By PAUL LASTER, AUG. 2015
Since its first appearance at the Galway Arts Festival in Ireland in 2011, the Cause Collective’s traveling art project In Search of the Truth (The Truth Booth) has been exhibited in Afghanistan, at the Cleveland Museum of Art, at Burning Man, in South Africa, and at Art Basel Miami Beach, and it’s racked up more than 5,000 videos of people telling what the truth means to them.
Now this bouncy-castle-turned-confessional, that’s been made to look like a giant cartoon bubble with the word “Truth” posted on it, is making its way around Brooklyn as part of Hank Willis Thomas’s Public Art Fund exhibition “The Truth Is I See You” at MetroTech Commons.
When I interviewed Thomas for the New York Observer in Miami last December he said, “People have talked about failed relationships, about love, and family. They’ve talked about the notion of the truth, about dishonesty, about what’s happening to them right now, politics. The truth is ageless and timeless. The youngest participant is three years old and the oldest ones are probably in their 80s. They’re speaking about the same thing from their perspective and no one can take that away from them. That’s what I like about it. You’re right no matter what you say, if you tell the truth.“
While the Truth Booth was at MetroTech on the opening day of the show and will appear at other Brooklyn locations throughout the run of the exhibition, new works by Thomas and his Cause Collective collaborator Ryan Alexiev continue to take center stage on the commons. Twenty-two “truth bubbles,” that simulate speech bubbles from comic books and graphic novels, have been installed as signs on the light posts along MetroTech’s Myrtle Promenade. Lines from Thomas and Alexiev’s Truth Poem, such as “The truth is I fear you” and “The truth is I judge you,” are written on one side of the signs in English and on the other side in one of the myriad languages spoken across Brooklyn.
Two steel benches in the shape of thought balloons and a fabricated metal tree with puffed up truth bubbles at the end of the branches that ask “The truth is I love you?” complete this thought provoking exhibition.
The Truth Is I See You is on view at MetroTech Commons in Brooklyn through June 3, 2016.
Scroll through the photos below to see some of the art world players who came out for the August 4 opening. WM
Paul Laster is a writer, editor, curator, artist and lecturer. He’s a contributing editor at ArtAsiaPacific and Whitehot Magazine of Contemporary Art and writer for Time Out New York, Harper’s Bazaar Arabia, Galerie Magazine, Sculpture, Art & Object, Cultured, Architectural Digest, Garage, Surface, Ocula, Observer, ArtPulse, Conceptual Fine Arts and Glasstire. He was the founding editor of Artkrush, started The Daily Beast’s art section, and was art editor of Russell Simmons’ OneWorld Magazine, as well as a curator at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, now MoMA PS1.
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