POST BY KAREN ARCHEY
The bodega view of Deli Storeroom, organized by Jesse Hamerman
Could I get a turkey sandwich with that laser-cut signature, please? So goes an increasingly likely New York conversation. The past year–perhaps due to its economic challenges–turned out a hoard of inventive exhibition-based projects around the city. Although alternative galleries are often nothing to write home about, the caliber of programming at several projects regularly surpasses that of their commercial counterparts. Those responsible include a heterogeneous band of art professionals: from assistant curators to gallery directors and project managers, as well as students. They are brought together by an innovative and often selfless interest in arts programming—a donation of time, effort, (and not to mention, good taste) to the New York community.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Readers may notice some details for upcoming programming are incomplete. Information will be added as it is received.
Installation view at Second Floor. Courtesy Second Floor
Second Floor organizers Kathryn Garcia and Sarvia Jasso don’t try to fit a square peg in a round hole. Their first pithily-titled show, Can’t Rape the Willing, provided various artists’ takes on–what else–sex, and what better venue to do this than an apartment space? Their next show, entitled SWF Seeking Same, is loosely based on the 1992 film later retitled Single White Female, and centers around the idea of obsession and the double. Participating artists include Vanessa Albury, Cara Benedetto, Catherine Czacki, Jamie Diamond, Kathryn Garcia, Nadja Verena Marcin, Georgia Sagri, and Dena Yago. Featuring some collaborative works made specifically for the show, it will be split into two parts–one at Second-Floor and one in an offsite location in Manhattan.
Art Since the Summer of ’69
Nils Bech performance still courtesy Art Since the Summer of ’69
Art Since the Summer of ’69 recently launched a pooch-themed show at their modest Lower East Side location and will soon venture to Performa touting the talent of Norwegian singing phenomenon Nils Bech. Bech, known for his quirky Baroque-style crooning, will “sing on demand” for the gallery’s installation at the performance biennial. See my recent article on Art Since the Summer of ’69 at Art in America online here.
The Deli Storeroom gets our (fictitious) award for most ingeniously located gallery space. True to its namesake, the back room of a Bushwick bodega plays host to the Deli Storeroom. Jesse Hamerman, an artist, curator, and project manager with Public Art Fund organized one previous show in the space titled Use Your Illusion, presenting works by himself, J.D. Walsh, Patrick Brennan, Sherri Caudell Brennan, and Ned Colclough. Hamerman’s schedule for the fall includes a show of five artists titled “The Real World,” featuring unframed imagery seeking to manifest a visceral response in their viewer.
Tobias Kaspar Take I, Take II, 2008. Film still. Image via Three’s Company
Located within roommates Alex Gartenfeld and Piper Marshall’s modestly sized Chinatown apartment, Three’s Company’s only two shows boast an outstanding lineup of artists. Richard Aldrich, Leigh Ledare, and Lisa Tan all exhibited in their first presentation, House Call, which was followed by an AIDS-3D solo exhibition. Three’s Company also offered me the most personal-yet-enjoyable experience I’ve possibly ever had in a contemporary art context: the pair showed Lisa Tan’s One Night Stand (Paris) in Marshall’s bedroom–a projector propped upon her bed with its image focused above her pillows. Tan’s black and white text-based video, recasting beautiful yet banal moments from a 24-hour trip to Paris, pairs perfectly with the intimate scene. Three’s Company next presents a celebrity-themed show of Asher Penn, also launching the artist’s book and PROVENCE magazine as one event October 5th.
Image via Cleopatra’s
Cleopatra’s, an alternative space programmed by four enterprising women–all from gallery or museum backgrounds–began in Greenpoint July of 2008. Unfortunately, we missed Cleopatra’s recent screening “Yes Bees, Yes Blueberries,” featuring “Every Third Bite,” a beekeeping documentary and nod to the summer Harris Lieberman exhibition “No Bees, No Blueberries” curated by Sarina Basta and Tyler Coburn. Hopefully this isn’t the last of their fall programming, as we’ve yet to hear what the ladies have in store for the rest of autumn. Nonetheless, we’re sure it will “bee” spectacular.
Apartment Show NY. Image via Time Out NY
Denise Kupferschmidt and Joshua Smith’s roving Apartment Show isn’t a “project space” per say. Rather, it’s a series of shows setting up shop in various (sometimes vacant) spaces in New York City for a single night. Their next show (location TBA), is titled “Real Love”, featuring work by Andres Laracuente, Kyle Knodell, Amanda Friedman, and Liz Marcus.
Installation view of Phantom Limb curated by Mari Spirito at 179 Canal, courtesy Margaret Lee
Margaret Lee verifiably turned crap into gold. After her office building suffered a severe fire in October 2008, most tenants vacated during reconstruction. Lee developed a relationship with her landlord, who in turn gave her free rent for the second floor of the building in exchange for renting out his unoccupied units. In effect, Lee became a real estate agent and gallerist at once, though she’d feel dubious about being coined the latter. Under the discretion of Lee–an assistant to Cindy Sherman–179 Canal gears more toward creating an accessible social space (parties included) than a project exhibition space. This Friday opens “TV Show” by Antoine Catala. 179 Canal will also participate in Performa 09 with a presentation by Yemenwed, a performance group, on November 7th. The following night includes a collaborative performance by Reena Spauling’s Emily Sundbland and Snöfrid, artist Ylva Ogland’s hyper-Scandinavian alter-ego who literally distilled a batch of vodka for the performance. The night, an “art world ideal,” describes Lee, will also be DJ’d by White Column’s Matthew Higgs.
NO CAREER accounts for another “spaceless” project that made our list and for good reason. The series of admission-free weekly lectures, organized by artists Dena Yago and Juan Olivares, features up-and-comers Richard Aldrich (who will speak next week), Jordan Wolfson, AIDS 3D, Leigh Ledare; as well as established artists Terence Koh and Ryan Trecartin. Taking place at Columbia University’s Watson Hall (612 W 115th St) on Wednesday nights, NO CAREER aims to “create a forum for conversation between early career artists and no career students.” We couldn’t be more excited.