In 2019, the city of St. Louis debuted Counterpublic, a triennial public art initiative designed to showcase site-specific commissions that unfolded everywhere from tea shops to Buddhist temples. On Tuesday, Counterpublic announced that its 2023 edition (which was delayed because of the pandemic) will be curated by an ensemble that includes Allison Glenn, Diya Vij, Dream the Combine, New Red Order and Risa Puleo. For the upcoming edition of the initiative, the focus will be on the overarching effect time has on the city and the innumerable possibilities presented by civic environments.
In keeping with this theme, Counterpublic 2023 will focus on one exhibition that runs on St. Louis’ Jefferson Avenue from the Southern Riverfront to the Brickline Greenway. In order to prepare for the exhibition, the curatorial ensemble will embed itself within the communities with which they’re working in order to keep track of ongoing work and explore the possibility of collaborating with locals.
The curators also represent a diverse array of experience: Allison Glenn will soon begin a role as Senior Curator and Director of Public Art at Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Diya Vij is an Associate Curator at Creative Time and New Red Order is a public secret society dedicated to facilitating Indigenous growth and agency.
“The most exciting discourses on contemporary art are located at the intersections of place, space, and the public realm,” Glenn told Observer. “I am excited to work with the Counterpublic team to thoughtfully engage with St. Louis through dynamic and expansive artist projects, programs, and events.”
“I’m thrilled to be a part of this incredible team, helping to envision what promises to be a thoughtful and ambitious public art exhibition,” Vij expressed to Observer. “Counterpublic, and the city of St. Louis itself, provide a unique and nuanced window on our civic futures, and I’m excited to begin this process.”