‘Meet at The Shed’ for Open House on January 11, 2020




The Shed’s Bloomberg Building, April 2019. Photo: Iwan Baan. Project Design Credit: Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Lead Architect, and Rockwell Group, Collaborating Architect

Kick-off the New Year with the first-ever Open House, Meet at The Shed on January 11th, celebrating its opening season as it draws to a close. Meet at The Shed will feature special pop-up events and free admission to its current exhibitions.

To celebrate the new year, friends and neighbors are invited to Meet at The Shed, the new arts center’s first-ever open house where visitors can explore the building and learn more about The Shed’s programs. Admission to current exhibitions Agnes Denes: Absolutes and Intermediates and Manual Override will be free of charge, including curator and guest artist-led tours. Additional events include pop-up performances by past and future Shed artists, including DJ sets, dance battles, and a closing concert. A complete schedule will be announced in the coming weeks. Free tickets can be reserved in advance at theshed.org.

“At the start of this new decade, in such a significant year for this country, we are producing and premiering a number of pioneering artists’ works that confront the urgent matters of our time—artists whose practices speak to justice, empathy, and the environment, and look to the future,” said Alex Poots. “Built on city-owned land, our nonprofit institution has been given a once-in-a-generation opportunity to contribute to New York’s vibrant cultural scene, with a mission to commission new work across all genres and create a culturally democratic space for communities and audiences from across the city and beyond.”

The Shed’s multidisciplinary commissioning program is developed by Artistic Director and CEO Alex Poots with the senior program team, including Chief Civic Program Officer Tamara McCaw, Senior Program Advisor Hans Ulrich Obrist, and Senior Curator Emma Enderby.

Here are the 2020 Artist Commissions:

March 10 – April 5, 2020; The Griffin Theater

The Shed presents the world premiere of Help, a new theatrical work by acclaimed author and poet Claudia Rankine (Citizen: An American Lyric), starring Roslyn Ruff (Theater: Fairview; Film: Marriage Story; TV: Divorce,Pose) and directed by Obie Award-winner Taibi Magar (Is God Is, Soho Rep), with movement choreography by Shamel Pitts. The newly commissioned script derives from Rankine’s deep inquiry and ongoing investigation into white male privilege, elements of which were shared in her New York Times Magazine essay, “I Wanted to Know What White Men Thought About Their Privilege. So I Asked” (July 17, 2019). Set design by Mimi Lien, costume design by Dede Ayite, lighting design by John Torres, sound design by Mikaal Sulaiman, and original music composition by Jerome Ellis; Casey Llewellyn, dramaturg.

Tomás Saraceno: Particular Matter(s)
May 6 – August 9, 2020; The McCourt, Level 2 and Level 4 Galleries

For more than a decade, Argentinian artist Tomás Saraceno has been imagining a world free from borders and fossil fuels, in an unorthodox collaboration with spiders and their webs, and the cosmic web. In this age of climate emergency, his work has focused on a new era of our Earth that emphasizes the atmosphere, called the Aerocene. Saraceno draws on this practice in Particular Matter(s), the artist’s largest exhibition in the US to date. The exhibition features new and extant works and a large-scale, interactive commission in The McCourt, The Shed’s iconic and largest space. Particular Matter(s) marks the first time The McCourt will be used for a visual art installation—one that is intended to be neither seen nor heard, but felt. 

Open Call: Group 4
May 21 – August 22, 2020; The Griffin Theater

Open Call, The Shed’s commissioning program for NYC-based emerging artists across all disciplines, launched earlier this year with presentations in The Griffin Theater, Level 2 Gallery, and outdoors on the Plaza. The inaugural program continues with the final nine of 52 artists and collectives selected in the first year, with each work presented three times. These commissions explore identity, the influence of religion, state-based violence, borders, and rituals, among other social issues and themes. Featured works include: composer, director, and actor Troy Anthony’s choral work Antioch Mass; performer and performance-maker Fana Fraser’s Hotline; performance and video artist Madeline Hollander’s Preview, based on ready-made choreographies; multidisciplinary performance artist Ayesha Jordan’s bayou-inspired project Shasta Geaux Pop: Walk on Water in collaboration with Creative Capital and 2019 United States Artist fellow Charlotte Brathwaite; Bessie Award-winning dancer and choreographer Kyle Marshall’s Reign; composer and multimedia artist Rachika S’s audiovisual installation Drawn Around Us; Bessie Award-winning dancer and choreographer Alice Sheppard and her collective of disability arts leaders, Kinetic Light, with their new dance piece Wired; Bessie Award-winning dance artist Mariana Valencia’s solo piece Ileana; and theater-maker, vocalist, composer, and cultural worker Nia O. Witherspoon’s Chronicle X: Windows, the first in her series of Dark Girl Chronicles.

