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A Day Like Any Other Invites Tender Participation at the New Museum

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Wishes on ribbon from "I Wish Your Wish" at the New Museum

I stopped by the New Museum for a preview of it’s new show, “Rivane Neuenschwander: A Day Like Any Other” yesterday and am still wearing a ‘wish ribbon’ around my wrist to prove it.  The show is a mid-career survey of the work of Brazilian artist Rivane Neuenschwander. The lobby gallery holds her irresistible installation, “I Wish Your Wish,” which is where I spent most of my time, reading over 60 different (often very moving) wishes printed on colorful ribbon hanging from the walls. Individual wishes from a previous exhibition hang invitingly from 10,296 holes, dangling thoughts like, “I wish I could live without fear,” “I wish I had a turtle and there were no wars,” and, “I wish I was a rockstar.”

Visitors are encouraged to tie one around their wrist, and replace it with a new wish written on a slip of paper, to be shared in the future, and thus continuing the project. Neuenschwander’s inspirtation for the work comes from the ribbons left and taken from the gates surrounding the church of Nosso Senhor do Bonfim (Our Lord of the Good End) in Bahia, Brazil.

"I wish to die with no regret"

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“I Wish Your Wish” Rivane Neuenschwander’s Ribbon Wall at the New Museum

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"First Love"

“First Love,” is a fascinating piece where visitors can sit and describe their first love to a police sketch artist who will draw an image of the person and add it to the collection on the wall.  Daily News writer Erica Pearson wrote about her experience recalling her high school boyfriend here. Anyone can sign up to sit with the artist by sending an e-mail to firstlove@newmuseum.org.

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The show also includes the installation “Rain Rains” (above), an “environment of leaking buckets that are controlled from flooding by a Sisyphean recirculation tended to by museum staff in four-hour cycles. Somehow, standing amid clear water dripping from multiple buckets was instantly mesmerizing.

"The Tenant"

I found two of her video installations to be especially engaging: The Tenant (video still above) follows a soap bubble as it floats through an empty house that is going through a renovation. Floating along with the bubble filled me with excited anticipation, and kept me in suspense at the same time. I was anxious about the bubble bursting and wondered about how the new house will affect the lives of its tenants.

The Fall features an egg in a spoon precariously balanced as if floating on air, while the viewer travels with the mysterious spoon-carrier on a walk through the woods.  I became a little nauseous after first putting on the headphones, but the soundtrack, by Sergio Neuenschwander, adds fragility and apprehension to the video, and eventually I was floating along with the egg, hoping it wasn’t going to break somewhere on it’s path.

$12 // Hours: Wed., 12-6p, Thurs. & Fri., 12-9p, Sat. & Sun., 12-6p, Closed Mon. & Tues., FREE Thurs. eves from 7-9p. // 235 Bowery.

Neuenschwander will discuss her work with Richard Flood in the theater at the New Museum on Thursday, June 24, at 7 PM.

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