New York City’s MTA may be the overheated bane of the city’s summer commute, but that doesn’t make the ubiquitous transportation system any less iconic. And the aesthetics of that more than 100-year old system are as relevant as ever — the metro subway bench serves as the inspiration for the ongoing 2016 partnership between DKNY and NEW INC.
NEW INC is working with DKNY as part of a larger project produced between the womenswear brand and the New Museum during the summer of 2016, entitled The New Women’s Project. DKNY worked closely with the Museum’s team to support solo exhibitions by five female artists, taking over all of the museum’s galleries: Nicole Eisenman, Goshka Macuga, Cally Spooner, Andra Ursuta, and Beatriz Santiago Munoz.
As a dimension of The New Women’s Project, DKNY Creative Directors Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne have been collaborating with NEW INC members Andrea Wolf, Karolina Ziulkoski, Emilie Baltz, and Nitzan Bartov. The dynamic new commissions developed through this partnership will transform the store’s retail experience by introducing artist-designed window installations to DKNY SoHo, the brand’s flagship space on West Broadway.
A nontraditional creative working at the intersection of design, performance, and strategy, Emilie Baltz is now taking over the DKNY storefront for her series WRAP: An Underground Show Above Ground. Mimicking the often intense, engaging conversations witnessed between strangers on subway platforms, Baltz brings together women artists from across disciplines for weekly interviews focused on “recipe, art, and process.”
Baltz uses the iconic wooden subway bench as a platform for substantive conversation, inviting the audience to participate in the kind of often-ignored conversation that happens around us all the time. The interviews are happening live from 420 West Broadway for eight weeks, every Thursday at 1:00 PM. The installments are also broadcast on DKNY’s Facebook Live, where the audience is invited to ask their own questions.
The second MTA-inspired window installation of the series recently made its debut on July 28th. Ziulkoski utilizes technology to develop immersive, sensory experiences that insist on interaction between installation and audience. Her recent piece is visually and sonically engaging as its elements are activated by the movement of passersby. The piece features an immediately recognizable subway bench with the brand’s accessories seated like New Yorkers, instinctively with an empty seat in between each of them. When the sensor detects movement outside, a video of a NYC subway approaching the station begins to play, impressing the sensation through both sight and sound. Simultaneously, a fan turns on, causing sheer white curtains to billow from behind the bench and unveil the DKNY mannequins.
The first commission of the rotating series, launched on June 2nd, was designed and constructed by Andrea Wolf, a New York-based interdisciplinary artist, curator and member of NEW INC. In much of her work, Wolf explores the relationship between personal memory and cultural practices of remembering. Her window installation in the SoHo store is an ode to the fast-paced rhythm of the city and offers a kaleidoscopic deconstruction of subway station tiles, an intrinsically familiar feature of daily life for New Yorkers. Mosaic tiles merge and dissolve in continuous motion recreating the ever shifting perspective from a subway car window.