The Power of Exchange

Elephant, May 19, 2023

On May 15th, the Water Street Projects (WSP) presented its inaugural exhibition – EXCHANGE – at the WSA arts space in the heart of the Financial District of New York City. Curated by Zoe Lukov, EXCHANGE features newly commissioned works, performances, and large scale installations by 8 artists: Radcliffe Bailey, Tosh Basco, Raúl de Nieves, Brendan Fernandes, Isabel Lewis, Tuan Andrew Nguyen, Emeka Ogboh, and Ebony G. Patterson.

The 80s office space opens up to Radcliffe Bailey’s, Windward Coast – West Coast Slave Trade. A sculptural installation that comprises thousands of deconstructed piano keys, a passing boat, and one head that emerges sparkling in the studio light. The keys poke upwards, embodying the ebb and flow of the ocean. Layering on top of eachother, alluding to sound waves and musical rhythms that breathe energy into life and offer escape. Yet, the man is drowning and the boat has passed. As if the keys of a piano were ripped out, there is no sound and the keys lay as objects stripped of agency.