CRITICAL HALLOWEEN : On Banality, on Metaphor Saturday, October 27 10pm til Late The Autumn Bowl 67 West Street, Greenpoint, Brooklyn The second annual Critical Halloween hosted by the Storefront for Art and Architecture promises to generate a spooky skyline on Saturday. Mixing in a new theme of "Metaphor" with last year's banner of "Banality," guests are invited to critique and comment through costume. Judging by 2011 event (see below), it's the ultimate cathartic carnival for all things architecture and design. Get inspired here. TICKETS $40 Students $100 Everybody Else TICKETS INCLUDE: Admission + Open Bar + Costume Competition Enrollment + Complimentary One-Year Membership to Storefront With: Photography by Naho Kubota Installation curated by NBNY Music by dj N-Ron, Jon Santos and "The Usual Band" Open Bar Costume Competition juried by : Saskia Bos, Alejandro Zaera Polo, Charles Renfro and Eva Franch
Posts tagged with "Storefront for Art and Architecture":
Aesthetics/Anesthetics Storefront for Art and Architecture 97 Kenmare Street Through July 28 Storefront for Art and Architecture presents 30 newly commissioned drawings of its gallery space by emerging and established architects, now being auctioned on the Storefront website through Saturday. The gallery is plastered in wallpaper composed of images sourced from architectural drawings produced in the past ten years and describes graphic tools deployed to express properties of drawing that the architectural drawing itself cannot represent, such as birds suggesting movement or green surfaces conveying ecologic awareness. Curator and director of Storefront Eva Franch writes in a statement, “An image (and its after-image) carries within itself a history or performative script of characters, discourses, and conventions. During the last ten years there has been a resurgence of certain representational devices and clichés that operate almost as placeholders or decorative devices to an architecture unable to draw itself.”
The Woolworth Building just a few short blocks from Zuccotti Park—the spiritual home of the Ocuppy movement—was itself bathed in radical red last night to celebrate the iconic "red" work of Barbara Krueger and Bernard Tschumi. The two celebrated figures were being honored by the Storefront for Art and Architecture at their annual Spring fundraiser. The yearly event always brings out a fun mix of young and distinguished professionals who come to support the Storefront and drink with friends and collegues. For the event last night everyone was asked to wear something red, and many did including Rick Scofidio who had one long red sock rolled over his pants leg, Archigramer Mike Webb carried around a red tequila laced drink, and Bernard Tschumi wore his iconic red scarf. Storefront board president Charles Renfro (with sorta red glasses) and Beatrice Colomina introduced Tschumi and Kruger at the top of the building's grand marble staircase, but the echo in the room made it impossible to hear a single word of their introductions. Never mind everyone on the staircase looked so fashionable, especially the resplendent Storefront Director Eva Franch. Ms. Franch, who makes all of her own clothes, wore a brilliant red, loopy draped dress that could only come out of the inspired mind of a Catalan like Ms. Franch. View more photos of the event at Storefront's Facebook page.
In the hustle and bustle of city life, sometimes it's hard to find the time to visit a museum. Luckily for time-strapped New Yorkers, a massive copy of Michelangelo's David was trucked around Manhattan on Tuesday, stopping off at the Storefront for Art and Architecture for a manifesto series called "Double" exploring the implications of creating copies, fakes, and replicas before heading to its new home at the 21c Museum Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky. This David, by conceptual artist Serkan Ozkaya is a copy of a copy of the original Florentine model, reimagined twice as tall and painted gold, making it the perfect centerpiece for the evening. Ozkaya's David (inspired by Michelangelo) was originally destined for the 2005 Istanbul Biennial, built of foam from a 3-D digital scan of the original statue by a professor at Stanford. At the time Ozkaya delighted in the notion of copying a work of art without ever having seen the original. After six months of construction, though, the 30-foot-tall David collapsed. Two fiberglass replicas were fashioned from the remains of the original copy, of which Louisville's David is one. Bringing art into the streets has been somewhat of an obsession for 21c founders Steve Wilson and Laura Lee Brown and their chief curator Alice Gray Stites. Outside of their own museum, the three also run Art Without Walls (AWW), bringing art to the streets of Louisville and into the daily lives of its citizens. AWW previously brought Ozkaya to Louisville to hand-render the front page of the city's daily newspaper, the Courier-Journal. At the 21c, Wilson, Brown, and Stites like to push the boundaries of 21st century art, often provoking self-reflection. "Our projects might come up with a better feeling for acceptance and tolerance," Wilson said. "Today we were very successful. I was quoted saying 'penis' in the New York Times." Similarly, Ozkaya is pushing the boundaries of authorship with the double David. Reactions to work selected for the 21c tend to draw strong reactions, and that was the case on Tuesday as the statue made its way through the city. The day got to an eventful start when the driver took the wrong toll lane on the George Washington Bridge from New Jersey, requiring the trailer to back up and causing quite a