What is Papergirl?
Papergirl-Brooklyn is an adaptation of the Papergirl Project. Papergirl is an open-sourced art project (see History) that includes a collection, exhibition, and distribution of art submitted by local and international artists. The public can view the art in an interactive exhibition, but the art is not for sale. Rather, the art is later distributed to the public by a group of bicyclists. This unconventional art project disrupts the flow of consumption and brings people in contact with art in their everyday lives.
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We acknowledge that the land on which we live and work is the ancestral and unceded land of the Lenape. We pay our respects to the original caretakers of this land and their contributions past and present.
With physical distancing being a necessary safety measure due to COVID-19, the world has had to rethink the forms in which communities exist and how to foster community outside of social spaces. What does this mean for Papergirl, a project that is based in community and interaction? How will we bring people in contact with new communities and experiences without putting people's health at risk?
Papergirl-Brooklyn (PGBK) has replaced the artist workshops and interactive gallery exhibition with an open-air, multi-location, audio-guided, street exhibition. The exhibition will be accessible on public streets in ten Brooklyn neighborhoods. Visitors are encouraged to visit all locations. We hope that this exhibition will bring people to new neighborhoods and create new relationships between people and places.
PGBK welcomes artists-- local and international-- to submit rollable, high-quality, non-commercial artwork to this project. The submitted artwork will be documented and shared on our website. Every artist will be included in the open-air exhibition.
The exhibition will be distributed among a diverse cross-section of ten Brooklyn neighborhoods. Each location will have a unique wheat-pasted banner which will display a portion of the exhibition and include a QR code which directs the visitor to the audio episode for that location. Listeners will be guided through the exhibition and introduced to the neighborhood by a local artist. The audio program will include artist interviews, give additional information about the artwork, and promote local businesses (we hope that visitors explore the neighborhood and stay /return for a drink or visit a shop). The audio program can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection, but visitors are encouraged to visit each exhibition location while listening to the corresponding audio episode.
The original submitted artwork will be rolled up and given away at random on an undisclosed date (this will make the receiving of the works as random and unforeseen as possible). The artwork will be distributed by a collective group on bicycles who will follow safety protocol to ensure that the distribution of rolls of art is not putting anyone’s health at risk. Pedestrians around Brooklyn will receive rolls of original artwork, each wrapped with an information band about PGBK. This project is about breaking down barriers, creating connections, and investing in Brooklyn without asking for anything in return.
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Papergirl-Brooklyn (PGBK) is an art action with an emphasis on social, sustainable, and cultural engagement.
We believe in social change through art, and our decision to exhibit this project in various neighborhoods is to bring communities into exchanges that might not otherwise happen. The audio program is a documentary podcast that tells the story of this art project, and each neighborhood is included as if they were all characters. To stand in a neighborhood, listening to an audio program while observing a wall of artworks is to create a relationship with that location.
Brooklyn is resilient, but for the long road ahead, we must invest in our communities for more sustainable systems. Many communities in Brooklyn are underfunded and undervalued. Instead of focusing on the art-trendy neighborhoods, PGBK will distribute the art and its attention to a wide variety of neighborhoods. This exhibition will be a dialogue among artists, the inhabitants of Brooklyn, and the environment-- we will use sustainable and low-impact materials and methods whenever possible.
Culture can create a more just society. Culture and art are closely tied together, and artists often depict or predict cultural shifts in creative form. PGBK is an example of how art can be invested in our neighborhoods, and we are using the audio program to highlight and celebrate the unique cultural combinations of each neighborhood from the perspective of a local artist; it is important to have the community participate in the creation of this project.
Invest in Brooklyn means to us: producing and showcasing this project in Brooklyn; buying from and promoting local businesses (especially BIPOC owned); using distributed art to share joyful messages with the public during this difficult time; connecting with new communities and individuals; and not taxing the environment.