Imagine the abolition of cash bail with MoMA PS1, clothing line Telfar, and non-profit advocacy organization Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights.
In 2018, Queens-born designer Telfar Clemens created the "LeFrak" unisex capsule collection. Proceeds from the collection went to Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights' Mass Bail Out campaign to free women and youth from Rikers Island as a part of the largest bailout in a single city, posting nearly $1.2 million to free 105 people. This action was made possible through the coordinated efforts of over 1,200 volunteers: community groups, service providers, public defenders, faith communities, formerly incarcerated people and their families, as well as public officials, influencers, and activists, who sought to demonstrate that closing Rikers Island and ending cash bail is possible.
As a continuation of this initiative, MoMA PS1 has invited Telfar and Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights to participate in an afternoon of talks and performances, sharing practical information on how bail works, how to get involved in its reform, and how to envision radical alternatives. The program highlights ways in which the discourse of innocence is used disproportionately against people of color, women, and gender nonconforming people to discriminate who is worthy of justice, care, and life. Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Redaction: A Project by Titus Kaphar and Reginald Dwayne Betts, the event will also feature a teach-in within the gallery led by public defenders and organizers, providing an overview of bail in New York City, offering training on how to pay cash bail, and connecting volunteers to relevant local organizations.
In conjunction with the program, a limited edition Telfar garment will be available for sale, the proceeds from which directly support Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights’ ongoing effort to free school-aged youth from Rikers Island.
MoMA PS1’s acclaimed VW Sunday Sessions performance series welcomes visitors to experience and participate in live art. Since its founding in 1976, MoMA PS1 has offered audiences one of the most extensive programs of live performance in the world. VW Sunday Sessions highlights artists responding to contemporary social and political issues through a wide variety of creative and critical lenses. Encompassing performance, music, dance, conversation, and film, the series develops and presents projects by established and emerging artists, scholars, activists, and other cultural instigators. With a focus on artists that blur and break traditional genre boundaries, VW Sunday Sessions embraces the communities in New York City that create and sustain artistic practice.
Since 2012, VW Sunday Sessions has presented a commissioning program resulting in new work by Trajal Harrell, Mårten Spångberg, Anne Imhof, Tobias Madison and Matthew Lutz Kinoy, Hannah Black, and Colin Self. Additionally, the VW Dome Artist Residency offers a platform for creative development and experimentation for artists at all stages of the creative process.