Alex Strada & Tali Keren
Proposal for a 28th Amendment? Is it Possible to Amend an Unequal System?

With this incomplete participatory installation,Year of Uncertainty Artists-In-Residence Strada and Keren ask visitors to critically engage with the U.S. Constitution and pose two questions: What 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution would you propose? And: Do you think it is possible to amend an unequal system? Opening with the phrase “We the People,” the Constitution was written in 1787 by and for wealthy white male property owners, and to date, only 27 amendments have been ratified to change the document. This legacy and the embedded issues of structural racism, settler-colonial violence, heteropatriarchy, and labor inequities are illuminated here in videos featuring legal scholars.

Central to the installation are sonic soapbox sculptures that build upon the history of the soapbox as a site of collective struggle, while also emphasizing listening, mutuality, and access. These objects emit an in-progress oral archive of responses to the project’s questions that have been recorded by visitors and will accrue over the course of the exhibition. Visitors are invited to engage by listening and by using the recording booth to add to this work.

The installation is activated through a series of public workshops Strada and Keren planned with Year of Uncertainty community partners and legal scholars. These gatherings bring people together to collectively consider, question, and debate systemic repair, radical change, and abolition to imagine more equitable futures.

Alex Strada and Tali Keren are artists and educators who have been collaborating since 2016. Strada and Keren conduct fieldwork in cultural sites and institutions to deconstruct the systems of power that generate collective memory, with the aim of creating artworks to create alternative narratives and social connections. Their collaborative work has been shown at the Anthology Film Archives, New York, NY; Socrates Sculpture Park, Long Island City, NY; Goethe-Institut, New York, NY; Museum of Moving Image, Astoria, New York; MuseumsQuartier, Vienna, Austria; Kaunas Biennial, Kaunas, Lithuania; and on the screens of Times Square, New York with Times Square Arts’ Midnight Moment. They both have spent years teaching art in K-12 public schools throughout NYC. In addition, Keren has had solo exhibitions at MOCAD, Detroit, MI; Eyebeam, Brooklyn, NY; Ludlow 38, New York, NY; and CCA, Tel Aviv, Israel. Strada is an alumnus of the Whitney Independent Study Program, a recipient of the NYFA Women’s Fund, and an Assistant Professor at the Tyler School of Art at Temple University. Keren and Strada are based in New York City.

 

The Year of Uncertainty artist residencies and community partnerships are made possible by generous support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Lambent Foundation, and the Jerome Foundation.

Major funding for the Queens Museum is generously provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.

 

Image: Installation view, Alex Strada & Tali Keren: Proposal for a 28th Amendment? Is it Possible to Amend an Unequal System?, Queens Museum. Photo credits: Alex Strada & Tali Keren and Hai Zhang.

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