NIC Kay, Pushit! [Exercise 1 in Getting Well Soon], (2018), at the TBA, Portland, Oregon, 11 September 2018 Courtesy: Portland Institute for Contemporary Art.

From April 13 to July 13, 2019, The Luminary opens Counterpublic, a new triennial exhibition set to animate the everyday spaces of a single St. Louis neighborhood with expansive artist commissions, performances, processions, and public programs.

Organized by The Luminary, a nonprofit platform for art, thought, and action, Counterpublic 2019 will bring groundbreaking contemporary art to the barbershops, bakeries, parks, and taquerias that anchor the neighborhoods surrounding Cherokee Street in South St. Louis.

The project centers on a series of thirty-plus site-responsive commissions in venues as divergent as a tea shop, punk club, former sanctuary, Buddhist temple, Mexican panaderia, and many more. Works will range from architectural interventions to community-led sessions, meal-based gatherings to dramatic public processions.

Major new commissions include a film and installation in a former sanctuary from Cauleen Smith, a series of fictional museums from Jon Rubin and Joseph del Pesco and a large-scale outdoor installation from rising St. Louis-based artist Kahlil Robert Irving. Indigenous Diné transdisciplinary artist Demian DinéYazhi´ will engage Cherokee Street and St. Louis’s complex histories with indigeneity and erasure through performance, poetry, and wheatpasted posters. Additional projects include a series of film installations from Sky Hopinka, food and drink focused experiments with John Riepenhoff and Rodolfo Marron III, and a performative procession through the neighborhood by NIC Kay to close the project.

Across its three-month run, Counterpublic will be activated by a full range of weekly public programs, from residencies and conversations with leading artists, to educational workshops, walking tours, and a youth-led publication.

Co-founders Brea and James McAnally propose that the project is “a community-oriented revision of the triennial form that builds bottom-up from the complexities, conflicts, and opportunities within a single place and offers space to imagine new ways of living and working together.” Counterpublic invites visitors to experience St. Louis – a city undergoing an active creative renaissance – offering a responsive vision for forward-thinking art in the public life of the city.

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