Person of the Crowd


Allan Espiritu

Allan Espiritu. I Fall Deeper and Deeper, 2017. Courtesy of the artist 

Espiritu’s Over and Over series of works reflects the over-saturated, repetitive graphic landscape that surrounds us every day. Using typography and pop lyrics as imagery to create posters, a newspaper, and T-shirts, Espiritu comments on celebrity and the ubiquitous nature of media. The poster series will be displayed in Philadelphia at 915 Spring Garden Street and at Fishtown Bikes-n-Beans, 1321 North Front Street, and throughout the city.


Allan Espiritu (American, b. 1970)

Over and Over series 


a) I Fall Deeper and Deeper

Digital color prints on paper, 22 x 14 inches each

b) It Gets Sweeter and Sweeter

Digital color prints on paper, 22 x 14 inches each

c) I Was So Blind I Could Not See

Digital color prints on paper, 11 x 8 1/2 inches each

d) Over and Over zine, 12 pages

15 x 11.5 inches folded

Courtesy of the artist


915 Spring Garden Street (Arts and Crafts Holdings)
1321 North Front Street (Bikes ‘n Beans)


Jenny Holzer

Holzer’s Truisms express multiple viewpoints aimed at eliciting a wide range of responses from passersby. Arranged in alphabetical order, these pithy statements and one-liners are variously aggressive, comic, and profound. Holzer’s work can be found at the Physick House on 321 South 4th Street from mid-February until March 31 and at 1002 Buttonwood Street throughout the course of the exhibition.


Jenny Holzer (American, b. 1950)



Offset black-and-white posters on paper

34 3/4 x 22 7/8 inches each

Courtesy of the artist


Physick House (Philadelphia Society for the Preservation of Landmarks)
321 South 4th Street

Gallery talk with Judith Tannenbaum Wednesday, March 8, 6:30pm

1002 Buttonwood Street (Arts and Crafts Holdings) February–May


Christy Rupp

Christy Rupp. Rat Patrol, 1979. Courtesy of the artist

Rupp created her Rat Patrol poster in response to New York City’s 1979 garbage strike. A student of animal behavior, Rupp marked infested areas to show how the city, with its delicate ecosystem, had become a natural habitat for rats. These life-size images are usually installed low to the ground so that they appear to activate a site.


Christy Rupp (American, b. 1949)

Rat Patrol


Laser printed color posters on paper

5 1/2 x 17 inches each

Courtesy of the artist


Various outdoor locations in West Philadelphia and North Philadelphia



Guerrilla Girls

Guerrilla Girls. Dear Art Museum, 2015. Copyright © Guerrilla Girls. Courtesy of the artists

An anonymous group of feminist artists, the Guerrilla Girls see themselves “in the tradition of do-gooders like Robin Hood, Wonder Woman, and Batman.” Dressed in gorilla masks to protect their identities, they aim to expose sexism, racism, and corruption in politics, art, film, and popular culture. The recent series of billboards included in this exhibition addresses income inequality in the art world. 


Guerrilla Girls (American artists’ group, active 1985–present)
Dear Art Museum, Dear Art Collector, Dear Art Gallery, 2015
3 vinyl billboards, 14 x 48 feet each
Courtesy of the artists



US 1 Roosevelt Xwy ES 550 ft S/O Clarissa St. F/N 1

1-76 Schuylkill Xwy NS 100 ft E/O New Hope St. F/W 2

1-95 WS 25 ft S/O Pattison Av F/N -1


Public Sculpture

Marti is known for fusing historical subjects with popular culture and fine art with craft and design. For this exhibition, Marti shopped for fabric in South Philadelphia and with it created two large “poufs”— round, upholstered seating units. One will replace the wooden benches in the Barnes Collection Gallery, while the other will travel to several indoor and outdoor locations across the city. 


Virgil Marti (American, b. 1962)



Fabric, trim, foam, and plywood

Two units, each approx. 28 x 96 inches (diameter) 

Courtesy of the artist and Locks Gallery



The Barnes Foundation, Neubauer Plaza

February 25–February 28


Taller Puertorriqueno, 2721 North 5th Street

February 28–March 20

Gallery talk with Judith Tannenbaum

Friday, March 17, 4:30 pm


Smith Playground, 2100 South 24th Street, Fairmount Park

March 21–April 10


Shofuso Japanese House and Garden, Lansdowne and Horticultural Drives

April 11–May 1


Laurel Hill Cemetery, 3822 Ridge Avenue

May 2–22


Gallery talks by the artist will be arranged at each venue. Some dates TBD



Sanford Biggers

Interdisciplinary artist Sanford Biggers is revisiting for the first time a performance he created in Chicago in 1999, in which he commuted, clad in a suit and sporting dreadlocks, by train from the suburbs to a downtown diner. Biggers carried with him two pieces of artwork: a book and a briefcase constructed with wood, nails, and twine and inspired by Congo spirit figures, or nkisi. These objects are on view in the Roberts Gallery through May 22.

Biggers has revised his performance by working with two other artists: Xaviera Simmons, an African American woman, and Michael Stablein, a white man. Each of the three artists will ride a commuter train and walk with four individuals of their own race and gender from Suburban Station to the Barnes Foundation. Each of the groups-five black men, five black women, and five white men, respectively—will wear identical clothing. The way in which spectators respond to the three groups will underscore cultural shifts and human interactions today—almost 18 years after the original performance.


