Running smack through the middle of Chelsea’s gallery district, the High Line exhibits its fair share of art installations, but its latest is somewhat depressing, unless you’re into the whole patriarchy thing. To promote its TV series based on Margaret Atwood’s classic dystopian novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, Hulu has enlisted the services of artists Paula Scher and Abbott Miller to design a sort of interactive mural slash book kiosk that's distributing 4,000 paperback editions of Atwood's disturbing vision of a future theocracy in which women's rights have been severely restricted.
Scher and Miller's creation consists of a pleated or accordion-shaped structure imprinted with multiple images of one the handmaids envisioned by Hulu’s show, which stars Mad Men’s Elisabeth Moss. As passersby take down copies of the book, they reveal messages like “Nolite te Bastardes Carborundorum” (translation: Don’t Let the Bastards Grind You Down), which figures as a slogan of resistance in Atwood's story. The whole affair is lit by fixtures in the shape of the distinctive bonnet worn by Moss’s character, Offred.
Think it can't happen here? Maybe not. But if you’re interested in familiarizing yourself with Atwood's chilling vision before streaming the show, you can stop by between now and Sunday to check out the installation at the High Line's 16th Street entrance.