Admission to all Open Call programs is free. The Shed will begin accepting artist proposals for its 2021Open Call program in spring 2020.

Ian Cheng: Life After BOB
September 16, 2020 – January 17, 2021; Level 2 Gallery

Ian Cheng’s Life After BOB is the first episode in an animated miniseries that explores how artificial intelligence might transform the scripts that guide our lives. Expanding on the character of BOB (Bag of Beliefs), an AI-driven virtual lifeform the artist first exhibited in 2018, Cheng introduces the story of Chalice, a young girl born with a BOB in her brain. When Chalice gets lost in a neural dream game, she accidentally automates away 10 years of her life. She returns to face a version of herself in which her life script has been wildly enacted by BOB. Merging traditional storytelling with live simulation, Life After BOB allows viewers to both experience the narrative and influence the details of the world, its characters, and their cognitive landscapes, all within a continuous dream-like medium. Life After BOB proposes a future beyond streaming television, where viewers personalize the world they watch.  

September 24 – October 24, 2020; The Griffin Theater

Arinzé Kene (Playwright: Little Baby Jesus, Oval House/The Orange Tree Theatre (2019 revival); Actor: Death of a Salesman, Young Vic) stars inMisty, “a tour de force by a force of nature” (The Upcoming), written by Kene and directed by Omar Elerian. Fusing live music, spoken word, and absurdist comedy, Misty is an exhilarating journey through the dark alleyways of a city in flux and a genre-defying excavation of the pressures and expectations that come with being an artist in our time. Part poem, part concert, part confession, Misty was hailed as “one of the great theater success stories of 2018” (The Guardian, UK) when it was first developed by and premiered at London’s Bush Theatre before transferring to the West End and garnering nominations for Olivier Awards for Best New Play and Best Actor. For the US premiere, The Shed has commissioned the creative team to evolve the narrative into a new production for New York audiences.

Howardena Pindell: Rope/Fire/Water
October 7, 2020 – January 17, 2021; Level 4 Gallery

For her solo exhibition at The Shed, Howardena Pindell is creating her first video in 25 years, a Shed-commissioned work titled Rope/Fire/Watercomprised of archival images of lynching photographs and archival photos of the historic 1963 Children’s Crusade in Birmingham, Alabama. In voice-over, Pindell recounts personal anecdotes alongside anthropological and historical data related to lynchings and racist attacks in the United States. Additionally, the artist will debut a pair of large-scale paintings related to global atrocities of imperialism and white supremacy, and several abstract paintings that demonstrate a through line in Pindell’s practice: after working on traumatic historical projects, the artist decompresses by creating meticulously produced, highly textured, large-scale abstract works on unstretched canvas. 

2020 Season Tickets
Tickets for Help go on sale Jan 9. On-sale dates for all other 2020 commissions and programs will be announced. Tickets may be purchased at theshed.org or by calling (646) 455-3494.

Admission to exhibitions at The Shed is $10, which includes entry to all exhibitions on view that day (admission is free for children and teens 18 years and under, and for Shed Members at the Builder level and above). Ticket prices for live productions vary by show. 

The Shed is located at 545 West 30th Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues,, with entrances via 30th Street and Hudson Yards Public Square.

While you’re there, walk through the Bella Abzug Park ~ Check out The Vessel (designed by Heatherwick Studio) and The Edge. Another Heatherwick Studio project is not far ~ Little Island, also known as Pier55 is a short walk along the High Line to 13th and 14th Streets, in the Hudson River.