IMG_4802Everyone has their version of The Truth. What is yours?

Today READart told The Truth. In a booth. What did we say? The truth is, we’ll never tell. Unless The Truth Booth leaks our confession to the art world…

As part of Hank Willis Thomas’ solo exhibition The Truth Is I See You, Public Art Fund brings In Search of the Truth (The Truth Booth), Thomas’ collaboration with Ryan Alexiev and Jim Ricks of CAUSE COLLECTIVE, to Downtown Brooklyn. The blow up 💬 will visit Brooklyn four times during the run of Willis’ exhibition.

In Search of the Truth (The Truth Booth) is a giant inflatable speech bubble and video recording booth traveling the world in search of The Truth. The exterior is iconically shaped like a giant cartoon speech bubble with the word ‘TRUTH’ printed on the side. The interior acts much like a photo booth, but serves to compile two-minute long video responses from the public. The installation has been presented in cities around the world, from Cape Town, South Africa and Bamyan, Afghanistan, to Galway, Ireland and Cleveland, Ohio. Members of the public are invited to enter the work and finish the statement “The truth is…” while looking into a camera. These two-minute responses will be compiled by the artists as part of the ongoing global project.

The goal of In Search of the Truth (The Truth Booth) is to capture as many definitions, confessions and thoughts on The Truth as possible, creating a diverse ‘portrait’ of people across the globe. Throughout this long-term project, video footage will be compiled and edited into an epic video documentary. To expand and engage with audiences, the movements of The Truth Booth and sample responses will also be tracked, edited, and categorized.

The Truth Is I See You is part of an ongoing series by Brooklyn-based artist Hank Willis Thomas that explores the nature of truth and understanding across cultures. Using the phrases of a poem written in collaboration with artist Ryan Alexiev, the core of the exhibition is a new series of comic book-inspired speech balloon signs that feature universal statements about truth in 22 of the many languages spoken in Brooklyn. Installed along the MetroTech Promenade, each sign also features an English translation of the phrase and is accompanied by a pronunciation guide. Thomas arrived at these translations by working with an extended network of friends to communicate the essence of each English statement, as opposed to a direct translation. Within the Commons, the speech balloon is repeated in new sculptural works: two benches of rolled steel create circular spaces for contemplation, while a large-scale steel tree has branches that seem to grow into thought bubbles. Together these works invite us to approach our different perspectives on truth with a new sense of understanding.

The Truth Booth is a collaboration between Cause Collective artists Ryan Alexiev, Jim Ricks, and Hank Willis Thomas.

The Truth Booth is a collaboration between Cause Collective artists Ryan Alexiev, Jim Ricks, and Hank Willis Thomas. Photo credit: Cause Collective website.

Ryan Alexiev. Raised in Alaska by Bulgarian immigrants, Ryan Alexiev received a BA in History from the University of California at Berkeley and an MFA from the California College of the Arts, where he currently teaches in Graduate Design program. He has exhibited at galleries across the country including he Andy Warhol Museum, Wadsworth Atheneum, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, and the Armory Show in New York, and the Oakland Museum of California. Ryan is also co-founder of the ©ause Collective which was commissioned to create The Truth is I Am You for the University of California at San Francisco and the video installation Along the Way for the Oakland International Airport. Along the Way went on to feature at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.

Jim Ricks. Jim Ricks studied at the National University of Ireland, Galway/Burren College of Art and the California College of the Arts. Originally from California, he moved to Ireland in 2005 to become an artist. Ricks was selected for Futures 12 at the Royal Hibernian Academy in 2012. In the last two years Ricks has created and toured the popular public work the Poulnabrone Bouncy Dolmen.  Alongside solo shows at Pallas Projects, The Black Mariah, and the Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, he has curated shows in Dublin, London, Galway and San Francisco.

Hank Willis Thomas. Hank Willis Thomas is a photo conceptual artist working primarily with themes related to identity, history and popular culture. He received a BFA in Photography and Africana studies from New York University and his MFA/MA in Photography and Visual Criticism from the California College of Arts. His work is featured in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Oakland Museum of California. He has exhibited at the Smithsonian, National Museum of American History, and the High Museum of Art, among others.

ABOUT THE CAUSE COLLECTIVE. The Cause Collective is a team of artists, designers and ethnographers creating innovative art in the public realm. Their projects explore and enliven public spaces by creating a dynamic conversation between issues, sites and the public audience. By exploring ideas that affect and shape society, they seek to add the “public” back into public space and art.