BROOKLYN, NY – UOVO, America’s leading storage and services provider for diverse collections, unveiled the fourth annual UOVO Prize mural on August 3, 2023, in Brooklyn, NY. In collaboration with the Brooklyn Museum, the event celebrated Suneil Sanzgiri, the UOVO Prize recipient, and creator of this year’s inspiring mural.
A Mural Reflecting Global Struggles
The mural, spanning 50 square feet, creatively incorporates a line from Agha Shahid Ali’s 1997 poem “Farewell.” It reads “YOUR HISTORY GETS IN THE WAY OF MY MEMORY,” arranged as a banner within a banner, floating in a metaphorical ocean of doubt. Sanzgiri’s design highlights how history and memory are intertwined in global struggles.
Incorporating Literary Elements
The mural features the line “YOUR HISTORY GETS IN THE WAY OF MY MEMORY” from the Kashmiri-American poet Agha Shahid Ali’s 1997 poem “Farewell.” This line encapsulates a complex relationship between history and memory, two concepts that continually intertwine in personal and collective consciousness.
Symbolism and Design
Sanzgiri’s design repositions these words as a banner within a banner, floating in what appears to be an endless ocean of doubt. The banners symbolize the way history is often brandished as a definitive truth, but they are adrift in an uncertain sea, emphasizing that history is often subjective, malleable, and even contested.
The ocean of doubt reflects the fluid nature of memory and how it is continually reshaped by the present context. It could also be seen as a representation of the global struggles that are continually shifting and changing, impacting individual and collective memories.
Global Struggles and Interpretation
The mural resonates on many levels, touching on global struggles such as political turmoil, cultural identity, displacement, colonization, and the clash between personal experience and recorded history. It asks the viewers to question how personal memories are influenced by the overarching narratives of history and how these narratives can be shaped by those in power.
The mural invites contemplation on how historical narratives often overshadow individual memories and experiences. This can be related to various contexts such as post-colonial nations, marginalized communities, or any group whose voices have been suppressed or ignored in the grand narrative.
Location and Context
The location of the mural, in the culturally diverse Bushwick, Brooklyn, further emphasizes its relevance. This neighborhood, with its rich history of immigration and transformation, provides an apt backdrop for a mural that speaks to global themes of memory, history, and struggle.
UOVO Prize: Rewarding Emerging Brooklyn-based Artists
The UOVO Prize, now in its fourth year, aims to recognize the talent of emerging artists based in Brooklyn. Sanzgiri was chosen for the mural commission at UOVO’s storage facility in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Along with this honor, he will receive a solo exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum and a $25,000 cash grant.
The artist’s first solo museum exhibition, Suneil Sanzgiri: Here the Earth Grows Gold, will be available to the public at the Brooklyn Museum from October 27, 2023, through May 5, 2024.
UOVO is a national leader in storage and logistics for art, fashion, archives, and collectibles. Their state-of-the-art facilities are spread across various states including New York, Delaware, Florida, California, Colorado, and Texas. Renowned for offering customized solutions, UOVO’s services range from climate-controlled storage to international shipping and digital inventory management.
About Suneil Sanzgiri
Suneil Sanzgiri, an MIT graduate, has made waves in the global art scene. His work has been featured in prestigious festivals and venues like the International Film Festival Rotterdam, Hong Kong International Film Festival, and Criterion Collection. Sanzgiri has been the recipient of numerous awards and has completed notable residencies. He was recognized as one of the “25 New Faces of Independent Film” by Filmmaker magazine and included in Art in America’s “New Talent” issue. Sanzgiri is presently working on his first feature-length film.
Conclusion: A Celebration of Art and Talent
The unveiling of the UOVO Prize mural is more than an artistic event; it represents a celebration of emerging talent and the power of art to reflect complex global issues. Suneil Sanzgiri’s poignant mural serves as a reminder of the ever-present relationship between history and memory, highlighting Brooklyn’s vibrant and creative community.
UOVO’s collaboration with the Brooklyn Museum continues to set a standard for fostering local talent and enriching the cultural fabric of the community. With Sanzgiri’s upcoming solo exhibition, art enthusiasts have yet another reason to look forward to a stimulating exploration of contemporary art in Brooklyn.