Installation view (exterior). Banner, 2018, appliqué and embroidery on fabric, 30 x 96 inches. Photo by Hai Zhang.
Installation view (interior). Custom writing desk, 2018, plywood, paint, 48 x 92 x 73 inches. Submission box, signage stands, bulletin board, mixed media, dimensions variable. Furniture fabricated with assistance from Ramyar Vala. Flags, 2018, appliqué and embroidery on fabric, wood, 16 x 16 inches each. Photo by Hai Zhang.
The public was invited to write and submit their responses to the Queens International exhibition. Photo by Hai Zhang.
In addition to the installation, the public could find writing prompts (and clipboards and pencils) specific to the themes in three galleries. Photo by Hai Zhang.
We created writing prompts and writing stations to accompany artworks installed in three public Queens Libraries at Flushing (shown here with children's artworks), Le Frak City, and the Central branch in Jamaica. Writing stations, 2018, plywood, mixed media, 33 x 14 x 8 inches each.
One of over 100 submitted responses. This one is by Nikki S.
Another example of a response.
After gathering submissions from the public, we published three zines over the course of the exhibition. Zine #1: Co-Create, 2019, 8.5 x 7 inches folded, 20 pages. Download the zine at thepeoplesguideqi.org/read.
Zine #2: Read/Write, 2019, 8.5 x 7 inches folded, 24 pages. Download the zine at thepeoplesguideqi.org/read.
Zine #3: Re-View, 2019, 8.5 x 7 inches folded, 24 pages. Download the zine at thepeoplesguideqi.org/read.
A spread from Zine #2, with responses to a writing prompt inspired by Mo Kong’s installation exploring migration at the Queens Library at Flushing.
A spread from Zine #3, with two responses to the same artwork.
The People’s Guide to the Queens International was a collaborative art project organized by Brian Droitcour and Christine Wong Yap. We invited the public to write reviews of artworks in the Queens International 2018 exhibition. Our manifesto was: We think anyone can be an art critic. We welcome art writing from everyone, including children and teens. We are organizing this project in the spirit of people power, access, open-mindedness, generosity, and inclusion.
We offered many writing prompts: Capsule Reviews, Fill-In-the-Blank, First-Person Narrative, Alien Anthropologist, Free Write, and Optical Scanner Eyes. These were available in a purpose-built writing desk. We also offered prompts that responded to thematic galleries: How Does Space Shape Meaning?, Can You Describe One Work Two Ways?, and What Is the Story of an Object’s Life?. These prompts were available in three Queens Museum galleries. We also created miniature kiosks with prompts and submission boxes for gathering responses to artworks installed in Queens Libraries at Flushing, Le Frak City, and at the Central branch in Jamaica. Prompts were available in Chinese, Spanish, and Russian. We also facilitated writing workshops at the museum and libraries.
Once we gathered the submissions, we published them on our project site and in three zines printed thoroughout the course of the exhibition.
Visit ThePeoplesGuideQI.org to read submissions and download the zines.
Caption: Brian Droitcour, Christine Wong Yap and participants, The People’s Guide to the Queens International, 2018–2019, social practice, writing prompts, zines, installation, banner, flags, dimensions variable.
The People’s Guide to the Queens International was created for the Queens International 2018, curated by Sophia Marisa Lucas and Baseera Khan.
Thanks to Sophia Marisa Lucas, Baseera Khan, Lindsey Berfond, John Wanzel, Ramyar Vala, Queens Museum staff including art handlers, and everyone who participated. Translations by Brian Droitcour, Lucia della Paolera, and Lauren Huang. Additional language support from Yikna Wu, Nung-Hsin Hu, Alexandra Lerman, Guido Garaycochea, and Abby Chen.