October 10, 2019 - December 10, 2020
Port Authority Bus Terminal’s “Project Find”
9th Avenue, between 40th and 41st Streets
We are pleased to announce the presentation of Matthew Morrocco's ORCHID.Seasons in conjunction with The Port Authority Bus Terminal and Chashama, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.
The Olympia Project, The Port Authority Bus Terminal, and Chashama are pleased to present Orchid.Seasons, a selection of photographs by Matthew Morrocco at the Port Authority Bus Terminal’s “Project Find” space on 9th Avenue between 40th and 41st Streets in Hell’s Kitchen, New York City, with grant support from the National Endowment for the Arts. The work will be on view from the evening of October 10 and will run through November 9.
ORCHID.Seasons is a series of photographs by Matthew Morrocco that show a faceless queer subject navigating seasonal landscapes. The photographs attempt to give voice to an ever-present paradoxical problem of queerness: visibility is necessary for survival and yet it is this same visibility that robs us of the security we were seeking in the first place. Trans and non-binary people are coming out in greater numbers, being cast and highlighted across the internet in mainstream series such as Euphoria, Transparent, Pose, and Orange Is the New Black. It may seem that queer people are finally able to be themselves. Yet still, the risks for this selfhood remain. Even with, or perhaps because of, this visibility, queer people are scrutinized, fired from their jobs, picked on, more likely to commit suicide and murdered at alarming rates. The Supreme Court is right now hearing a case to determine whether or not queer and transgender people have equal rights under the law, as if that should be a question.
The photographs are a nod to Ellsworth Kelly whose abstract color fields maintain a quiet homage to queer identity. The figure is encased in chroma key suit normally used for greenscreen work in movies to make a figure disappear into a background. In these images, however, the suit does not disguise the figure but causes the figure to stand out. While it is necessary for those who cannot understand and do not know queer people to see them with regularity, clarity, and quality, there is still a toll that visibility without equality takes on the community which is too often unexpressed and unknown. Morrocco’s work attempts to confront these issues through the lens of queerness, art, chroma-key technology, and color theory.
Public art is the ultimate test of our social contract, the tacit agreement to treat each other and our belongings and creations with respect. This installation engages the viewer with a physical embodiment of distance, visibility, and assimilation. The photographs, so often separated from viewers by glass and space, are mounted on the exterior windows of the space, immediately confronting the viewer. Not only does the installation change how the viewer sees the work, individually and collectively, but also acts as a reminder and test of our social contract. How viewers and passersby experience and interact with the work is, in itself, a core part of the exhibition.
With Thanks to Our Supporters
Founded in 1921, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey builds, operates, and maintains many of the most important transportation and trade infrastructure assets in the country. The agency’s network of aviation, ground, rail, and seaport facilities is among the busiest in the country, supports more than 550,000 regional jobs, and generates more than $23 billion in annual wages and $80 billion in annual economic activity. The Port Authority also owns and manages the 16-acre World Trade Center site, where the 1,776-foot-tall One World Trade Center is now the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere. The Port Authority receives no tax revenue from either the State of New York or New Jersey or from the City of New York. The agency raises the necessary funds for the improvement, construction or acquisition of its facilities primarily on its own credit. For more information, please visit http://www.panynj.gov
Chashama, founded in 1995, is one of the region’s leading supporters of artists who work with agencies like the Port Authority Bus Terminal to provide artists with opportunities to create and present their work. The organization has successfully revitalized over 80 properties, provided free and lost-cost space to over 15,000 artists, presented over 2,500 public events, and engaged an estimated 2 million viewers. For more information, please visit www.chashama.org