Across the second floor of the Shed, Open Call invites monumental remembrances of real and imagined communities molded by urban landscapes, diasporic identity, and grief. Equally playful and entrancing, a wide range of multimedia installations lights up an otherwise dim space, the collective hum of looping video works masking any silence. At first glance, the exhibition presents itself as slices of New York City itself. In spite of a steady stream of critiques denouncing the Shed’s artwashing of Hudson Yards to distract from its controversial financial backing, Open Call offers a glimpse of the many communities that make up the city’s fabric today.
Now in its second iteration, the Shed’s biennial commissioning program convenes local emerging artists, selected by a panel of fifty critics and professionals, to showcase and perform proposed works through 2021 and 2022. Of the 27 selected proposals, 11 visual artists offer immersive, large-scale video and new media installations, paintings, sculptures, and photographs. The result is a series of equally localized and haptic meditations on what it takes to be present in an increasingly globalized world.