21. Public Notice 3 by Jitish Kallat, 2010
Jitish Kallat's site-specific installation was embedded in the Art Institute of Chicago's Grand Staircase. The work, Public Notice 3 interweaves two pivotal historical moments: the first Parliament of the World's Religions, which opened on September 11, 1893 and took place in the museum, and the attacks on the World Trade Center on the same day 108 years later. Kallat brings together two disparate moments, one of immense celebration and unity, the other of painful tragedy, through the words spoken by the Indian Hindu monk Swami Vivekananda at the first Parliament of the World's Religion. Over a century ago, Vivekananda spoke in front of a crowd of 7,000 people spanning all faiths, and called for universalism and tolerance. His speech was met with a standing ovation and hailed as a turning point of the event. The site adjacent to Vivekananda's initial oration houses Kallat's third Public Notice work, and the words of his powerful speech slowly ticked across the 118 stairs in the colors of the Homeland Security alert system (red, orange, yellow, blue and green) from September 11, 2010 to January 2, 2011.