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Mystery Island and the Marvelous Occurrence of Spontaneous Art (code name: M.I.M.O.S.A.), a collection of six new temporary works of public art that play with the built environment of Philadelphia’s former League Island. 

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The following is a statement from an unknown source found deep in an unrelated Reddit thread about environmentally friendly shipping materials. We think it’s from Frank, but he assures us it’s not. We ask that you please read with caution and ideally with an orange-flavored sparkling beverage.

A mysterious island at the southernmost tip of the city of Philadelphia has long served as a source of intrigue for many fellow skeptical Philadelphians like myself. That slice of the land of course is League Island, better known to most today at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, and its existence, or more precisely exactly how it’s existed, has spurred many as yet unanswered questions. Why are there large ornate gates, if anyone can freely enter or exit? How does one even get there, if the Broad Street Line stops at the stadiums? And what about those especially mysterious instances of warehouse-sized sea monsters and maze-like cocoons? Instances that seem to appear year-after-year almost like clockwork? Well, my friends, I have some startling news that only draws another veil over the unusual workings of this “yard”. 

I should start with the obvious: that those who speculate on such occurrences have largely come to the conclusion that the world has decided to spin on a new axis as is known to happen throughout history. This almost certainly has paraded us into a new dimensional timeline for the year 2020, possibly 2021 as well, but that’s not entirely certain. It’s also not quite known if this is a recent phenomenon or something that started a half-decade ago or so. Either way, the effects are in full swing now and we must pay attention! And with this new axis, I assumed that the curiosities of League Island would either return to a uniquely passive state or perhaps might evolve into something even more profoundly curious. It seems the latter is the case, and I have a first-hand account to prove it. 

At exactly 1:52 pm on September 14, 2020, I found a wooden shipping crate on League Island Boulevard with the insignia “M.I.M.O.S.A.” Why I was on League Island Boulevard at 1:52 pm on September 14 I can not tell you, but I can tell you I found the crate very odd. For one, it vanished into thin air when I tried to approach it, which is uncommon for shipping crates even on League Island. But the crate also smelled distinctly of pigeon feather, which was my cue. A short walk later I discovered the first of what I believe to be a total of six instances of art, a sculpture in the sky made of wire. Within about an hour I discovered a building turning to yarn before my eye, a jolly monster guarding a walking bridge, letters if not entire sentences floating down from the sky, a beautiful old building seeming to wear an even more lovely large necklace of sorts, and a vehicle made entirely of colorful, moving paper. 

I post this today to invite you to see these curiosities for yourself and prove to me that I’m not (again) imagining a series of contemporary public art installations from a group of seven different international artists by the names of DAKU, Liesbet Bussche, Justin Favela, Raquel Rodrigo, Reed Bmore, and Kid Hazo with South Fellini. Post what you find with the hashtag #MIMOSAnavyyard and we’ll assess together. 


GUIDELINES

Please see the guidelines below for how to examine these mysteries yourself keeping in mind the Earth’s new axis (COVID-19 safety guidelines):

  • Wear a face covering or mask at all times;
  • Maintain six feet of distance from other visitors you may come across;
  • Visit in the smallest groups possible;
  • Unlike last year, none of these installations are interactive, so please do not touch any of the artworks.

The Navy Yard is a neighborhood in South Philadelphia, and our artworks are installed over many blocks. We ask that you treat any visit to the Navy Yard as you might treat a visit to a park or a walk around your neighborhood in using common sense and courtesy, and follow the guidance of local government and health officials.

SCHEDULE

  • The Navy Yard is open to the public daily from sunrise to sunset.
  • The Navy Yard is accessible via car, bike, Indego bikeshare, on foot, and Navy Yard Transit.
  • SPECIAL SCHEDULE: Sunday, September 20, the Navy Yard will car-free, meaning only accessible to the public for pedestrians and bicycles. No vehicles will be permitted.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS & LOCATIONS
 

LIESBET BUSSCHE
"Rusty Love / Urban Jewelry"

Admiral Peary Way between 13th Street & Broad Street
Liesbet’s practice is based on the interplay between jewelry, the city and the intimate and public nature of adornment. This approach results, amongst other things, in 'Urban Jewelry', or installations in which she creates disproportionately large public jewels in urban environments. 
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DAKU
"RAY OF HOPE" 

Crescent Park, 13th Street & Rouse Blvd.
DAKU is India’s most prominent anonymous street artist. DAKU leverages the sun’s shadow-casting power to create temporary installations. In one the toughest moments of this millennium, DAKU brings a new installment to this
series in Philadelphia. 
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JUSTIN FAVELA
"LIBERTAD (FREEDOM)"

12th Street between Normandy Place & Constitution Ave
Justin Favela is a mixed-media artist who does large-scale installation sculptures in the piñata style or medium. His work references pop culture, art history, society, cultural commentary, and his own Guatemala-Mexican-American heritage that is rooted in growing up in Las Vegas, Nevada. 
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KID HAZO + SOUTH FELLINI
"WHERE THE WILD JAWNS ARE"

League Island Park, 12th Street & Constitution Ave
Kid Hazo is a Philadelphia-based street artist out to catch a few smirks and smiles by creating pieces that parody the heart of Philly culture and venues around the city. 

Tony Trov and Johnny Zito, two friends from South Philly, opened their first brick and mortar store on East Passyunk Avenue in South Philadelphia called South Fellini where they create and sell apparel for the Philadelphia lifestyle.
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REED BMORE
"BITTERSWEETVINE"

Buildings 100 + 101, Broad Street & Intrepid Ave.
Reed is a Baltimore-based street artist who creates wire art installations that seamlessly fit in with their surroundings but stands out to those looking for them. The themes of Reed’s works are generally whimsical and light-hearted.
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RAQUEL RODRIGO
"Florecer (Flourish)"

Building 99, 13th Street & Constitution Ave.
Raquel is a cross-stitch street artist from Spain who adds her own colorful touch to the streets by turning them into beautifully eye-catching floral cross-stitch installations.
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