traffic situation. "A policeman came up—very angry," said Wilson. "I think he was provoked by the nakedness he saw." In front of Storefront, however, crowds gathered in stunned amusement, cellphone cameras in hand. While cameras continued to flash into the night, Ozkaya and a panel of architects and theorists including curator and writer Christopher Eamon, architect Cristina Goberna of Fake Industries, P.S.1 founder and director of the Clocktower Gallery Alanna Heiss, Princeton professor Spyros Papapetros, Hyperallergic editor Hrag Vartanian, and architect and theorist Ines Weizman gathered in front of a packed house to discuss the "Double." The panel gave context to the concept copying, from the endless iterations of Greek temples to Andy Warhol hiring his own double to stand in for him at events. "In 2012, this is one of the most original practices as a methodology of engaging with the history that lies behind us," Storefront director Eva Franch noted. Before any manifesto was delivered, however, an internet clip was shown from Hennesy Youngman where two David statuettes spray-painted black and yellow were transformed into a work of art in a matter of minutes. "The easy part is makin' it," Youngman noted. "The hard part is giving it cultural context." Now, after a brief visit to the Armory Show, David (inspired by Michelangelo) is on its way home to Louisville where it will be displayed atop a 15-foot-tall pedestal in a high-traffic area of downtown near the 21c Museum Hotel. And if you're wondering what Wilson told the Times, there's a souvenir necklace recalling the famous modesty of the replica David at London's Victoria and Albert Museum. "We're producing a necklace" with two pendants, Wilson said. "One is the fig lead and one is the penis. They're on order." A short film by Squaring Off from MyBlockNYC.
The Storefront for Art and Architecture launched Ingredients of Reality: Dismantling of New York City last Tuesday night. The show features work by Lan Tuazon, whose bio reads that she was born in the Philippine Islands and "lives and works in New York whether she likes it or not." It would seem from the show, that she likes it--but with reservations. Through a series of seemingly disparate works, Tuazon calls attention to how real estate decisions have the ability to divide the New Yorkers economically and socially. The piece exemplifying what Storefront's website calls the "repressive logic of property" is "New York City Bar Graph." The installation uses a series of building models, not all necessarily based on the same scale. The models are separated onto different shelves. Sprinkled among some of the more recognizable buildings, like the Chrysler and One World Trade, are several proposed buildings that haven't been built yet. Separated onto its own shelf are the unmistakable forms of public housing complexes. That shelf is dwarfed by the many long shelves devoted to corporate architecture. The artist's commentary is clear: the amount energy the city devotes to corporate square feet far exceeds efforts for public housing. A good chunk of the show addresses the automotive landscape. Two sculptures placed on the floor of the gallery deal with existing parking lots. One wooden sculpture forms an typographical island derived from the city's parking lots, while a similar "landmass" formation made of foam invites visitors to sprawl out on territory that was heretofore verboten for lounging. The most dynamic piece in the show is a wrought iron sculpture called "Architecture of Defense." For the average city dweller the piece looks a tree guard gone awry. Three concentric layers of wrought iron fences culminate with a circular fence at the center whose exclamatory gesture seem more celebratory than threatening. Eva Franch, the gallery's director, compared the piece to the temporary fencing that remained around the circumference of Zuccotti Park several weeks after the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators had been evicted. Likewise, Franch said that the show as whole deals with "different notions of protection, what's public and private--not just for you and me but for us and them." Ingredients of Reality runs through April 12.
"Banality," the theme of Storefront's Critical Halloween costume fundraiser, was manifested in an array of clever--and occasionally perplexing--forms on Saturday evening at the 3-Legged Dog in Manhattan. Blizzard-like conditions did not deter a group of over 250 design-o-philes and at least one (in)famous party crasher from getting decked out in spandex, foam, plush, rubber, tulle, and acres of cardboard. The weather did prevent Liz Diller from arriving to judge the costume contest, but her fearless partner Charles Renfro stepped into the breach, and channeling Damien Hirst in a rhinstone-studded skull mask ("Greed"), took his place alongside judges Wangechi Mutu (embodying Pantone's "Bluebird") and Justin Davidson (dressed as an architecture critic). Each of the three judges picked a winner, and all the winners happened to come in pairs: "Eyes of the Beholder" (Lisa and Ted Landrum); "1:1 Human Scale, male + female" (Kyle May and Julia van den Hout); and the intriguing "Doll Face" (Mark Kroeckel/moustache and Alison Cutlan). Some architects riffed on their own current work in the costumes (Jing Liu/SO-IL, Meissen exhibition) while others seem to reflect more a state of mind (Bjarke Ingels/BIG, King Kong with colleague Daniel as the Empire State Building; Mitch Joachim/Terreform1 as "Not Bucky"). Now Storefront and Domus are sponsoring an online People's Choice contest. Whose costume gets your vote for most critically banal? See the line-up here.
