LMCC x Mona Chalabi

The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) in partnership with Westfield World Trade Center, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and with exclusive print partner Absolut Art present Mona Chalabi’s 100 New Yorkers, opening September 15th in Lower Manhattan as part of River To River 2020: Four Voices.

Created in the aftermath of 9/11 with the intention to heal and celebrate New Yorkers’ resiliency through the power of art, River To River is Lower Manhattan’s largest free public arts festival, presented by LMCC and running continuously since 2002. This year, in response to the present moment, LMCC has reimagined it as River To River 2020: Four Voices with the original founding partners. All projects have been configured with an eye toward meaningful connection with wide-ranging audiences through public artworks that can be witnessed safely and appropriately in open spaces over time, as well as projects that start with virtual connection and lead to moments of physical presence.

By using hard data as the foundation of her art, multidisciplinary artist Mona Chalabi reconstitutes information that is often decontextualized and dehumanized, transforming numbers, charts and statistics into readable, digestible and understandable visual narratives. Her work lays bare the multi-layered and intertwined nature of the systems and structures that we live within and the indisputable effect that these unseen conditions have when they play out across our society.

100 New Yorkers visualizes what the city’s population would look like if it were distilled from its ungraspable millions to a more relatable 100 individuals. Using census data, Chalabi has created 100 characters that visualize the racial, economic and social realities of the city’s population. By framing these characters through various statistical lenses, Chalabi relays a multitude of nonfiction narratives that tell the story of the New York public and how politics, environment, health, wealth, physical ability and education affect how the diverse population lives, dies and exists in between.