An ancient and spiritual tradition from the depths of Brazil has found its way into a modern art installation in the heart of Manhattan.
The New Museum on the Bowery is currently home to a fascinating and interactive installation entitled "I Wish Your Wish" thanks to brilliant artist Rivane Neuenschwander. It is a part of the exhibition "A Day Like No Other" and it can be found in the lobby of the museum and it's free to visit and participate in.
Neuenschwander has drawn upon elements of her cultural heritage and created a regenerating project based on a ritual that takes place in the Church of Nosso Senhor do Bonfim, the most famous Catholic church in Salvador, Brazil. At the church, religious believers tie a silk ribbon either around their wrists or at the gates in the belief that their wishes will come true once the ribbon has fallen away.
Neuenschwander's installation has adapted this concept and when you enter the room you are bedazzled by over 10,000 brightly coloured ribbons hanging from the walls. Each ribbon has one of approximately sixty wishes printed on it, such as "I wish my life wasn't so screwed up," "I wish I had a turtle and that there were no wars," "I wish I had more time for myself," and "I wish I had magical powers."
Participants are invited to take a ribbon and then in return you are expected to write your own wish on a piece of paper and put it in the hole on the wall from which you took the ribbon. In following with the tradition, you are supposed to wear the ribbon until it wears away, and then your wish is said to come true. Neuenschwander then prints the written wishes onto new ribbons and thus the project sustains itself.
If you enjoy "I Wish Your Wish" you can pay the museum entree fee (or avoid the fee and attend for free between 7pm-9pm Thursday evenings) and experience some more of Rivane Neuenschwander's most recognized work from the past decade as part of "A Day Like Any Other."