I visited the Queens Museum a few months ago and came across the installation “Exorbitant Privilege” by U. Kanad Chakrabarti. It was toward the end of the visit and I likely would have bypassed it had I not noticed the decaying, inside-out soccer ball in front of the bold pop-art design.
“The installation considers twentieth century history and global superpowers the US, the USSR, Britain and France,” and their impact on developing countries, according to the museum description.
On the other side of the panel, a small room screened video essays on “capitalist consumerism, international politics and war, nuclear testing and housing markets.”
“For the artist, these interacting forces led to global destruction, especially for the environment and people of the global south who might not benefit from the West’s ‘exorbitant privilege.'”
The inside-out soccer ball is symbolic of the Cold War’s impact on the Global South, especially South Asia, the artist says.
“Soccer is important to the identity of many countries. But the inside out ball’s alternating shapes also recall a nuclear weapon’s core,” the description reads.
It’s tricky to get to without a car, but the Queens Museum highlights diverse work by local artists that you’re unlikely to find at any other major institution in New York City.