The Edge of Awareness

Sep 13–Oct 18, 1998


  • MoMA PS1 off site MoMA PS1 off site

P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center joins the United Nations in welcoming The Edge of Awareness, an outstanding exhibition of international artists’ projects. Organized by ART for the World on the occasion of the World Health Organization’s fiftieth anniversary, The Edge of Awareness features work by forty leading artists from five continents addressing world health issues and the social conditions of disparate societies. Including projects in a range of media, this exhibition looks at the role of art in a global culture and reveals the emergence of a new kind of awareness where each work, irrespective of its origin, is its own definition of art.

The artists in this exhibition are deeply involved with the problems of their societies and have created fascinating and provocative works that seek to communicate to a wide audience the gravity of the different challenges confronted by the World Health Organization. The works of these artists act as the conscience of their communities by raising questions about such issues as violence, mortality rates, natural disasters, environmental degradation, homelessness, racism drugs, polio, and AIDS. Artists’ projects are organized around themes of time; space; cycles of life; the elements (earth, wind, water, air, fire); and relationships (companion, family member, friend, neighbor, adversary).

Presented at P.S.1 and the United Nations building, The Edge of Awareness includes painting, sculpture, installation, Internet, and billboards. Three installations and a billboard series will occupy P.S.1’s award-winning outdoor galleries while large-scale projects and other indoor works will be presented in the Visitor’s Lobby at the United Nations building. Previously on view in Geneva, The Edge of Awareness will travel to venues in Sao Paolo and New Delhi following its exhibition at P.S.1.

A 220—page catalog published by Charta, Milan in English and French with a forward by Adelina von Fürstenberg and articles by international writers and critics is available through P.S.1 and ART for the World. Additionally, a portfolio of six original prints has been produced and donated to ART for the World by artists Ilya Kabakov, Sol LeWitt, Tatsuo Miyajima, Ouattara, Maria Carmen Perlingeiro, and Pat Steir. Proceeds from this limited-edition portfolio, available for $2,000 through ART for the World, will support the program “Sick Children in 10 Developing Countries”.

The Edge of Awareness is organized by ART for the World, a non-profit organization founded by Adelina von Fürstenberg. ART for the World seeks to create a meaningful and enduring dialogue between peoples of different cultures through the language of art and to foster education and culture as vehicles for the defense of human rights. The Edge of Awareness is presented in honor of the World Health Organization, a Specialized Agency of the United Nations that monitors the state of world health, identifying places where there is risk of situations (poverty, industrial or technological pollution, war, national disasters) that may cause suffering.

The New York venue of The Edge of Awareness is organized in collaboration with P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, the World Health Organization, The United Nations Department of Public Information, The Permanent Observer Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations, and The Consulate General of Switzerland, New York. The Edge of Awareness is made possible by Zambon Group, global sponsor. Support for The Edge of Awareness is provided by HUG (Geneva University Hospitals), DDC (Directorate of Development and Cooperation, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Switzerland), and Duggal, New York. Additional support is provided by Air France, Luhring Augustine Gallery, Lavazza and Stoli Flavors Russian Vodka and Stolichnaya Gold donated by Carrillon Importers Ltd. of Fort Lee, NJ.

Curated by Adelina von Fürstenberg, The Edge of Awareness includes projects by Stefano Arienti (Italy), Willie Bester (South Africa), Silvie Defraoui (Switzerland), Touhami Ennadre (Morocco), Alfredo Jaar (Chile), Ilya Kabakov (Ukraine), Sol Lewitt (United States), Matt Mullican (United States), Robert Rauschenberg (United States), Sophie Ristelhueber (France), Miguel Angel Rios (Argentina), Teresa Serrano (Mexico), Pat Steir (United States), Frank Thiel (Germany), Vito Acconci (United States), Ghada Amer (Egypt), Fabiana de Barros (Brazil/Switzerland), Joe Ben, Jr. (Navajo), Montien Boonma (Thailand), Mat Collishaw (United Kingdom), Juan Galdeano (Spain), Fabrice Gygi (Switzerland), Henrik Håkansson (Sweden), Kcho (Cuba), Dimitris Kozaris (Greece), Los Carpinteros (Cuba), Margherita Manzelli (Italy), Salem Mekuria (Ethiopia), Tatsuo Miyajima and the Kaki Tree Project Committee (Japan), Olu Oguibe (Nigeria), Ouattara (Côte d’Ivoire), Maria Carmen Perlingeiro (Brazil/Switzerland), Reamillo and Juliet (Philipines), Ricardo Ribenboim (Brazil), Rekha Rodwittiya (India), Alma Suljevic (Bosnia), Adriana Varejão (Brazil), Nari Ward (Jamaica), Chen Zhen (China).


Installation image

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