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Pope.L and Sable Elyse Smith Among Artists to Create New Works for the High Line

Works by Maria Thereza Alves, Andrea Bowers, Mariechen Danz, Pope.L, Duane Linklater, Naufus Ramirez-Figueroa, Marinella Senatore, Timur Si-Qin, and Sable Elyse Smith will debut on the High Line in New York this April. Addressing issues that range from ​mass imprisonment to women’s rights, the newly commissioned pieces will be featured in a group exhibition that explores the power of art to create social change, how art can be used to transform public spaces, and art as a form of protest.

The show’s name, “AGORA,” is derived from the Greek word for “square.” In ancient Greece, agoras were public gathering spaces where cultural, spiritual, political, and social activities would take place. Among the artworks in the exhibition, which conveys the artists’ experiences inhabiting, activating, and challenging public spaces, are a new iteration of Alves’s ongoing project Seeds of Change; a neon sign by Bowers that features a slogan in support of DACA (the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy); Ramirez-Figueroa’s aluminum sculpture of a child’s bed, which references the illegal militant orphanages that appeared in Guatemala after its thirty-year civil war; and Smith’s altered replica of the original Hollywood sign that references both the Ironwood State Prison and the segregated Los Angeles development “Hollywoodland.”

Presented by Friends of the High Line, High Line Art commissions and produces public art projects on and around the elevated 1.45-mile park. Founded in 2009, High Line Art presents a wide array of exhibitions and artworks, including site-specific commissions, performances, video programs, and a series of billboard interventions, curated by Cecilia Alemani, High Line Art’s director and chief curator.

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