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Sikander’s “Apparition” is the Park’s First AR Experience

Feb 22, 2023 | Art

Sikander’s “Apparition” is the Park’s First AR Experience

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Shahzia Sikander has long brought innovation and experimentation to her work, conceptually, philosophically, and through materials. In her exhibition Havah…to breathe, air, life, now on view in the park and on the rooftop of the Appellate Division Courthouse across the street, Sikander further develops her inquisitiveness in public space and through various mediums in her first major public art project. Havah…presents two luminous sculptures of female figures, titled Witness (2023)and NOW (2023); Reckoning, a 2020 video animation; and Apparition, a new augmented reality experience. This is Madison Square Park Conservancy’s first AR display. 

Recognizing the impact of technology on art-making and the excitement in creating a work for park goers’ mobile devices, Sikander worked closely with teams at Snapchat and AR Studio Mousepack to produce Apparition (2023). Visitors can open the Snapchat app on their phone and scan the Snapcode on the exhibition signage in the park to encounter a display of colorful lotus petals that swirl around the screen. Those petals gather around a ghostly image of NOW which presides on the courthouse roof. The physical sculpture — installed skyward on the top of the 1900 Beaux Arts building where viewers crane their necks to see her powerful stance amongst historic, robed male lawgivers — is transformed into a portable allegorical figure at ground level for parkgoers to experience in the natural setting of Madison Square Park.

To learn more about the exhibition Havah…to breathe, air life, please click here.

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