehearsals again starting September 11 at The Shed. New Yorkers of all ages and backgrounds are welcome to participate in this artistic practice and community-building moment through November.
For more information, visit theshed.org
About The Shed
The Shed is a new cultural institution of and for the 21st century. We produce and welcome innovative art and ideas, across all forms of creativity, to build a shared understanding of our rapidly changing world and a more equitable society. In our highly adaptable building on Manhattan’s west side, The Shed brings together established and emerging artists to create new work in fields ranging from pop to classical music, painting to digital media, theater to literature, and sculpture to dance. We seek opportunities to collaborate with cultural peers and community organizations, work with like-minded partners, and provide unique spaces for private events. As an independent nonprofit that values invention, equity, and generosity, we are committed to advancing art forms, addressing the urgent issues of our time, and making our work impactful, sustainable, and relevant to the local community, the cultural sector, New York City, and beyond.