A new art-focused event space called WORA has opened in northeast Greenpoint.
“The Java Project envisions WORA as an outdoor initiative aimed to support artists and the artistic community through a range of cultural events and outreach,” Sica said. “Some of the programming will include film screenings, outdoor sculpture exhibitions, book fairs, performance festivals, and sound experimentation.”
WORA’s first event this past Saturday took place in The Java Project’s spacious, relaxed outdoor courtyard, where participants lounged amongst abstract discoball art pieces, watched performance art, and danced under fabric canopies to dj’s like duo Soul 2 Seoul, who spin house, techno and disco.
“WORA originally was a barren parking lot,” Sica said. “The Java Project selected the artist duo known as Pillas to create site specific murals in the space and entrance. These two artists who have a background in graphic design utilized the architecture in the space to create dynamic works which challenge the eye and create the environment.”
Anna Popescu of event production organization A.POP. worked with Sica to bring dj’s to the event. Having created the underground rave art party Rinsed, Popescu was familiar with both artists and dj’s.
“Dakota and I wanted to bring both art and nightlife into this free and relaxed space, so we reached out to artists who wanted to see outside of the white cube or do art you normally don’t have the space for,” Popescu said. “And speaking to some music friends, they were super excited because at a club or bar, they’re normally just on stage, but here they’re able to be a part of the party.”
Sica attended Pratt and is a sculptor. His work was displayed in the courtyard, including a classical statue with a discoball on top entitled “Never Going Home.”
Reflective sculptures in the shape of pyramids (or beehives, depending on your view) were displayed by artist Anji Jerni.
David Kirshoff, a performance artist, turned tables on guests and made the party part of him. Kirschoff sat on a perch like a seabird and had audience members throw dead fish at him.
“The performance was wacky and opened people up a little bit,” Popescu said. “People are just having a great time and chilling.”
Charged with sake and Switchel cocktails, WORA attendees arose from their relaxed cushions on the floor and began to dance to the beats of Soul 2 Seoul.
“We want people to remember it doesn’t have to be commercial or dark and heavy,” Turtle of Soul 2 Seoul said. “We’re showing where music came from. In the old days before clubs got ruined in New York, everyone was together.”