Location: new york, NY, United States
Completion date: 2020
What does it mean to be a Global Citizen?
To be a citizen of the globe is to be a humanitarian. To live by humanitarian values.
Today, it is more urgent than ever that we find the means to spread values rooted in all
that is humane across our communities and across the globe—to unite our communities on
the basic grounds of what it means to be human.
Behind the global citizen is tolerance, and it is our social (and global) responsibility
to practice and preach tolerance in the face of the threat, and perhaps fear. Most
importantly, it is critical that we practice resilience in the face of adversity. Tower
Seven was the first building to be rebuilt after 9/11 and thus it has become a symbol of
the city’s resilience.
Global Citizen aims to embody so many New Yorkers’ (and visitors’) plea for tolerance, connecting, and humane (nonviolent) solutions to the global humanitarian crisis. Echoing this sentiment of resilience and the communal spirit of moving forward, Global Citizen serves to bring a global community together to go forward in solidarity, keeping in mind our need to remain resilient.
Eugene Lemay’s Global Citizen is a site-specific installation made to serve the community. According to the Association for Public Art, public art is a reflection of the societies and cities in which the work stands, becoming part of our history, memory, identity, and experience.
As a tool for evoking the social fabric of a community, Global Citizen was conceptualized not only as a call to action specifically in today’s social-political climate, but as a nod to New York’s history, the history of World Trade Center, and the underlying sentiments behind Tower Seven.
Global Citizen encourages physical and intellectual participation (whether consciously or subconsciously). The installation’s mirrored attributes allows the individual to see oneself as a citizen of the globe—at once embodying all that it means to join a far-reaching, universal community of global citizens.
The installation A Global Citizen is a communicative installation. It engages us regardless of position or angle, whether you stand in front of it or view it from above. While its shape remains the same, its reflections, angles, and perceptions of angles change fluidly as one moves around the structures. Facing the sculpture, we directly we look at ourselves. We see our reflection. We must confront our image. On eye-level the sculpture invites a dialogue; it calls on us to reflect on the meaning of being human while remaining aware of the people and spaces around us. The phrase “Global Citizen” can be read from above, as expressed in Morse Code that has taken on a physical, sculptural presence. At the same time Global Citizen calls on other artists to reflect and engage with it and its mirroring images. Because of the placement and material of the installation, it supports a platform for artistic dialogue. Perhaps through light, performance, or sound, Global Citizen invites artists, curators, performers, and musicians to add their own dimension to the installation. Eugene Lemay’s Global Citizen does not stop with this installation, but continues to invite endless opportunities to build on this dialogue through creative and original concepts.