At More Art, we are constantly asking ourselves what makes the projects we curate and produce have meaning. How can we create artwork that is not self-centered, and validate that it has a larger impact and meaning outside of ourselves and the self-selected artist community?
Our mission with this project was to raise consciousness of veterans returning from war, and to create an opportunity for veterans to open up by talking about their memories or feelings of the war experience, of the aftermath returning home, and of their often conflicted relationship to the concept of war.
On the Sunday after the installation opened – it was Veterans Day – the majority of the veterans who took part in the piece came together in front of the installation, and watched themselves speak through the statue of Abraham Lincoln, in a location as central as Union Square Park. They watched unsuspecting viewers cross through the park, and stop to engage with and listen to their stories.
If there was ever a doubt that our project could create communication between these two separated groups of people, it was erased during this interaction. It was extremely powerful to stand back and experience this exchange, and to watch an awareness for the plight of veterans be raised in a non-threatening, accessible manner.