September 8, 2021 – Commemorating the 10th Anniversary of Occupy Wall Street (OWS), in the spirit of its founding, Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY) will exhibit a portion of the artwork designed by Carolyn Sortor for the Carolyn Sortor & Michael A. Morris: Working Groups collection along with a photo series taken at Zuccotti Park in 2011 by photographer Gwenn Levine. The Occupy Wall Street 10th Anniversary exhibit previews September 7-10 for students and officially opens September 13 in the MCNY Gallery spaces in Manhattan (60 West Street) and Bronx (463 East 149th Street) campuses through January 3, 2022.
“MCNY’s mission is to empower students to create positive change and advance social justice. Many members of the MCNY community, and in particular those in our downtown Manhattan campus, were engaged with OWS a decade ago,” said MCNY President Dr. Joanne Passaro, “We are proud to host this exhibition, and we are grateful to Carolyn Sortor and Gwenn Levine for offering their work to us.”
About Working Groups
Working Groups celebrates The MAC’s permanent installation of books and other materials assembled as part of the OccuLibrary project. The exhibition contextualizes these materials and reviews some of the accomplishments of the Occupy movement and its offshoots, seeking “empowering info” and inspiration for the next steps in both art and “reality.”
The OccuLibrary project was initiated in 2011 following the eviction of Occupy camps across the U.S. and the destruction of the libraries that had spontaneously sprung up within them (more than 3,000 books were lost in New York City alone). The project was conceived as a rolling collaboration in which various artists were invited to create reincarnations of the destroyed libraries.
Working Groups panel: OccuLibrary project images and description by Carolyn Sortor
Photo by: Gwenn Levine
Library Tent located on-site at Zuccotti Park before the eviction of demonstrators.
About Carolyn Sortor
Carolyn Sortor is an artist, curator, and writer. She uses video, relational strategies, and other media to explore and/or spoof dimensionality and systems while also engaging with various art historical legacies. Many of her works involve humor or play. Her investigation of systems has touched on the nature and modalities of relationships and the infrastructures of power, including those affecting access to information and ideas. In some works, she has explored aspects of human relations, offline and on; other projects reflect concerns regarding the design and control of essential corporeal and incorporeal infrastructures, including questions relating to boundary permeability. While her works have been mainly digital or relational, including stand-alone video works and collaborative social projects, they have sometimes also involved or been accompanied by installations, prints, and/or objects.
About Gwenn Levine
Gwenn Levine was so interested in Occupy Wall Street that she visited Zuccotti Park one day and circled the park for about five hours, just taking it all in. An avid photographer, she enjoyed observing all the activities and capturing the spirit of the event with her camera. She is proud to share those photos now on the eve of the 10th anniversary of this extraordinary example of political activism and advocacy.
About Occupy Wall Street
Occupy Wall Street (OWS) is the 2011 nonviolent protest movement organized to address the inequalities of the US financial system following the recession of 2007-2010. The invitation to “occupy” Wall Street was initiated by Adbusters, an activist magazine, in July 2011 and promoted by Anonymous and other internet-based social justice groups. On September 17th, protestors set up a base camp of tents and sleeping bags at Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan. The date chosen was the anniversary of the signing of the Constitution of the United States. The focus of the protest was framed as a class conflict between the ultra-wealthy 1%, and the remaining 99% of Americans they believed had been left behind by a corrupt political system based on greed, power and prejudice.
About Metropolitan College of New York: Audrey Cohen, an educational visionary and activist, founded the Women’s Talent Corps in 1964. Through development and training for new professional positions, the Talent Corps created employment for thousands of people. It became The College for Human Services, later Audrey Cohen College, and today Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY). For over 50 years, MCNY has continued the tradition of offering highly motivated learners an education that combines applied skills with professional knowledge to effect personal transformation and positive change in the workplace and community. MCNY is a non-profit, accredited, private college. Year-round offerings accelerate degree completion and a unique approach to learning permits close integration of workplace activities and study. MCNY locations are in the Financial District at 60 West Street, New York, NY 10006 and in the Bronx at 463 East 149th Street, Bronx, NY 10455. For more information on MCNY, visit mcny.edu or call 212-343-1234.
Contact:Tina Georgioutgeorgiou@mcny.edu or 212 343 1234 ext 2626 for press appointments. Advance proof of negative Covid-19 test must be within 7 days of appointment or vaccination required to schedule an appointment.