TALK TO ME WINS THE 2015 INTERNATIONAL AWARD FOR PUBLIC ART
An experimental art project designed to make society safer for women has won the 2015 International Award for Public Art. Talk to Me by Indian artist Jasmeen Patheja was named the winner at the Award Ceremony Dinner, held at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki.
Talk to Me draws attention to the significant problem of sexual harassment in India, and was described by the judges as bold, compassionate and courageous. Lewis Biggs, Chair of the Institute for Public Art commented: “In recommending the seven projects selected to be highly commended, the jurors felt clear that these were outstanding examples of art-led place-making. While all seven projects could have justly taken the Award, Talk to Me caught their attention for its bold simplicity, its economy of means, its compassion and originality, and its courage in facing up to a deeply ingrained injustice within the prevalent culture in India.”
“Talk to Me shows how simply the first steps toward understanding one another can be taken, with the help of a few tables and chairs, some flowers, some snacks, and a willingness to try. We need to make ourselves safe by making other people familiar,” says Jasmeen. “It requires a purposeful unclenching of the fist. Fear creates fear. Defense creates defense. We need to build safe cities with empathy”. Talk to Me employs a variety of ongoing strategies to combat sexual harassment, including advocating for effective legal tools, staging theatrical public protests and using new technology to publicise offenses. Click here for press release.
Talk to Me won the 2015 International Award for Public Art from a shortlist of 32 entries, of which seven were selected as ‘highly commended’ semi-finalists. An exhibition of case studies featuring the top 32 projects from around the world was displayed at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki from 27 June – 6 July 2015.
Conference Convenors: Prof. Derrick Cherrie and Jim Speers
Conference Organisers: Kelly Carmichael and Aimee Crawshaw