Commonwealth: Water For All

Queens Museum

New York

04 FEB 2017 - 30 JUL 2017
Exhibit content
Exhibit set-up
Text panels
Visitor recommended
Overall visit

In New York City, it’s easy to take water for granted. We open the tap and it appears. We might take a twenty-minute shower without hesitation. Water makes up more than 60% of our bodies, and while everyone needs it to live, increasingly we’ve come to think of it as a commodity to be bought and sold thoughtlessly. Meanwhile, there is unequal access to clean water in many regions across the country and throughout the world, where scarcity renders visible the substance’s basic vitality to all living things. From the water wars that have taken place over the last twenty years in Latin America, to the recent privatization of public water in American cities like Flint and Detroit in Michigan, the consequences of fragmented or shortsighted perspectives on the way this resource should be used and managed are stark. And yet, the interests of corporations and private entities continue to be a powerful force shaping the distribution and quality of water.