Spectres of Liberty

Spectres of Liberty

Liberty Street between 3rd and 4th Streets, Troy, NY

May 30, 2008 8:30 PM - 10:00 PM

Image:  Henry Highland Garnett, abolitionist

Brethren and Fellow citizens: Witness the Raising of
the ghost of the liberty Street church

Spectres of Liberty (http://spectresofliberty.com)
a collaborative project by Olivia Robinson, Josh
MacPhee, and Dara Greenwald

- MAY 30, 2008, 8:30 PM (during Troy Night Out)

- Liberty Street between 3rd and 4th Streets, Troy, NY

(also known as 22 Franklin Place)

Spectres of Liberty is a public memory, site-specific
art project. Beginning with a sense of loss about the
changing built environment of Troy NY, we set out
imagining ghosts of demolished buildings and
structures. Through imagining inflatable sculptural
extensions to buildings whose facades have been
destroyed to thinking about recreating vanished
historic sites, we decided on creating a ghost of the
Liberty Street Church. The Liberty Street Church is
not only significant as a vanished part of Troy's
architectural history, but also for its value as a
historic site in the fight to abolish slavery. From
old photos of the site provided by the Rensselaer
Historical Society, we created an inflatable 1:1 scale
reproduction of the church and will be installing it
at the former site of the church, which is now a
parking lot.

We will be animating this ghost church through video
projections that call forth the history of the site,
as well as through the social context of a cultural
event that will bring community members to the site to
think more deeply about the space and its history.
Through primary and secondary source research about
the famous abolitionist reverend of the Liberty Street
Church, Henry Highland Garnet, we will also tell part
of the story of efforts to end slavery.

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