Sanford Biggers (American, b. 1970)
Duchamp in the Congo (Suburban Invasion)
Duration variable
Suburban Station to the Barnes Foundation
May 17
Performers: Sanford Biggers, Xaviera Simmons, and Michael Stablein


Tania Bruguera

In this performance, Cuban artist Tania Bruguera walks through city streets in a garment made of earth, cloth, wood, and nails—the embodiment of a living nkisi nkonde, or Congolese power figure. Originally performed in 1998 in Havana on Fidel Castro’s birthday, Bruguera conceives of this work as “an allegorical way to approach political reality and the social promises that have been made and never kept.”


Tania Bruguera (Cuban, b. 1968)



Performance (“behavior art”) embodying a nkisi nkonde icon

Cuban earth, glue, wood, nails, textile

Duration and dimensions variable



City Hall

Independence Hall

Constitution Center

Reading Terminal Market


Eastern State Penitentiary

Brewerytown/Strawberry Mansion

May 4


The Barnes Foundation

Lecture: How to Transform Affect into Political Effectiveness

Wednesday, May 3

6:30–7:30 pm


Ayana Evans

Wearing her signature neon-yellow, zebra-patterned bodysuit and high heels, Ayana Evans will travel around the city to various locations—from a South Philly cheesesteak joint to an elegant Broad Street hotel and a Fairmount neighborhood church—performing a demanding physical routine of jumping jacks, chair dips, and ground rolling. The piece will culminate in a tea party at the Barnes on Wednesday evening, May 10, complete with projected video footage of the roaming performance.


Ayana Evans (American)

Throwing Hexes


Performance and video projection



United for Christ Ministries, 628 North 21st Street

Barnes Foundation outdoor fountain

Rocky steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

North Philadelphia private home

Pat’s and Geno’s Cheesesteaks in South Philly

9th and Giordano, Italian Market

Jim’s Cheesesteaks, 4th and South Streets

9th and South Street

First Bank of the USA, 116 South 3rd Street

Penn’s Landing

Ritz Carlton lobby bar/restaurant, 10 Broad Street

Bellevue Hotel bar, 200 South Broad Street

May 6, 10 am–8 pm


Temple University, North Philadelphia

May 7, 11 am–noon


The Barnes Foundation, Annenberg Court

Tea party with video projection

May 10, 6–8 pm


Zachary Fabri

Fabri explores the process of mourning in response to police murders of Black people and the loss of freedoms he anticipates under the new presidential administration. Drawing on Victorian and African American gothic narratives, Fabri will engage with four of Philadelphia’s historic city squares—Rittenhouse, Washington, Logan, and Franklin—through a series of walks and performative actions. The artist will document his experience through film, photography, a journal, and a sound score.


Zachary Fabri (American, b. 1977)

Mourning Stutter





Rittenhouse, Washington, Logan, and Franklin squares

May 13–14


Wilmer Wilson IV

Wilmer Wilson IV, detail from CHANNEL (2017). Courtesy the artist. Photo: Allison McDaniel.

The source for Wilmer Wilson IV’s performance, Channel, and sculpture, a long pane beat in, is a 1968 Philadelphia Tribune news story. The article described a young man who “was good at repairing television sets” but had been killed as a result of the police practice known as “turf-dropping,” whereby black suspects were left in rough neighborhoods rather than being charged with a crime. Every sunny day from February 25 until April 2, Wilson will respond by walking the city streets and collecting discarded tube televisions, which he will bring to the Barnes and configure to display X-rays of human ribs. From April 2 to April 6, he will carry select working televisions into the streets, where he will activate them and intervene in pedestrian life—with the presence of the X-rays against his own body.


Wilmer Wilson IV (American, b. 1989)
Channel and a long pane beat in
Performance and sculpture
Tube televisions, X-rays, media players
Courtesy of the artist and Connersmith



Market-Frankford subway line

February 25–April 2 and April 2–6



Man Bartlett

New York-based artist Man Bartlett will create a microsite and digital artwork exploring themes related to Person of the Crowd and the concept of “cyberflânerie.” Bartlett will act as a flâneur, documenting the street performances taking place throughout the run of the exhibition and inviting bystanders to become flâneurs themselves as they share their perceptions of everyday urban life via social media using the hashtag #personofthecrowd. The artist will also work with Philadelphia teens to develop videos documenting their own experiences with flânerie in the city’s public spaces.

Bartlett will weave together this rich digital content—his documentation of the performances, the public’s social media posts as interpreted by a custom-built machine learning application, and Philadelphia students’ videos—to create the piece, which will live on a microsite and will be projected inside the Barnes Foundation’s Annenberg Court.


Interested in being a part of this project? Here's how. Show us where you stand—on the street, in the exhibition, or on everyday issues. Share your photo on Instagram using #personofthecrowd and your post could be featured in the exhibition.


Where do you stand?



Man Bartlett (American, b. 1981), with Brian Feeney, Kyle McDonald, and students from Central and Overbrook high schools


Audio/Video installation and website