Pepón Osorio, Drowned in a Glass of Water, 2011, installation view.
In 2013, two dozen Philadelphia schools were shuttered by city authorities in an effort to close a budget deficit. Temple Contemporary has commissioned 2006 Pew Fellow and MacArthur Fellow Pepón Osorio to create a new installation that responds to these closings—specifically addressing the loss of a single elementary school in North Philadelphia, not far from Temple University.
Funded by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, the installation will serve as a living exhibition and discussion space for those most impacted by the closing. reFORM launches on Friday, May 1, 2015, with former Fairhill Elementary students, teachers, parents, and administrators, who will move left-behind chalkboards, desks, chairs, and mementos from now-empty classrooms onto the bed of a truck. After the gathering, the students and project team will transport the items to a classroom at Temple's Tyler School of Art, thereby laying the foundation for an unconventional, participatory exhibition that will open August 21, 2015 and continue throughout the academic year.