Red Tape Labyrinth; Immigration Meditation, Art in Odd Places, NYC, 2016

The Red Tape Labyrinth; Immigration Meditation, is a temporary site-specific participatory art installation and performance site staged on West 14th Street in Manhattan from October 6 through 9, 2016.

Christina Stahr, Red Tape Labyrinth; Immigration Meditation (Study for AiOP proposal), colored pencil on digital photograph, 2016.

Facing the Hudson River, and visible from the Highline above, this walkable labyrinth recalls that migrations continue to be risked on foot and over water. The project speaks to the global immigration crisis and also seeks to contextualize the media’s focus on international migrants and American immigration policies within a historic framework that includes the so-called “Great Migration” of 6 million African Americans northwards within the United States. Immigration, now perceived as an acute issue in both international and national politics, as well as a global humanitarian crisis, is paradoxically also part of the historical foundational narrative of an America based on the hard work and success of immigrants in the “New World”, while at the same time excluding those non-Europeans forcibly brought over as slave laborers.

The Red Tape Labyrinth; Immigration Meditation, installation invites passersby to walk, amble, dance, stride, or toddle along the labyrinth’s single spiraling path and to physically and contemplatively engage with the processes of pilgrimage, passage, and migration on foot and engage with its political dimensions. Participants will also be encouraged to write their thoughts, experiences, and hopes onto the path using the chalk provided.

Christina Stahr, Red Tape Labyrinth; Immigration Meditation(Study for AiOP proposal), colored pencil on digital photograph, 2016.

Christina Stahr, Red Tape Labyrinth; Immigration Meditation (Study for AiOP proposal), colored pencil on digital photograph, 2016.

Outlined in actual red duct tape, the Red Tape Labyrinth; Immigration Meditation imagines a clear path through the bureaucratic “red tape” usually confronting migrants and immigrants. The title also recalls the ancient Greek myth and the ball of red thread that the goddess Ariadne gave to Theseus, to mark his route out of the labyrinth after slaying the Minotaur at its center.

Musicians, dancers and performance artists will engage with the labyrinth and audiences.

This installation is included in the Art in Odd Places Festival – with “Race” as its 2016 theme – an event that aims to stretch the boundaries of communication in the public realm by presenting artworks outside the confines of traditional public space regulations, and reminds us that public spaces function as the epicenter for diverse social interactions and the unfettered exchange of ideas.

Christina Stahr, Red Tape Labyrinth; Immigration Meditation (Study for AiOP proposal), colored pencil on digital photograph, 2016.

Christina Stahr, Red Tape Labyrinth; Immigration Meditation (Study for AiOP proposal), colored pencil on digital photograph, 2016.

Founded and directed by Ed Woodham, Art in Odd Places 2016: RACE is curated by Rylee Eterginoso, Elissa Blount-Moorhead, Tumelo Mosaka, and Ikechukwu Onyewuenyi. Curatorial manager is Malena Amaranta Negrao with curatorial assistant,Tasha Douge.

The Art in Odd Places Festival runs from Thursday, October 6th to Sunday October 9th, 2016 on 14th Street from Avenue C to the Hudson River. Noon to dusk. Free and open to the public.

www.artinoddplaces.org