Paola Pivi’s interdisciplinary artistic practice combines the familiar with the bizarre. The artist shifts viewer’s expectations of rules, categories and boundaries; her parallel universes encourage us to recognize divisions we take for granted. You Know Who I Am (2022) is a cast bronze replica of the Statue of Liberty wearing cartoonish masks – stylized portraits of individuals whose personal experiences of freedom are directly connected to the United States. The masks change every two months, representing different people over the course of the exhibition.
You Know Who I Am (2022) was inspired by Pivi’s family’s experiences. Her son had been living stateless in India when he was adopted by Pivi and her husband. After a four-year legal battle in India, her son gained a pathway to citizenship in the US.
The Statue of Liberty became an invaluable beacon for Pivi’s son, a symbol of the human rights and freedom that could be possible for him only in the US. For this artwork, Paola Pivi expands on her family’s experience, depicting in the masks five additional individuals whose freedom has been connected to the US, and inviting them to share their own stories; sometimes successful, sometimes not.
The original Lady Liberty is also visible on the sculpture to the south. To view, walk north half a block and turn left (as seen in the above photo) and look south down 10th Avenue.
You Know Who I Am will be on view through March 2023.
Photographed at 16th Street on the High Line Park in New York City.
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