New Haven, CT—NXTHVN, an international art institution in the Dixwell neighborhood of New Haven,CT, will exhibit Hank Willis Thomas and Ryan Alexiev’s the truth is i am you from September 24 to November 20, 2022. The audience is invited to complete the prompt “the truth is…” on large balloons that float throughout the gallery space. The personal truths written on the balloons will become part of the collective experience of the exhibition, with messages added throughout the life of the installation. NXTHVN will host an opening reception on September 24 from 1 to 3 p.m. At 2 p.m., Hank Willis Thomas and NXTHVN’s programs manager, Victoria McCraven, will participate in a conversation.
the truth is i am you aims to ignite conversation, inviting viewers to approach their varied perspectives on value and truth with a new sense of understanding. The exhibition also includes balloons with phrases from an accompanying poem composed by Thomas and Alexiev, such as the truth is I respect you, the truth is i welcome you and the truth is i need you.
As a compliment to the balloon installation, a video of “truth is…” messages gathered from the public by The Truth Booth—a touring, inflatable booth developed by The CAUSE COLLECTIVE that traveled around the world—will be on view. A vibrant speech bubble bench titled, Josephine and Kazumi, will be installed at NXTHVN’s facade, inviting visitors to rest, contemplate and reflect.
First exhibited at the University of California at San Francisco in 2007, the truth is i am you is part of Thomas’ ongoing series of interactive installations that are intended to ignite conversations and create circumstances for deliberate participation.
Referencing Andy Warhol’s Silver Clouds, which originally debuted in 1966, the truth is i am you provides viewers a new point of entry to actively engage with the arts with candor, by considering who we are, what we value, where we come from and where we are going—both in and outside the walls ofNXTHVN.
The exhibition is organized by Kalia Brooks, NXTHVN’s director of programs and exhibitions.