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20 Artists: Global Positioning

20 Artists: Global Positioning

About the Exhibition

Public Art Fund is pleased to announce Global Positioning, an exhibition of new artworks by 20 international artists that reveals our fundamental shared humanity across the boundaries of geography, culture, language, history, and politics. Coming together from 17 countries across six continents, these creative voices span disparate regions including the Amazon rainforest in Colombia; the desert lands of the Indulkana Community in Central Australia; Yangon, Myanmar, where the military has seized control through a coup; and the West African port city of Accra, Ghana. The exhibition debuts on January 26 on 320 JCDecaux bus shelters throughout New York City, Chicago, and Boston.

Over the past two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has united the world through mutual vulnerability, while also revealing and sharpening many divisions. Global Positioning amplifies the perspectives of 20 artists from vastly different locations, backgrounds, and practices. Processing this turbulent period with a blend of thoughtfulness, hope, incisiveness, and wit, their works illustrate a common impulse to create, communicate, and imagine a future filled with possibility.

Thematically, the works share many common threads. Elements of fantasy, humor, anxiety, and hope are present in abundance. Artists like Pushpa Kumari and Chen Wei explore the far-reaching impacts of the pandemic, while Walid Al Wawi and Nolan Oswald Dennis reflect on the significance of language and communication. Lastenia Canayo and Sean Connelly draw attention to the preservation of indigenous culture and tradition in a globalized world, while Tony Albert and Kaylene Whiskey use a wide range of imagery and symbols to articulate relationships between popular culture and Aboriginal heritage. Local and international environmental threats are highlighted in works by Rosana Paulino and Abel Rodríguez, while connections between religious tradition and personal identity are central to works by Zoncy Heavenly and Ali Kazim. Bringing these artists together, Global Positioning aims to reignite international cultural dialogues and provide points of reconnection that celebrate varied perspectives from around the globe.

Global Positioning is curated by Public Art Fund Artistic & Executive Director Nicholas Baume, Curator Daniel S. Palmer, and Associate Curator Katerina Stathopoulou.

Who: Artists & Nominators

Public Art Fund’s curators invited a group of 26 colleagues to submit for consideration names of artists who are shaping cultural conversations in their own communities. Deepening connections with international peers, this group included curators, artists, and educators with expertise in different regions and artistic disciplines. The 20 artists ultimately invited to participate in Global Positioning were drawn from a larger pool that combined these recommendations with nominations from Public Art Fund’s curators and hail from Africa, the Middle East, Oceania, the Americas, and South and East Asia. Working in a range of mediums spanning embroidery, sand painting, collage, drawing, digital and graphic illustration, and photography, each has created a new work for the exhibition to be presented publicly for the first time.

Walid Al Wawi (b. 1988, Palestine / Jordan; lives in London, United Kingdom and Dubai, UAE)
Tony Albert (b. 1981, Townsville, Australia; lives in Brisbane, Australia)
Myriam Boulos (b. 1992, Beirut, Lebanon; lives in Beirut, Lebanon)
Lastenia Canayo (b. 1962, Roroboya, Peru; lives in Coronel Portillo, Peru)
Sean Connelly (b. 1984, O‘ahu, Hawai‘i; lives in Honolulu, Hawai‘i)
Nolan Oswald Dennis (b. 1988, Lusaka, Zambia; lives in Johannesburg, South Africa)
Zoncy Heavenly (b. 1987, Tanintharyi, Myanmar; lives in Yangon, Myanmar)
Ali Kazim (b. 1979, Pakistan; lives in Lahore, Pakistan)
Dada Khanyisa (b. 1991, Umzimkhulu, South Africa; lives in Cape Town, South Africa)
Pushpa Kumari (b. 1969, Madhubani, India; lives in India)
Karam Natour (b. 1992, Nazareth, Israel; lives in Tel Aviv, Israel)
Rosana Paulino (b. 1967, São Paulo, Brazil; lives in São Paulo, Brazil)
Denisse Ariana Pérez (b. 1988, Santiago, Dominican Republic; lives in Barcelona, Spain)
Jason Phu (b. 1989, Sydney, Australia; lives in Melbourne, Australia)
Abel Rodríguez (b. 1941, La Chorrera – Amazonas, Colombia; lives in Bogotá, Colombia)
Kwan Sheung Chi (b. 1980, Hong Kong; lives in Hong Kong)
Chen Wei (b. 1980, Zhejiang, China; lives in Beijing, China)
Kaylene Whiskey (b. 1976, Mpartnwe (Alice Springs), Australia; lives in Indulkana, Australia)
Vasantha Yogananthan (b. 1985, France; lives in Marseille, France)
Rufai Zakari (b. 1990, Accra, Ghana; lives in Accra and Bawku, Ghana)


Farah Al Qasimi, Artist, New York City; Brook Andrew, Artist and Artistic Director of the 2020 Sydney Biennale, Melbourne and Paris; Anton Belov, Director of Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow; Clothilde Bullen, Curator and Head of Indigenous Programs, The Art Gallery of Western Australia; Zoe Butt, Artistic Director of the Factory Contemporary Arts Centre, Ho Chi Minh City; Diana Campbell Betancourt, Artistic Director, Samdani Art Foundation, Dhaka; Iftikhar Dadi, John H. Burris Professor and Chair, Department of History of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca; Natasha Ginwala, Associate Curator, Berliner Festspiele, Gropius Bau, Berlin; Julieta González, Artistic Director, Inhotim, Brazil; Ana Janevski, Curator, Department of Media and Performance, Museum of Modern Art, New York City; Inés Katzenstein, Curator of Latin American Art, Museum of Modern Art, and Director of the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Research Institute for the Study of Art from Latin America, New York City; Adam Khalil, Artist, New York City; Omar Kholeif, Director of Collections and Senior Curator, Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah; Solvita Krese, Director of Latvian Center for Contemporary Art, Riga; Venus Lau, Artistic Director of the K11 Art Foundation, Shanghai and Taipei; Khanya Mashabela, Curator at Norval Foundation, Cape Town; Jose Carlos Martinat Mendoza, Artist, Lima; Humberto Moro, Deputy Director of Program, Dia Art Foundation, New York; Wangechi Mutu, Artist, Nairobi and New York City; Larry Ossei-Mensah, Curator and Co-founder of ARTNOIR, New York City; Maria Elena Ortiz, Curator at the Pérez Art Museum Miami, Miami; Bhavisha Panchia, Curator, Johannesburg; Florencia Portocarrero, Curator, Lima; Chen Tamir, Curator at the Center for Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv; Murtaza Vali, Adjunct Curator at the Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai; Anshika Varma, Photographer and Curator of Kathmandu Photo Festival 2018, New Delhi.

When & Where

Starting on January 26, works by the 20 artists will be on view on 320 JCDecaux bus shelters in New York City, Chicago and Boston through June 5, 2022. This includes 100 bus shelters across New York City, 160 in Chicago, and 60 in Boston.


Selected Artworks