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Art Group Collects Stories About Giving Blood in LIC

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | November 23, 2012 2:34pm

QUEENS — To give or not to give? That is the question.

Just in time for the holiday season, an art group is interviewing Long Island City residents and collecting their ideas about giving.

Since last week, the group Artefacting, whose goal is to use art to build community connections, has been interviewing residents in a storefront space at the former Bank of Manhattan building on 41st Avenue as part of its “Bloodbank” project.

The project aims to create an online video registry where residents talk about what blood and blood-giving means to them and their ideas of sharing in general.

“We want to collect people’s thoughts about giving,” said Annalisa Iadicicco, 36, a photographer who is a member of Artefacting. “We use blood as a metaphor for giving.”

The group has put up posters around Queens Plaza reading “What is your blood worth” and “What do you give back to LIC."

“Everyone has a story to tell,” said Alex White-Mazzarella, 32, the founder of the group.

“The interesting thing about blood is that it’s an analogy for life so people talk about how they value their life and the giving of life."

White-Mazzarella said many interviewees pointed out that "blood is something that we all carry and what makes us the same.” To many people it’s also “priceless.”

“It’s one of the few things that people still give as a gift and they don’t expect anything back for it,” White-Mazzarella said. “They do it because it makes them feel part of something larger.”

One of the common themes of the interviews is that “people really want to give,” Iadicicco said.

The group has already interviewed about two dozens residents.

Starting Dec. 12, portions of the interviews will be screened at the incubator space, which will be painted red throughout the exhibit.

The video registry will be available on the group’s website as well.

Artefacting will also organize workshops focused on the topic of giving and in February, the group is planning to conduct an actual blood drive at the location.

The project has been conducted in partnership with No Longer Empty, which is organizing its exhibit “How Much Do I Owe You?” at the same building, exploring the topic of money and value during these times of financial anxiety and job insecurity.

The project is taking place at 29-27 41st Ave., Queens Plaza North, Long Island City. The exhibit will run through March 13, 2013.

To learn more, go to artefacting.com.