Arts Watch: Artist Pia Camil Will Exchange Her Sweatshirt For Your Personal Items

Pia Camil

Tomorrow night, Mexico City Artist Pia Camil will be trading 100 custom designed sweatshirts in exchange for personal items from the public in a New Museum event titled, “Pia Camil: A Pot for a Latch” Exchange Day.

In January, the museum hosts Camil’s first solo exhibition in New York. For the exhibit, “Pia Camil: A Pot for a Latch,” she will present a new sculptural installation created specifically for the Lobby Gallery.

The title of the exhibition refers to the potlatch, a ceremonial gift-giving festival practiced by the Native-American peoples of the Pacific Northwest coast, for whom it was a central system of wealth redistribution. Additional exchanges are scheduled throughout the run of the exhibit.

Here is her invitation:

“A Pot for a Latch” is an invitation to exchange.

The object you bring is a talisman of sorts, and it should be thought of in the same way that the ancient Romans conceived of in their term “res,” which denotes a gift that has both a personal value and a history. Bring objects of power, of aesthetic interest, and of poignancy. The monetary value of these items is insignificant; their value lies instead in their richness of meaning and in the new life that they acquire on the grid within the Lobby Gallery.

Potential exchange items may include: clothing, curtains, blankets, artwork, photographs, paintings, frames, nondescript items of undetermined function, objects that resemble parts of the human body such as wigs or mannequins, costume jewelry and accessories, mirrors and reflective items, potted plants, posters, colorful items and/or those with interesting shapes and forms, transparent materials such as shower curtains, lingerie, or X-rays, magazines, books, and trinkets.

Prohibited exchange items include but are not limited to: electronics, heavy items (over twenty pounds), small-scale objects (less than six inches in diameter), food or other perishables, weapons, and chemicals or other hazardous materials.

Objects accepted for exchange will not be returned to the submitting party.

The exchange is open to the public, free of charge, and will take place at 5:00 p.m. tomorrow, Thursday, Dec. 17. The event will conclude at 9:00 p.m., or once all one hundred sweatshirts have been exchanged. More information about the exhibition can be found here.