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Boston Center for the Arts


Gestures of Incompleteness

Opening Reception | Gestures of Incompleteness
BCA Public Plaza, South End
In front of 551 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02116
Thursday, August 8 | 6–9 pm

Shaka Dendy’s 2019 Public Art Project Gestures of Incompleteness is motivated by the artist’s intention to take his artwork outside of the gallery or museum setting and instead, to make it as accessible as possible by meeting people where they already are­—including the BCA’s public, outdoor Plaza in the South End and in community centers in nearby city neighborhoods. For Dendy, it is equally important to share the idea that anything can be art—even community service—so we can broaden the horizon of artistic possibilities beyond painting and marble statues.

While in residence in Boston Center for the Arts’ Artist Studios Building from June 3–August 23, 2019, Dendy has organized a series of public basketball drives, where kids signed up to trade in a used basketball for a brand new one, with the used balls finding new life as part of a large scale public sculpture to be located on BCA’s public Plaza from August 8–November 10, 2019.

The specific style of this project, integrating basketballs as a motif into performative work and sculpture, is a continuation of Dendy’s use of art installations and performance centered around basketball as a way to discuss racial and personal identity, socioeconomic mobility, and the commodification of the body. With this project, he is particularly interested in exploring the symbolic and formal relationships between the basketball and the milk crate. For Dendy, not only are milk crates often used as stand-ins for basketball hoops when people do not have access to or money for one; there is also an implicit suggestion that, should one learn to manipulate a basketball well enough, they could attain a socioeconomic status which would allow them to never interact with milk crates and their proletariat associations.

Overall, this project is primarily about giving back to the community through art and in direct, tangible ways, while making sure the community is acknowledged and included in the public art that will inhabit their space. In Gestures of Incompleteness, Dendy’s milk crate sculptures stand as monuments to the act (the basketball drives). Their incompleteness is a nod to the necessity of community in public art, the fact that this project is incomplete without the inclusion of the community.

This event is free and open to the public.


Opening Reception | Gestures of Incompleteness
Aug 8, 2019  6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
BCA Plaza - Boston
Community Events


BCA Plaza   -   Website
539 Tremont Street
Country: us


National Endowment for the Arts

Institutional supporters

Massachusetts Cultural Council


Liberty Mutual Foundation

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