Phone Call is a participatory dialogue-based work conceived and organized by artist Ginevra Shay that brings artists and poets to listeners through one-to-one readings and conversations over the phone.
Sign up HERE to register to receive a phone call from an artist or poet. Calls will occur Tuesday, April 6 through Saturday, April 10 in the morning, afternoon, or evening as selected by the participant and paired artist and poet. Though poetics are the bedrock of this work, no limits or restrictions have been put on the artists or poets and the length and nature of the calls are up to each of them. Approximately 280 participants will receive calls.
Initially conceived to combat isolation brought about by the first COVID-19 shutdowns in March 2020, Phone Call is an ephemeral living work centered around human connection and generosity, building closeness across distance. The work continues this year to offer respite from sustained isolation and fatigue. Engagement with Phone Call offers physical connection over airwaves where intonation, cadence, and breath create shared shapes between callers. Phone Call is inspired in-part by John Giorno’s Dial-a-Poem (1968), Yoko Ono’s Telephone Piece (1964), and Nigel Shafran’s series Ruth on the phone (1995-2004).
With the belief that a small gesture can be a radical act, Shay’s work engages the public with sharp clarity and consideration against the backdrop of current sustained health, political, and social crises. Shay presents the possibility of human engagement as art praxis and strategy for infinite variable futures.
Phone Call is made possible with support from The Baltimore Museum of Art and the Maryland State Arts Council. The first iteration took place March 30-April 3, 2020 and was hosted and supported by Transformer DC.
About Ginevra Shay
Ginevra Shay is an artist based in Baltimore and New York. Their work reimagines the built environment through the intimate engagement of space, image, and text. They are currently pursuing an MFA at the Milton Avery School of Bard College.