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AIR Richard Hart | Shape of Absence: Call for Participation

Shape of Absence | Call for Participation
Hosted by PES & AIR, Richard Hart
Saturday, February 25, 2017
1 - 4pm

"For those born of Africa and those torn from it, there is a constant longing and desire to reconnect with our motherland. Those of us who can, visit. Others buy African clothing and furnishings, or wear beads and jewelry from Africa. Some take pride in cooking authentic African food, or listening to the latest music from the continent. This collective longing is central to my current project, which will take on the form of a temporary social sculpture; an installation of collected objects, each loaded with the significance of a deep and heartfelt connection to Africa."
- 2016/7 AIR Richard Hart

On Saturday February 25th from 1-4 PM, Project for Empty Space and Artist in Residence Richard Hart invite you to bring your objects of nostalgia and history! We will be hosting a participatory event to take portraits and collect objects that speak to a sense of African history or heritage from our peers, friends, and community. These items, portraits, and short interviews, will be incorporated into an installation during Hart’s solo exhibition, The Shape of Absence, which will be on view from June - August 2017.

The installation will be an en masse collection- a totem of communal longing. The power and poignancy of the gathered objects will be amplified by the magnitude and collective meaning of the large installation. The portraits, photographs of object, and short interviews of the participants will be compiled into a book that will be presented during The Shape of Absence.

The exhibition closing will be marked by an event at Project for Empty Space, during which participants will be invited to “claim” (be photographed with) any item other than the one they donated. This way, the work’s power will be disseminated back into the community in a symbolic act of exchange. Participants can choose to take their original objects back or gift them to the project at the completion of the project.

Interested parties are asked to bring items to Project for Empty Space (2 Gateway Center, 2nd Floor, Newark, NJ 07102). Anything with a connection – real or imagined – to Africa is acceptable – jewelry, trinkets and souvenirs, clothes or textiles, books, photos, letters and postcards, CDs, audio cassettes, coins, sticks, stones, ... anything!

Anyone who interested in participating but is unable to make it on the 25th may make an appointment with the artist by emailing:

About the Artist
Richard Hart creates work that takes as its departure point ideas of African ritual, magic and spirituality. Through painting, sculpture, installation, video and photography he spins a vision of Africa that blurs the lines between fact and fiction, memory and intuition. In 2013 the artist moved from Durban, South Africa to New York where he currently lives and works.

Project For Empty Space Gallery
[at] Gateway Project Spaces
2 Gateway Center | Newark, New Jersey