6. Tender Presence by Jill Magid

Courtesy the artist and Creative Time. Photo: Daniel Salemi.
Tender Presence by Jill Magid. Courtesy the artist and Creative Time. Photo: Daniel Salemi.

Through May 8, 2022, Creative Time will present Jill Magid’s Tender Presence, a live film and sound installation that serves as an extension of Magid’s 2020 public art project, Tender. In this project, Magid distributed 120,000 modified U.S. pennies engraved with the phrase “The Body Was Already So Fragile” into the economy—amounting to the equivalent of one single $1,200 COVID stimulus check. Two years later, Tender Presence picks up where Tender left off, reflecting on the impact of the pandemic and the new society it has resulted in with an emphasis on life’s inherent fragility and the interdependence of social, financial, and biological health.

Tender Presence is located within the neoclassical historic Dime Savings Bank of Williamsburg, a building symbolic of the 19th-century savings bank movement where low-income earners could open an account for just one dime—though the bank remains vacant today. As visitors enter the bank and explore its cavernous interior, live music greets them. Afterward, a short film featuring footage taken during lockdown in 2020, including in the bank’s surrounding neighborhood, is played. Juxtaposing scenes depicting the pandemic’s early influence is the theme of our society’s ever-changing economic landscape.