New Yorkers famously approach commuting with fierce focus, staring straight ahead of them or at the ground as they pound the pavement from one location to another. Assembly Required: A Wandering Sukkah is a fine art, interactive sukkah experience designed to visually and energetically interrupt this urban rhythm. Created by artists Danielle Durchslag and Ryan Frank, the project is a mobile, artist-designed sukkah built in the Invisible Dog Art Center back garden, hoisted onto the bed of a pick up truck, and then set off to tour New York City. The truck will drive through New York City’s five boroughs during Sukkot, parking at varied locations over the course of the holiday.
During the holiday of Sukkot Jews are commanded to build a sukkah, or hut, and eat and sleep inside the temporary structure for seven days. The sukkah is built according to a set of religious guidelines and restrictions, determining everything from the roof materials to the size of the walls. These dwellings symbolize the physical structures Jews lived in during their 40 years wandering the desert, and every fall they can be seen dotting the New York City landscape, residing in public parks and next to private homes. Each day during the weeklong holiday of Sukkot, September 27th — October 4th, 2015, A Wandering Sukkah will park in a different neighborhood throughout the five boroughs. Arts organizations and community centers serve as local “neighborhood hosts” in each neighborhood where the sukkah truck parks, announcing the sukkah’s location and welcoming their constituents to participate in the project. Welcoming one visitor at a time, the sukkah will offer a curated view of the sky within a peaceful, semi-private respite from urban chaos. Rather than ask New Yorkers to come to a set location, A Wandering Sukkah comes to them, inviting them to simply pause, enter the enclosed space, regard the sky, and listen as the city rushes by.
Lubavitchers provide Mitzvah tanks, ritual vehicles that wander through the streets of New York City and beckon Jews inside to create a more religious world. This project also employs a vehicular ritual delivery system, but for all New Yorkers, regardless of their religious identity. The artists believe each city dweller who enters their sukkah emerges a calmer and more contented urban citizen. In giving ordinary New Yorkers a temporary shelter, they aim to change the pace and energy of New York City for the better, one visitor at a time.
Tour Assembly Required: Check out the program and meet the Wandering Sukkah at each stop.
Assembly Required is an art collective founded by artists Danielle Durchslag and Ryan Frank that explores contemporary ritual through dynamic, visual and interactive installations. Their inaugural project, A Sukkah Salon, was an artist-designed and constructed sukkah on a Manhattan apartment balcony that functioned as a space for both creative and religious ritual. A Wandering Sukkah at the Invisible Dog Art Center is the next iteration of this ongoing project.
Danielle Durchslag is an artist and curator based in Brooklyn, NY. She has exhibited throughout the United States, including solo exhibitions at Denny Gallery and Yale University. Her work has been shown at The Invisible Dog Art Center, Winkleman Gallery, Foley Gallery, and the Wassaic Project. In addition to her individual practice, she curates/creates as one half of the art collective Assembly Required. Danielle’s work has been discussed in Photograph Magazine, The Huffington Post, and The Jewish Week, amongst others. She studied at Wellesley College, The Museum School of Fine Arts Boston, and New York University.
Ryan Frank is an artist and curator based in Brooklyn, NY and Sharon, CT, a native of California and a graduate of New York University. He’s had solo exhibitions at the Invisible Dog Art Center and the Mattatuck Museum, and has exhibited his work at Gallery Rene Mele, Recession Art, the Wassaic Project, the Re Institute, and CR-10. Ryan is an occasional performer and has collaborated on dance and performance projects with choreographers including Laurie Berg and Katie Rose McLaughlin. His curatorial projects include Ode Hotel at the Wassaic Project, Used Books at Winkleman Gallery, and Assembly Required — a roving exhibition within a sukkah that will have its second incarnation at the Invisible Dog in the fall of 2015.
Sunday, September 27
51 Bergen St