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.
On view: November 11, 2023–January 25, 2024
Marcela Torres and Assembly
September 14–November 10, 2023
KING COBRA and Hue Hallums