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Citizen Bridge

Nancy Nowacek

A photo of Citizen Bridge
A photo of Citizen Bridge

Due to the process-based nature of the Session program, this project will undergo constant modifications; the features of this page provide accruing information on the project’s developments.

August 7–October 6, 2013

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On May 10th Nancy Nowacek will begin a new chapter in her project Citizen Bridge as part of Recess’s signature program, Session. Session invites artists to use Recess’s public space as studio, exhibition venue, and grounds for experimentation. Over the course of her Session, Nowacek will design, create and test a series of prototypes for an eventual footbridge that crosses the Upper New York Bay waterway between Red Hook, Brooklyn and Governor’s Island.

The bridge will cross the waterway known as Buttermilk Channel. Now one of New York’s major shipping channels, this waterway was once accessible to dairy farmers and their livestock during low tide. A love song to Brooklyn’s waterfront, Nowecek’s work seeks to restore this pathway. Citizen Bridge pays tribute to the city’s past and draws connections to the lives of contemporary Brooklynites. The bridge aspires to reclaim the waterfront and empower New Yorkers, offering them the opportunity to step from solid ground onto water.

Since Hurricane Sandy this symbolic act of waterfront reclamation has gained a new urgency. As Nowacek investigates the physical properties of her prototype, she will also navigate the opaque realm of city planning and government agencies. The bureaucratic web through which Nowacek has guided the project over the past year will not only play a practical role in the project’s approval but will serve as conceptual fodder in considering access to urban space.

At stages throughout her Session, Nowacek will ceremoniously transport her prototypes from the Recess project room to the Red Hook waterfront in order to test the bridge. Through these projects and experiments, Nowacek will produce a fully realized design by the end of her Session.

Session invites artists to use Recess’s public platform to combine productive studio space with dynamic exhibition opportunities. Sessions remain open to the public from the first day of the artist’s project through the last, encouraging sustained dialogue between artists and audiences. Due to the process-based nature of Session, projects undergo constant revision and the above proposal is subject to change.

About the artist

Nancy Nowacek

Nancy Nowacek’s work is rooted in the ecology of the everyday: the processes, codes, values, and habits of life. Her practice is focused on the uses of the body as relates to work, architecture and the practice of space. She has shown in New York, the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Canada and Europe. Nancy has an MFA in Social Practice from California College of Arts and is certified in personal training by the National Academy of Sports Medicine. She lives in Brooklyn.

artist website


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