In search of the truth? Want to speak your own truth? Pop in to The Truth Booth at Tacoma Art Museum (TAM) on Tuesday, September 6, 2016 from 10 am to 5 pm. The Truth Booth is a project by members of The Cause Collective. It is touring 24 U.S. cities through 2016 as part of their project In Search of The Truth (The Truth Booth).
At each location, The Collective invites people to sit inside The Truth Booth (a giant, inflatable sculpture in the shape of a cartoon speech bubble with the word “Truth” printed on the side) and complete the sentence, “The truth is…” while being videotaped. The events are free and open to the public.
The Truth Booth is the brainchild of Ryan Alexiev, Jim Ricks, Will Sylvester, and Hank Willis Thomas. Operating as a team of artists, designers and ethnographers, they work to bring thoughtful, interactive and engaging projects into local communities here and abroad. In this project, they are particularly interested in transforming public spaces into sites for candor and intimacy. The Collective aims to empower hundreds of Americans to speak freely without fear of judgment or persecution. While everyone seeks the truth, two people rarely arrive at the same interpretation, which is why the project’s prompt of “The truth is…” is so powerful and revealing.
For TAM, the project coincides nicely with the upcoming exhibition 30 Americans, opening at TAM on September 24.Hank Willis Thomas will also have work on view in 30 Americans. TAM’s Director of Education Samantha Kelly said, “We are thrilled The Truth Booth chose Tacoma Art Museum for its Washington State appearance. The Cause Collective shares our mission of connecting people through art. We are eager for this artwork to engage our audiences and inspire meaningful dialogue around people’s truths.”
The ideas behind The Truth Booth began during a 2006 Cause Collective project entitled The Truth is I am You, in which the artists flew giant inflatable sculptures in the shape of cartoon speech bubbles above the Socrates Sculpture Garden in Long Island, New York. In 2008, a 300-foot sculpture by the Cause Collective was permanently installed at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). It is comprised of speech bubbles containing a single line of a poem by Hank Willis Thomas and Ryan Alexiev, each of which begins with the phrase “The truth is…” translated into alternating languages spoken by the student body of UCSF.
“The Truth Booth offers TAM a unique opportunity to participate in the Cause Collective’s creative process. The complicated and provocative prompt about each person’s insight into truth will reveal how we shape contemporary society,” observed TAM’s Chief Curator Rock Hushka.
The Cause Collective launched The Truth Booth in 2011 at the Galway Arts Center in Galway, Ireland and over that summer toured the country extensively. The project has since traveled to Afghanistan and Cape Town, South Africa. Within the US, The Truth Booth events have taken place in Charlottesville, VA, Long Island, NY (for the 2012 Presidential Debate at Hofstra University), Washington, D.C., Cleveland, OH, Palo Alto, CA, Menlo Park, CA, Black Rock, NV, Miami Beach, FL (for Art Basel), Chicago, IL, Brooklyn, NY, and Boston, MA.