Welcome, 10ft x 28ft, © Guillaume Légaré, Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens, New York, 2017.
Welcome's Billboard launches July 4th to commemorate ideas of the public, citizenship, collectivism, identity, and democratic freedoms.
Guillaume Légaré’s billboard, Welcome, premiered on July 4, 2017, Independence Day, with a nostalgic and ambiguous scene of the ocean’s shore, evoking America’s complicated history of conquest, freedom, colonialism, opportunity and immigration, as well as the ongoing arrival of displaced people. His image depicts an ordinary welcome mat that faces the viewer, whose perspective looks out toward the sea. The orientation of the mat may suggest that the sight of the sea as a welcoming tonic from the conflicts of contemporary, or a tribute to the dynamic interface where water meets land. Alternatively, taking into account current events, is the mat welcoming refugees after a perilous journey to escape violence and poverty? Or do the waves represent a strong political tide washing out to sea this message of hospitality? Québec City-born Guillaume Légaré remarks, “New York City is a harbor city and as such, has a long history of welcoming immigrants. As a recent immigrant to the United States, I like to examine the relationship between us and the territory, both urban and natural.”
Socrates Sculpture Park -a public park, a space of advertising, and the diverse borough of Queens. is located at the main entrance of the park at the intersection of Vernon Boulevard and Broadway.
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