Artist: Sharan Paz
Date of Action: August 2021
Region: North America
Location: Queens, New York
Confronting Bodies: Jamaica Center for the Arts
Description of Artwork: Sharan Paz's piece, "Falling," depicted human silhouettes falling through mid-air and pasted to the windows of the Jamaica Center for the Arts in Queens. The piece was in reference to the collapse of the World Trade Center.
The Incident: Paz's installation received little positive feedback, but remained in the museum for about a month before a local Jamaica resident contacted the media about what he thought to be a controversial and upsetting piece of art. Local elected officials got involved, saying that "we recognize that artists express themselves in different ways, but this is insensitive."
Results of Incident: The museum's executive director, Alex Campos, said that the piece would not be taken down before the scheduled date, but ultimately the piece was prematurely taken down due to "safety concerns." Paz was very disappointed by the removal of her art. She did not intend for the work to be offensive, rather she created it as a memorial and coping mechanism for those impacted by the collapse. The piece was moved to an exhibit space in Manhattan as part of a show about the World Trade Center.