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The Truth is I Am You

A project by The Cause Collective, with work by Ryan Alexiev, Jim Ricks, and Hank Willis-Thomas

For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Zemen Kidane
Curated by: Kalia Brooks, MoCADA's Director of Exhibitions
Opening Reception: Saturday, August 27, 3-5pm
On View: August 26 to September 25, 2011

Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA) and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) present The Truth is I Am You, a floating poem highlighting the practices of coexistence that exemplify culturally diverse communities like New York City. Lining the walls of the 2,000 square foot exhibition space, the poem starts with, “The truth is I am you” and ends with “The truth is I love you,” translated into the 24 most spoken languages in New York City. The poetry on the walls is installed along with silver helium inflated balloons floating in the gallery space. The audience is invited to contribute to the poem by writing their own truths on the surface of the balloons.

Referencing Andy Warhol’s “Silver Clouds”, which originally debuted in 1966, the piece attempts to use the exhibition space as a point of entry into other systems of considering who we are, what we value, where we come from, and where we are going.

Using the aesthetics of pop art to explore New York City’s rich history of multiculturalism and diversity, The Truth Is I Am You is part of LMCC’s Insite: Art + Commemoration, a series of public and online events commemorating the tenth anniversary of 9/11.

Children Programming

Poems from the Sky
Where: The Gallery at Building 110: LMCC’s Art Center at Governors Island
When: Saturday, September 12, Noon, Free
Co-sponsored by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art, and Poets House.
Inspired by the project The Truth Is I Am You by The Cause Collective, which places giant balloons of poetry in 25 different languages into LMCC's gallery at Building 110, we'll explore poetry and stories that come out of the great blue canopy of our earth's sky. Afterward we'll make books in the shape of blimps and float our own poetry upon them.

Adult Programming

In Search of the Truth Poetry Slam
Hosted by: Donat de la Cruz
Where: MoCADA's outdoor courtyard
When: Thursday, September 8, 7-8:30 PM
Featuring: James Merenda, NYC based poet and playwright
Calling All Poets in Search of the Truth !!
In conjunction with our current Satellite Exhibition entitled, The Truth is I Am You, at LMCC's Art Center on Governor's Island, MoCADA will be hosting a poetry slam of New York City's finest poets. All poets are welcome, and will sign up to perform at the venue on a first-come, first-serve basis to create poems based on the question:
"What I know is true is?"
The session will be recorded to be included in the artists' video compilation: 

Please rsvp to or (718) 230-0492 x114

About The Cause Collective

The Cause Collective is a team of artists, designers and ethnographers creating innovative art in the public realm. Their projects explore and enliven public spaces by creating a dynamic conversation between issues, sites and the public audience.

About LMCC

Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, has been a leading voice for arts and culture Downtown and throughout New York City for over 35 years, producing cultural events and promoting the arts through grants, services, advocacy, and cultural development programs. Lower Manhattan Cultural Council is dedicated to making Manhattan a thriving center of arts activity with relevance to the arts community worldwide. It does this through a range of grants, cultural programs and advocacy

About MoCADA

MoCADA works to rediscover valuable African cultural traditions that were lost through colonization and the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and to foster a dynamic space for the creation of the continuous evolution of culture. MoCADA believes that the concept of the museum exists within its people and it is the museum’s goal to serve as a conduit for African Diaspora forms of expression ranging from the visual and performing arts to film and television with the goal of repositioning the continent of Africa and its people in both a foundational and central role in world development.


MoCADA would like to thank the generous support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York State Council on the Arts, Andy Warhol Foundation, Lambent Foundation and Brooklyn Community Foundation. Operational support has been made possible through the generosity of the following public servants: State Senators Velmanette Montgomery, Eric Adams, Kevin Parker and John Sampson; Assemblymembers Hakeem Jeffries and Karim Camara; City Councilmembers Letitia James, Charles Barron, Albert Vann, Jumaane Williams and Supreme Digital.

Copyright © 2011 MoCADA, All rights reserved.