05.07.22

Tura Oliveira: We Are At a Moment That Will Be Remembered as the Beginning of the Great Change, For Who Can Say When a Wall Is Ready To Come Down

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Exhibition Info

We Are At a Moment That Will Be Remembered… is a monumentally scaled mural in the Lena Horne Bandshell in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, presented by BRIC and Prospect Park Alliance in partnership with NYC Parks. A portal into an alternate future, the mural appears as if emerging from the inner rings of the Bandshell amidst a swirling, hand painted cosmos. Within it, every being — humans, insects, and goddesses alike — vibrates with color and detail,  as they witness or join in the joyful dismantling of a brick wall.  The work is inspired by the scale and narrative qualities of WPA mural projects and by Mexican muralism,  especially José Clemente Orozco’s Prometheus,  depicting the mythological figure who stole fire from the gods and gave it to humanity.

In a nod to Orozco’s Prometheus, humans light their torches with flames cupped in the hands of laughing goddesses. Flanking the portal, two guardian figures cradle armfuls of fire that emit beams of  light, illuminating the landscape and the figures in a color-shifting arch. Oliveira’s allegorical composition responds to the challenges of our current times with a vision of renewal, joy, and collective care. Alluding to this renewal, high above the action,  a purple figure inside a comet streaks across the sky. This  figure,  a protagonist of Oliveira’s science-fiction creation story,  reflects the perpetual recurrence and simultaneity of past, present, and future narratives.

The mural recognizes the forms of collective action that have taken place over the past year, against violence, hate, and separation through walls. Oliveira envisions rebirth through such forms of collective action as joy and care—celebrating acts that often take place in public natural settings, like Prospect Park; a site for imagining and enacting utopia.  In this landscape, leisure and care are not seen as idle tasks but upheld as the driving force of radical change. Before the wall, figures engage equally in direct action and acts of mutual pleasure, touch, and care. In the distance, utopian queers lounge, swim, rest, and organize. These figures exist simultaneously with the liberation in the foreground; in Oliveira’s conception of utopia,  leisure and frivolity can and must coexist with direct action: milk and honey with fire and brimstone. On the horizon of the image, a volcano erupts from a vast, subterranean fire, and a burning tower and a crumbling wall signal the fall of powerful, but not indestructible hierarchies and systems of domination.

Bios

Tura Oliveira

(she/her)

Want to learn more about Tura’s previous work at BRIC?

Check out this video:

About

Prospect Park Alliance is the non-profit organization that sustains, restores and advances Prospect Park, “Brooklyn’s Backyard,” in partnership with the City. The Alliance was founded in 1987 to help restore the park after a long period of deterioration and decline. Today, the Alliance provides critical staff and resources that keep the Park green and vibrant for the diverse communities that call Brooklyn home. The Alliance cares for the woodlands and natural areas, restores buildings and landscapes, creates innovative new destinations, and provides volunteer, education and recreation programs. Learn more at prospectpark.org.

For over 50 years, NYC Parks’ Art in the Parks program has brought contemporary public artworks to the city’s parks, making New York City one of the world’s largest open-air galleries. The agency has consistently fostered the creation and installation of temporary public art in parks throughout the five boroughs. Since 1967, NYC Parks has collaborated with arts organizations and artists to produce over 2,000 public artworks by 1,300 notable and emerging artists in over 200 parks. For more information about the program visit nyc.gov/parks/art.

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141 Prospect Park West, Brooklyn, NY 11215

Venue Info

The Lena Horne Bandshell at Prospect Park is home to BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn!, New York’s longest-running, free outdoor performing arts festival. Named to honor the legendary singer, actress, dancer, and Brooklyn native Lena Horne, the Bandshell is transformed into a venue every summer that can accommodate over 8,000 people.

BRIC is committed to welcoming people of all abilities

The facility is completely wheelchair accessible. If you require special seating arrangements, please ask any staff member to speak with the house manager on the day of the performance when you reach the gate, and we will happily accommodate you. If you have any other questions about accessibility, please contact Benno Orlinsky at [email protected] or (718) 683-5637.