Papalia's work, which takes the form of participatory public projects, explores the topic of access as it relates to public space, the Art institution, and visual culture—as the artist's own access is defined by a visual impairment. Papalia invites the participant to explore the possibilities for learning and knowing that become available through the non-visual senses, and to trust in the revelatory practice that is non-visual interpretation. Through exercises in trust and blind orienteering, participants discover new geographic contours from which to develop a sense of place. They begin to consider looking as one of the many ways to engage with and interpret their surroundings.
The core component of Papalia’s exhibition will be a multichannel sound installation documenting a non-visual site mapping workshop that Papalia conducted in Vancouver, British Columbia, and a number of images and videos documenting various instances of Papalia’s Blind Field Shuttle walking tour and his See for Yourself non-visual museum tour project—in which visitors close their eyes and embark on a one-on-one tour while art objects, architectural details and other museum visitors are described to them by a tour guide.
The exhibition will also include a performance of the Blind Field Shuttle walking tour for a group of 50 people—which will take place on the High Line in conjunction with the opening. Participants will line up behind Papalia, link arms and will close their eyes for the entire hour-long experience . The tour will culminate in a group discussion.
Projects will be recorded and documented in the gallery and online.