published 8.29.2019

​Creative Time To Reopen Risa Puno’s The Privilege of Escape on Thursday, September 12

Creative Time To Reopen

Risa Puno’s The Privilege of Escape

on Thursday, September 12


Rare Second Run of a Creative Time Public Art Project Made Possible by Onassis USA

Risa Puno, The Privilege of Escape, July 2019. Photo by Adam Reich. Courtesy of Creative Time.


(New York, NY — August 28, 2019) — Due to popular demand, Creative Time is pleased to announce the reopening of Risa Puno’s The Privilege of Escape, which will be on view from September 12 through September 29, 2019 at Onassis USA. This is the first Creative Time project that will be reopened due to high demand. The Privilege of Escape, presented by Creative Time and Onassis USA, was booked out entirely during its month-long run. This added run will allow an additional 2,500 people to experience Creative Time's inaugural open call project by Risa Puno.


“We are deeply moved by the overwhelming support we have received for our inaugural emerging artist open call. Thank you to Onassis USA for their generosity in giving us the opportunity to expand the run of Risa Puno's The Privilege of Escape and bring it to an even wider public. At Creative Time, we believe in investing in the future. This is one of the cornerstones of the emerging artist initiative and we could not be more proud,” said Creative Time Executive Director Justine Ludwig.


“I am so happy and proud that Onassis USA and Creative Time are able to bring back Risa Puno’s beguiling, disturbing Privilege of Escape to even more people here in New York. A subversion, and a challenge, it deserves to be seen by us all,” said Vallejo Gantner, Executive Artistic Director of Onassis USA.



Referencing escape rooms—immersive environments where groups solve a series of hands-on puzzles against the clock—this project distills the complexity of privilege by placing it in the context of a thrilling game. Upon arrival, attendees find themselves cast as subjects in a study conducted by a cutting-edge institute. In the experiment, groups will race against the clock to solve a series of interactive, sculptural puzzles designed by the artist that resemble popular board games.


While seemingly familiar, attendees discover that in this adventure, the rules have changed. As the clock ticks, players must adapt to the new conditions, unlock clues, and solve their way out of the room. Puno’s aim is to use this disarmingly playful environment to create pathways of exchange and understanding around the topic of social inequity.


Subverting the format of this popular group pastime, Puno has constructed an experience that encourages participants to think about how privilege functions in society – and to what end. The term “privilege” is loaded and confusing for many, often triggering strong emotions that undermine constructive conversations. Inspired by the game of life, where societal rules are often arbitrary, fixed, and unfair, The Privilege of Escape showcases Puno’s ability to introduce complex social issues through play, innovative game design, and puzzle logic.



The Privilege of Escape by Risa Puno presented by Creative Time

September 12-29, 2019

Hours vary

Advance registration required, tickets are free

Onassis USA

645 5th Ave, New York, NY 10022


(If you are interested in reserving a press pass in advance and discussing coverage opportunities, please email Ali Rigo at



Risa Puno is a sculpture and installation artist who uses interactivity and play to understand how we relate to one another. Often taking a whimsical form, Puno’s work creates accessible spaces to explore universal human conundrums. Emblematic of Puno’s practice is her 2013-2014 work The Course of Emotions: A Mini-Golf Experience, a fully-functioning course with 9 holes featuring different emotional obstacles like “Insecurity,” where players had to putt while standing on a wobbly seesaw platform. In keeping with Puno’s body of work, the project transformed a lighthearted, widely appealing pastime into a means of collectively confronting difficult human experiences. In her 2018 piece, Year of the Dog Park in Boston, visitors were invited to interact with the piece, constructing new meanings and stories based on the characters that appear. Featuring a series of blocks engraved with traditional Chinese characters and excerpts of stories collected from the community, the act of spinning the block created poetic connections that would otherwise be impossible to describe in the English language.


Puno has exhibited at national and international venues, including: The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Socrates Sculpture Park, El Museo del Barrio, NURTUREart, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, SPACES in Cleveland, OH, Galerie Stefan Röpke in Cologne, Germany, and MMX Open Art Venue in Berlin, Germany. Puno is the recipient of multiple awards and residencies, including the UNIQLO Park Expressions Grant through the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation. Puno’s work has been featured across radio and print, including NPR, Forbes, The New Yorker, Hyperallergic, ProPublica, and The Boston Globe. Born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, Puno studied art and medicine at Brown University and earned her MFA from New York University.



Creative Time, the New York based public arts non-profit, is committed to working with artists on the dialogues, debates, and dreams of our time. Creative Time presents the most innovative art in the public realm, providing new platforms to amplify artists’ voices, including the Creative Time Summit, an international conference convening at the intersection of art and social justice. Since 1974, Creative Time has produced over 350 groundbreaking public art projects that ignite the imagination, explore ideas that shape society, and engage millions of people around the globe. Since its inception, the non-profit organization has been at the forefront of socially engaged public art, seeking to convert the power of artists’ ideas into works that inspire and challenge the public. Creative Time projects stimulate dialogue on timely issues, and initiate a dynamic experience between artists, sites, and audiences.


ABOUT ONASSIS USA Onassis USA is an organization which for over 19 years, in collaboration with Onassis Stegi in Athens, has been dedicated to culture, community, and education, with projects that can effectively inspire social change and justice across borders.



Lead project support for the first installment of Creative Time’s annual Open Call, The Privilege of Escape, is generously provided by Stephanie and Tim Ingrassia, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Suzanne and Bob Cochran, an anonymous donor, and 158 Kickstarter backers.


Thank you to Creative Time’s consultants and team.


Brian Aldous, Lighting Designer

Marcelo Anez, Sound Designer

Rachel Elizabeth Cargle, Consultant

Avi Dobkin, Lighting Assistant

Dave Jones, Set Fabricator

Brett Kuehner, Puzzle and Technical Consultant

Tyler McKay, Puzzle Fabricator

The SHISANWU, Puzzle Fabricator

Brett G. Stoudt, PhD, Consultant

Ran Xia, Playwright and Director



Instagram: @CreativeTime @RisaPuno

Twitter: @CreativeTime


#PrivilegeOfEscape #CreativeTime #RisaPuno



Marcella Zimmermann

Vice President, Cultural Counsel


Ali Rigo

Account Executive, Cultural Counsel