On view through May 22nd at the NYCxDESIGN Design Pavilion in Times Square, a public art initiative stands out from the pack. Created through a partnership between students at the Strzeminski Academy of Fine Arts in Łódź, Poland and the Brooklyn-based Pratt Institute, the project – “Hurrah!” – marks a creative, innovative approach to US-Polish relations through public participation. “Hurrah!” consists of large-scale vertical tubes that form a public installation – a xylophone for visitors to interact with, that – upon visitors striking the sculpture in a percussive form – plays well-known Polish birthday and anniversary song, “Sto Lat.” The aesthetics of the public design initiative itself reference both the beauty of Polish landscape and the verticality of midtown Manhattan, where the project is situated.
Polish Cultural Institute of New York Director Anna Domanska comments on the partnership of this endeavor, “The idea of the installation arose from reflections on how we could celebrate the 100th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between the USA and Poland in a way that would be interesting and inspiring today. We wanted to talk about the union of Poles and Americans, not by reviving history, but by establishing a new space for people from both countries to create together. We wanted to commemorate not only the material things expressed in this installation but also newly established relationships that may result in future projects. And, of course, we wanted to give people a moment of fun and joy in experimenting with an unusual art object.” The project welcomes a spirit of public participation and celebration, with the uplifting sounds of “Sto Lat” bringing visitors together to honor the long-lasting relationship that binds together the United States and Poland. Welcoming and joyful, this project speaks to the talented, rising stars of design studying both at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and the Strzeminski Academy.
The public art design project is on view at the Design Pavilion, NYCxDESIGN through May 22nd! The sculpture can be visited at the showcase which spans the pedestrian plazas between W 42nd-47th and bounded by Broadway and 7th Ave – “Hurrah!” is located within the Design Pavilion, and is sponsored by the Polish Cultural Institute and the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Washington, D.C.