I Was Here Comes to One World Trade Center

I Was Here Comes to One World Trade Center

New York, NY – NYCxDESIGN and Chilton & Chadwick – Global Real Estate Concierge are proud to announce the opening of a new art installation at One World Trade Center that is certain to engage visitors in profound ways.

NYCxDESIGN has invited the I Was Here project to bring their Ancestor Spirit Portraits to life digitally on all four sides of the Podium of One World Trade Center from October 12th to the 22nd.

The works will be displayed nightly from 7:00 PM to 2:00 AM.

The Ancestor Spirit Portraits were created by photographing contemporary African American people to form connected, intangible images that convey the transitional dignity of the African to African American individual and family – imagery mostly missing in America’s visual history. Through the blending of technology, humanities and the arts, the project creates a visual for one of the largest underrepresented groups in American history – the Africans who transitioned into enslavement and then into African Americans. It asks us to examine who we are to each other, who we are as a nation and how we can work to repair the wound in our citizenship created by enslavement.

The installations will create a transformative force in public space to acknowledge and help heal a citizenship broken by enslavement. The public art and public history installations that serve as a mindful, reverent, and powerful acknowledgment of American history.

I Was Here explores the significance of memory, history, and ancestry and how all three come together to begin the process of healing spaces wounded by enslavement. Since its launch in 2018, the project has received local, national and international awards, created an integrated anthem, and expanded to multiple cities within Kentucky, while developing a national presence in Washington DC and now NYC.

But this is just the first part in several projects that will be in the city this coming year. The project and installations are the work of I Was Here – a loose collective of artists and creators that have already launched installations in Washington, DC at the Octagon Museum, Dyckman Farmhouse Museum, Inwood, NYC,  and a solo exhibition of the original pieces at the Ali Center in Louisville KY amongst others.

“NYCxDesign will roll out the breadth and depth of this project’s meaning over the next year in NYC through projections, digital experience, augmented reality, monumental spirit portraits, soundscape, poetic narratives, and dance, as we build out an experience to honor and commemorate those whose names we will never know and, in so doing, acknowledge the wound in our citizenship that enslavement created,” explained Ilene Shaw, Executive Director NYCxDesign.

The project is possible because of the support of Marc Aptakin and Roy Husdell at Yes We are Mad, and Mark Domino of Spireworks, amongst others.

The One World Trade Center exhibit is free and open to the public.