Grief and Loss

Visual Response


Maya Ciarrocchi

This Place Has a Body

Jewish Street Art Festival Passover 2021 – Contemporary Plagues

14th Street Y (New York City)

ZAZ10TS (New York City)

March 26-April 6

New York City is a city in constant flux and a place of ghosts. We live in apartments that housed countless generations of individuals and families, new buildings rise on top of the foundations of what came before, and long-familiar businesses open and close overnight. Now during the Covid-19 pandemic, this flux is more rapid and the scale of loss so immense we barely have time to comprehend its breadth. Combining decorative details that adorned the walls and ceilings of now-vanished wooden synagogues with her dancing body and the Unicorn, an ancient symbol of death and rebirth, Maya’s mural project and video installation “This Place Has a Body,” creates new fantastical spaces out of the residue of loss.


A video installation of “This Place Has a Body” will be showcased on the ZAZ Corner Billboard (South East Corner of 41st Street and 7th Avenues) and will concurrently be projected on the ZAZ10Ts Gallery Wall in the lobby of 10 Times Square.

ZAZ10TS is an ongoing cultural initiative that integrates art into the office building at 10 Times Square. Conceived by Tzili Charney, the ZAZ10TS gallery space employs the building’s façade, LED billboard, lobby interior, and immediate environment to bring art and culture to the building’s community, visitors, and passersby. ZAZ10TS takes pride in scouting and showcasing the gamut of talent, ranging from established artists to young and emerging talent, as well as special needs artists, as part of its programming. In addition, ZAZ10TS partners with other organizations nationally and internationally to support art. For more info visit:

Maya Ciarrocchi

Maya Ciarrocchi is a New York-based interdisciplinary artist working across media in drawing, printmaking, performance, video, installation, and social practice. Through personal narrative, storytelling, and embodied mapmaking her projects excavate disappeared histories as in “Site: Yizkor,” where architectural renderings of destroyed buildings, maps of vanished places, historical Yizkor (Jewish memorial) books, and audience-contributed writings become sources for exploring the physical and emotional documentation of loss.

Jewish Street Art Festival Passover 2021 - Contemporary Plagues is produced by Asylum Arts and Hillel Smith, in collaboration with LABA, and made possible with the generous support of CANVAS. Murals have been created in New York City, Charlotte and Toronto. In Toronto, Bareket Kezwer’s mural at the Miles Nadal JCC engage with the plague of binary thinking, and is in partnership with the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto. Mike Wirth’s mural in Charlotte at the Queens University of Charlotte in partnership with the Stan Greenspon Center for Peace and Social Justice at Queens University of Charlotte, makes visible the plague of housing insecurity. Hillel Smith’s paired murals in New York City, at JCC Harlem and Repair the World NYC, engage with food insecurity. Maya Ciarrocchi’s mural at the 14th St Y in New York and the video installtions at ZAZ10TS in explores the plague of grief and loss.

Written Response


Darin Strauss


Please find the written response “Beyond the Plague of Grief and Loss” here

Darin Strauss‘s most recent book, “The Queen of Tuesday,” came out in August 2020 and was a Washington Post best book of the year, among others. He’s also the author of the bestselling novels “Chang & Eng,” “The Real McCoy,” “More Than It Hurts You,” the NBCC-winning memoir “Half a Life,” and a bestselling comic-book series, “Olivia Twist.” These have been New York Times Notable Books; and Newsweek, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Amazon, Chicago Tribune, and NPR Best Books of the Year, among others.