FLATBUSHTOPIA & BRIDGE STREET
Flatbushtopia is a diorama-like portrait of the Flatbush neighborhood that surrounds the Kings County Hospital, developed with public participation. It was originally organized and commissioned by the arts nonprofit No Longer Empty for its exhibition After Care (2018) at the Kings County Hospital.
The process had three phases: Mapping, Constructing and Wishes. With the hospital as the center, participants were asked to draw and write streets from the surrounding neighborhood. The process allowed participants to correct one another. After mapping the area, the participants suggested places which were then built as maquettes. They also contributed objects, fliers and posters. The final stage incorporated suggestions and wishes for the neighborhood. The process was documented using still images, combined to become a stop motion animation.
The intention of this interactive project is to facilitate the learning and sharing of knowledge between participants as well as to engage in a creative process that can trigger awareness and memory of the everyday. I’m interested in exploring how places/spaces are communally imagined, acknowledged and modified through continuous negotiations between individuals.
In the short animation Bridge Street, each constructed scene is based on suggestions from passersby. I would approach individuals that I had never met before and ask them to direct me towards their favorite place in the neighborhood. After going there and sketching the environment I then asked another passerby to lead me to their favorite place and so on. I painted the scenes from the sketches and from memory onto two separate canvases. Each frame of the animation is layered upon the previous one.
In this project I’m interested in exploring the idea of authorship as well as experiencing the aesthetic and personal perspectives of others.
Stop motion animation on wood panel
Bridge Street (2015)
Stop action animation on two canvases
ABOUT THE ARTIST
As a person who moved between geographies (Ethiopia, U.S.A.) time and place are no longer singular for Ezra Wube. He is in a continuous dialogue negotiating “Here” and “There,” “Old” and “New.” These fragmentations are reconciled through the storytelling aspects of his work as a means to connect multiple realities. For him, an imaginative relationship is necessary to adapt to a new environment, to embrace the here and now, and to connect with the ephemeral in the everyday. While collaging his past with present experiences, he attempts to make a third entity that is in both the past and the present in which places and time are continuously shifting.