A new exhibition, dedicated to the civic engagement, is currently on view at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Set up by the artist Jeanne van Heeswijk, Philadelphia Assembled is different from any other exhibition because it is not putting pleasure as its end goal, but offers a collection of facts happened in Philadelphia which are meant to create a sense of tension within the minds of the exhibition’s visitors, and to stimulate the viewers to organize themselves towards improved communal ends.
This project articulates a collective narrative about the city of Philadelphia around five principles:
Reconstructions: How do we rewrite our histories?
Sovereignty: How do we define self-determination & unity?
Sanctuary: How do we create safe spaces?
Futures: How do we reimagine our tomorrow?
Movement: How do we share knowledge?
Through the reproduction of sounds, interviews, images and symbols, the exhibition aims to educate, inspire and encourage visitors to react to injustice and marginalization, by promoting Collective Actions and affirming values such as unity, self-determination and overcome of stereotypes.
The initiative of the Philadelphia Museum of Art to support such kind of exhibition, also taking the risk of discomforting its guests, rouses interest and admiration while it also shows how Art and Culture can be important channels to promote civic engagement.
Official page of the exhibition at PMA: https://www.philamuseum.org/exhibitions/854.html
An article appeared on Hyperallergic magazine