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MELISSA SHIFF

Mapping Ararat

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Vernacular Culture

In imagining Ararat as a sovereign nation, we are creating a number of para-historical artifacts such as money, flags, postcards and stamps. Please click on some of our Ararat Vernacular Culture to read more about each of these simulations of statehood.

 The Times Square Seder was held on March 30, 2002, on the fourth night of Passover. The event took place in three distinct spaces all on the same block of 42nd Street just steps away from Times Square. There were two storefront window spaces and one interior space that was transformed into the Matzah Ball Soup Kitchen. The performance began in front of the first window, then continued inside this storefront window space, moved onto the street, and then to the nearby soup kitchen. Meanwhile, an interactive video installation played throughout the evening in the second storefront window. Along with sculpture and video art, the Seder featured symbolic actions performed by political and religious leaders known for their concern with social justice. The former Manhattan Borough President and current director of The American Jewish World Service, Ruth Messinger, helped to officiate. Rabbi Arthur Waskow, leader of the famous Freedom Seder in the 1960s and current Director of the Shalom Center in Philadelphia was also a participant in the Seder performance.

 

     In April 2004 Melissa Shiff published an article in Tikkun Magazine entitled “Times Square Seder: Happening for Homelessness”

March 30, 2002

Credits

Artist: Melissa Shiff

Mapping Ararat is made possible through a generous grant from the Insight Development Grant Program of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

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