The artist’s installations of shrines in Manhattan’s East Village honor people who lived and died in the neighborhood.

Over several days, people brought flowers and left them by the candles to pay homage to the individuals noted on the tags.

This project, called Open Ceremony and presented by Trust Art, is an exploration of ceremony, ritual, and idolatry through site-specific performative and interactive installations (dubbed by the artist as “social shrines”) throughout Lower Manhattan.

Legacy Russell’s work reinterprets ritual in the modern age. Russell is curating a group exhibition this fall called American Idolatry which brings together installation and public programming to transform The Invisible Dog Art Center in Brooklyn into a house of worship. American Idolatry is on view from October 29 through November 6, 2011.

Listen to Russell discuss her work in the debut video of Guernica’s new interview series, Studio Visit.

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