NEW YORK TALKING STATUES
My background is one of the reasons why I want bring the project Talking Statues to New York; My Grandmother Bertha Fox came to New York, USA, in 1922 from Ukraine. Her autobiography is part of the book from “My future is in America”, New York University Press, 2006. She lived her life in Bronx where she got 2 children. Now they are part of New York City with their own stories
In the coming New York Public Art Project statues will start talking in all 5 boroughs telling their stories to bypassers through their smartphones. The 30 selected statues will represent the differences of cultures through New York all telling their stories of how they have become a part of the City. The statues have been carefully selected by The NYC Department of Parks & Recreation, Division of Art & Antiquities with us, ranging from Miguel de Cervantes, Golda Meir, Gandhi, Hans Christian Andersen to Balto in Central Park.
It is important for us to make a project that becomes a natural part of the city's DNA – meaning that the Talking Statues will always relate to New York in what they say. In the project we want to emphasize the uniqueness of different cultures, that shaped New York City. Therefore each statue will represent not only New York but also a Nationality based in the City. There are 800 different languages spoken in New York, making it the most linguistically diverse city in the world.
The statues will talk not only about New York, but they will also help to provide an experience of the different cultures that New York is a composition of. This will be accomplished not only through what they say, but also through the language they speak. Statues, besides English and Spanish, will speak Dutch, Swedish, Danish, Italian, German, etc. This means the statue of Athena in Athens Park in Queens will speak both American and Greek, Mahatma Ghandi in Union Square will speak Indian and American, Beethoven will speak German and American, Confucius in Chinatown will speak American and Chinese etc.
The statues in New York are talking, but what are they saying?