Residents and visitors in Long Island City looking for a place to sit will get more than just that when coming into contact with a new public art installation aiming to raise awareness about homelessness.
Brooklyn artist Fanny Allié has come together with the Parks Department to display her most recent artwork called “A Bench for the Night” at the NYC Parks Greenstreet on Jackson Avenue and 46th Avenue.
Allié’s piece, which will be on view through November, is a wooden bench shaped in the silhouette of a sleeping person, reminding those who see is that a public bench serves as a potential bed for some New Yorkers.
“A Bench for the Night,” Allié’s second artwork with that Parks Department’s Art in the Parks program, offers viewers a look into how individuals who live on the street can often become dehumanized.
This piece is a continuation of the artist’s focus on the issue of homelessness. She took part in the Engaging Artists Residency in 2014 organized by the Artist Volunteer Center and More Art, which largely focused on homelessness. During this residency, artists were encouraged to engage in volunteer opportunities – volunteering at least half a day per week at a local charity – and interactive workshops with professionals in the fields of fine art and activism.
Allié’s Long Island City art installation is also a continuation of her 2011 piece called “The Glowing Homeless,” created for Bring to Light NYC: Nuit Blanche in Brooklyn, and which featured a neon outline of a human form that rested of a park bench.
When preparing for the installation, Allié noticed the area where the piece would go lacked seating. Along with raising awareness for homelessness, she has also created a new social space in the plaza.
According to a description of “A Bench for the Night,” the piece looks to reflect a person’s desire to look for an isolated place to rest and be removed from the movement of the city.