The Market of Toys

Akademia Ruchu

Performa 13, Polish Cultural Institute New York

Times Square Arts, in partnership with the Polish Cultural Institute New York and Performa 13, presented a three-part exhibition by the seminal Polish artistic collective Akademia Ruchu in Times Square on Friday November 8 and Saturday November 9, 2013. The exhibition included live performance, video, and printed material, the first time an exhibition featuring all three elements was presented in the Crossroads of the World. The exhibition was on view from noon to 6:00 pm both days, located at Broadway Plaza between 46th and 47th Streets.

The performance series, entitled The Market of Toys, was created specifically for Times Square. It was composed of four distinctive, minimalistic, single-element actions representative of Akademia Ruchu's forty years of experience working in the public realm. These austere, participatory interventions simultaneously contrasted and emphasized the vibrant character of Times Square and its dense multitude of visitors. The performances were complemented by video chronicling some of the collective’s seminal performances. These 30-second videos played every five minutes on ten CEMUSA newspaper kiosks located between 34th and 48th Streets. A printed exhibition in the form of a newspaper that documented Akademia Ruchu's deep history of socially and politically driven public performances was distributed to visitors.

Akademia Ruchu (The Academy of Movement) has been a political sounding board in Poland since its establishment in 1973 in Warsaw. Operating at the juncture of theater, performance, film, and fine art, the collective has presented over 600 happenings, theater performances, political actions, and anonymous interventions in the public realm, which included spectators as part of the work.

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