Here Where You Wish is an immersive public installation coming to the Kansas City Public Library, Central Library location at 14 W. 10th St. on April 6, 2018.
Kansas City-based visual artist Ryan Wilks is constructing a large public altar in the KCPL Central Library with a transformative temple-like labyrinth entry way that encourages the public to consciously and methodically enter. The elaborate and flowing entrance is meticulously crafted by renowned artist Ari Fish.
Tim J Harte akadungionmaster is composing ritual based sounds/music to softly play through the installation. The altar itself will be 40 square feet and constructed by Sean Prudden and Ryan Wilks, and will beautifully house the objects that people leave behind.
Altars are typically resurrected to pay homage to a historical event or to worship deities. This altar is intended to serve as a nondenominational safe-space for personal expression and reflection. Created for everyone, by everyone. People from all walks of life are encouraged to write down a wish and leave it on the altar. A wish, a non-religious prayer, opens us up to a child-like connection to the invisible and allows us to gently believe even if just for a second that what we most desire can and will come true if we are bold enough to speak its name.
2017 was a hard year for all of us. No matter what side of the protest lines we stand, we do so because we are uneasy, angry, afraid, and unwilling to compromise what we think is right. There is a need to create a safe and sacred space for all of us to feel hope in. To believe in the power of the individual and of a wish.
The altar will be up for 3 months and will grow substantially in its aesthetic as people leave behind a wish on paper and/or an object. Wilks will be rolling up the paper wishes and tying them to hundreds of feather sculptures rotating above the altar, stirring the energy of the wishes. Here Where You Wish will provide a space for internal dialogue and reflection. As the installation is in a heavily-trafficked public library, attending participants will contribute to the interactive aspects of the installation. Additionally, Wilks has plans to utilize and honor the objects others leave in the space by publishing a book, which will be a literary and visual documentation of what Kansas City is wishing for in 2018.
Risks and challenges
Every project comes with its own unique risks and challenges:
Foreseeably people will want to know where their objects that they have left at the altar will end up. We are open to suggestions! Obviously since Here Where You Wish is in a public space, leaving behind your grandmothers broach is not encouraged if your heart is intent on getting it back once the installation is complete. People may feel connected to certain objects and take them with them. This is not necessarily the goal here, but it may happen, and the Library nor anyone involved in the project can be held responsible for missing objects. Items left should hold some emotional weight with the individual but not to the degree that letting it go with a wish would cause regret.
The objects at the end of the project will be repurposed respectfully, and possibly a part of a more permanent installation in a public space.
There is also the vulnerability of writing down a wish, and people may not want their wish shared in a book; there will be verbiage at the installation that lets people know these are anonymous wishes and to not add information that you would not feel comfortable being published, such as a name. There is something beautiful though, in letting such a vulnerable thing as a wish, be shared with the world, because for every wish there are thousands of people wishing the same wish.
There will be verbiage explaining that objects such as weapons, alcohol, drugs, and food are not welcomed to be placed upon the altar.
Ryan Wilks will be coming in twice weekly to ensure that these requests are fulfilled as will library staff.
- (21 days)