Anemoi by Andrea Geyer is the 14th permanent site-specific work commissioned by The New School Art Collection. The work, a modular, multi-sited installation with a website component, celebrates individuals who self-identify today, or at some point in their lives identified or were identified as women or female, and who have dedicated themselves to create and maintain community at The New School. Specifically, Anemoi recognizes those who in one-on-one meetings, in offices, in hallways, in groups, and in classrooms have steadfastly fostered a generous environment of care and respect. It pays tribute to the ways in which their labor in uniting students, faculty, and staff has given rise to new ways of thinking and learning not yet imagined by the educational mission of the institution.
The project takes the name Anemoi from the wind gods of ancient Greek mythology. A steady, untamable force, wind brings air and life with it. Coming from and leading to all cardinal directions, Anemoi points to the vast expansiveness of The New School’s community and materializes the potent connections and histories these individuals promote—connections that can be fleeting in the fast pace of the university’s academic cycles yet are at the core of the institution at large.
When completed in the spring of 2020, Anemoi will consist of a group of twenty photo-based portraits made from aluminum leaf and wool felt framed in bleached walnut. Hexagonal-shaped, these portraits can be linked to one another in a modular hive-like arrangement and reconfigured in varied constellations. In addition, single portraits from the work will be available for installation in the university’s less public spaces throughout the university. This flexibility invites viewers to imagine the works’ infinite growth throughout the space of the institution. Accordingly, Anemoi reaches into The New School’s pasts as well as its possible futures, honoring those who create the winds that insist on community in perpetuity.
Individuals portrayed in this work were identified through a community survey and were active between 1990-2020. The selection of those pictured in the physical works is based on the number of times an individual is proposed by others, as well as the artist’s impression of the significance of their contributions to community building at the university. Yet, it is important to state that it is beyond the scope of this artwork to represent everyone whose work makes community possible at The New School. Because of that, the artist dedicates Anemoi to everyone who works tirelessly at the university to create community, if they are pictured in the work or not. Those pictured will always only be a small fraction of those doing this important work. Refusing notions of comprehensiveness, the work invites viewers instead to actively and continuously recall names and faces of those they know of, who did this work in the past, who are doing it right now and in the university’s future, and through this project imagine a continuous web of portraits reaching into all spaces of The New School.
A related website specifically designed for this project, anemoinewschool.wordpress.com functions as an integral part of this work. It serves as an archive extending and accessible beyond the physical space of The New School and temporal frame within which this project was conceived. On this site, viewers are invited to learn about the individuals portrayed in the installed works as well as the growing number of others who were named in the survey. The community survey linked on the project website will remain active until February 2020 so that students, faculty, and staff can continue to recommend individuals for inclusion on the website and/or as potential future portraits which will be completed by May 2020.
To learn more about this project and the individuals portrayed, as well as to recommend individuals for inclusion in the project, please visit anemoinewschool.wordpress.com
Please note that the publication of I Stand in My Place With My Own Day Here: Site-Specific Art at The New School preceded the realization of Anemoi and therefore this work is not included in the book.