“Mmmm…” Meeting Bowls
Spanish Artistic Ensemble “mmmm…” Showcases Art for Dialogue in Virginia, USAJuly 13th, 2017
From July 17th to November 1st 2017, the Arlington’s Courthouse neighborhood in Virginia in collaboration with Arlington Arts will be showcasing the “Meeting Bowls,” an artistic display in the form of street furniture.
The “mmmm…” ensemble, created in 1998 and composed of 4 Spanish artists named Emilio Alarcón, Alberto Alarcón, Ciro Márquez and Eva Salmerón, is an artistic collective determined to ignite cultural exchange by revolutionizing public spaces through art.
One of their most acclaimed displays is the Meeting Bowls; 3 large bowl-shaped structures capable of seating up to 8 individuals. Its purpose? To use the circular nature of the bowls as a tool to force people to face one another and therefore foster dialogue between strangers.
The Meeting Bowls’ first unveiling took place in 2011 after being placed in Times Square, where over 20 million pedestrians were able to interact with them. Thousands of people, drawn to the structures by their whimsical nature, took part in the project. During the exchanges, individuals were encouraged to record their conversations to later upload them to an official internet platform through a QR code.
More than 5 years later, the Meeting Bowls will be returning to the streets. However, this time they will take over Courthouse Square in Arlington, VA as part of the “Courthouse 2.0: Reimagining the Civic” initiative. After Arlington, the structures will travel to Florida, to take part in Miami’s Art Basel Show.
By placing the Meeting Bowls in public spaces with such considerable pedestrian traffic, “mmmm…” aims to further expose the importance of dialogue between individuals of, including but not limited to, different political, sexual or religious orientations. A truly eye-opening initiative that hopes to bring human beings closer together in the face of current growing animosity around the world.