A public garden & cultural center

Priyanka Dasgupta & Chad Marshall

Sunroom Project Space 2018 |
July 1–August 26, 2018

Priyanka Dasgupta and Chad Marshall, Paradise, 2018, concrete, wood, iron, linoleum, paint, plexi, video, faux grass, gravel. Site-specific installation. Courtesy of the artists. Photos: John Maggiotto.

Working collaboratively since 2015, Priyanka Dasgupta and Chad Marshall create multimedia installations to address issues of identity and privilege. Drawing inspiration from the hedges at the east end of Wave Hill’s Aquatic Garden, the artists have adapted similar formal elements for their Sunroom Project, Paradise, where they use a gated, paradisal formal garden as a metaphor for exposing the discrepancies in U.S. immigration policies. Through this installation, they explore the dichotomy of the sanctuary—its ability to protect as well as restrict and exclude.

With a gate barring the Sunroom’s main entry, visitors are redirected to enter through the Sun Porch, where they are further confronted by a low entrance and a high concrete wall. Within the constructed garden is a gravel path, faux grass and an artificial pool, which displays a slow-moving image of a night-blooming epiphyllum cactus flower at Wave Hill. A second epiphyllum flower is shown on a wall-mounted monitor. The recorded images are reminders of the surveillance that exists around us—the camera has captured desirable moments and provided exclusive access. The installation further elicits questions about access, power and fetish within a multicultural and multiclass society.

In response to the United States as the global leader in asylum requests, Dasgupta and Marshall’s work subverts the notion of the American dream, which remains a reality despite the current tense, political climate around race, religion and nationality. The artists cite the origin of the word paradise as deriving from the Old Iranian pairi-daêza meaning “walled enclosure.” Dasgupta explains that “this word is a popular signifier for a sanctuary—a welcoming, harmonious safe space”—for select groups. In the Sunroom, the outer graffiti wall comprises wheat-pasted images and stories of conflicts encountered by DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients and other immigrants. Visitors are invited to contribute during the participatory event on July 14.

Dasgupta and Marshall’s recent exhibitions include SculptureCenter, Long Island City, NY; Abrons Arts Center, New York, NY; Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum, Milwaukee, WI; Shrine Empire Gallery, New Delhi, India; and Shirin Gallery, New York, NY. Dasgupta received her BA in English Literature at St. Stephen’s College, Delhi, India; MA in Studio Art at New York University/International Center of Photography; and MFA in Digital and Interdisciplinary Art Practice at The City College of New York. Marshall received his BA in Studio Art at Morehouse College, Atlanta, GA and MA in Studio Art from New York University.

Meet the Artist and Participatory Event

Click here to learn more about Priyanka Dasgupta and Chad Marshall. A release about the 2018 season in the Sunroom Project Space is available here.

The Arts at Wave Hill are supported by the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc.; Michael J. Shannon; Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation; the National Endowment for the Arts; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; New York Community Trust Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; The Pollock-Krasner Foundation; The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation; and by the Cathy and Stephen Weinroth Commissioning Fund for the Arts.