The closest thing we have to Carnival in the US, Halloween offers a chance for type A-types (yeah, we're looking at you, architects) to blow off some steam. Tomorrow night, Storefront for Art and Architecture's hosts its Critical Halloween costume soiree at the 3-Legged Dog at 80 Greenwich St. The theme? Banality! Lest you thought this might be an eggheads-'round-the-punchbowl affair, be aware that this party just made New York Observer's list of New York's 10 Hottest Halloween Events to Die For alongside fetes hosted by the likes of model Miranda Kerr and V Magazine. With a live performance by the Danish band Hess is More, costume prizes bestowed by a jury including architecture critic Justin Davidson of New York Magazine (no banal costume ideas? Go to NY mag's "Approval Matrix" archive and peruse the lower left quadrants), and a stunning array of drink sponsors ponying up not just beer but rum, whiskey, vodka, AND (uh-oh) tequila, we think Storefront's event is going to take banal to new heights (depths?). Tickets are $100 (which includes a year-long membership to Storefront), and students tickets are $40. Because Halloween is all about banality--it just takes architects to make a point of it.
It was a low-key but engaging evening at The Storefront for Art & Architecture on Thursday at the opening reception for Marina Ballo Charmet's peculiarly-titled exhibition of photos and a video, At Land: Bodyscape & Cityscape. Trained as a psychoanalyst, Charmet's work is driven by her self-professed interest in "inattentive, unintentional observation, irrational and without direction." As you might guess from the exhibition's title, the works on display range in scale from the extremely intimate to the nearly impersonal, and were culled from four separate series the artist has been compiling since the mid-1990s. Their common denominator, explains curator Jean-Francois Chevrier in the text that accompanies the show, is Charmet's proclivity to move "at land, to quote the first film by Maya Deren. [...] She makes her way as one would sail, through cities and parks, among bodies, giving her pictures an oceanic and kinematic dimension." There's something inherently appealing, sexy even, about just setting the gaze to sweep, and exploring the world by evenly skimming the surface of things, regardless of scale or context. In staging the exhibition, Charmet and Chevrier make great use of Storefront's distinctive triangular footprint, balancing smaller prints that focus on Charmet's wide-scope work, namely images taken in some of the greatest parks in Europe and the Americas, with larger prints depicting extreme close-ups of necks and clavicles and stubbly chins. A single video piece, placed on a low pedestal, provides a noisy focal point at the narrow end of the space. The centerpieces, of course, are close-cropped images of the business end of big anonymous buildings that would make both the Smithsons and Darth Vader equally proud—titanic, weather-stained expanses of unyielding concrete, framed at imposing angles. For all her stated interest in "inattentive, unintentional observation," Charmet's photos retain a calculated composition of a kind that's totally absent from, say, the work of a photographer like Daido Moriyama, whose early Provoke-era photos were so spare and without composition, teetering menacingly between accident and nihilism, that it's still tremendously influential today. The kind of work Charmet is doing isn't exactly breaking any new ground, but the juxtaposition of scales and surfaces is very pleasant nonetheless. When she hits the mark, Charmet's sense of composition recalls the odd, disorienting, and occasionally claustrophobic framings that are the trademark of the Argentinian filmmaker Lucrecia Martel, whose films are always beguiling and about as contemporary as you can get. Viewed together, as it is at the Storefront, this seeming hodge podge coalesces into a concrete whole. At the opening, a small-by-Storefront-standards crowd gathered, though the space's co-designer Vito Acconci did make an appearance. Chevrier cheerfully welcomed guests and gave a brief, improvised introduction to Charmet's approach to the photographic process. He pointed out that Charmet's work has much to do with the gaze (she's a psychoanalyst after all), and he underscored the unique angle of her work's photographic perspective (it evokes the view of a dog, or a child crawling). With a casual air redolent of the works on the wall, Chevrier invited those assembled to enjoy the "fritto misto" of Charmet's works, well-complemented by the wine guests helped themselves to as outside the rain that had threatened all evening finally began in earnest.
The Storefront for Art and Architecture was founded in 1982 in a small, street-level space on Prince Street. Kyong Park, the founder of the gallery, created a cheaply reproduced catalogue or “newsletter” that he circulated to a mailing list to announce exhibitions. Now the Storefront has published a $69 limited-edition version of the newsletter Storefront Newsprints 1982–2009. It will serve as the definitive archive of this important gallery, but current Storefront director Joseph Grima said that the effort is missing a single newsletter for the 1988 exhibition From Destruction to Construction that documents projects by the Japanese artist Tadashi Kawamata. Grima will give a free book to anyone who can locate the missing newsprint, and he can be contacted at 212-431-5795.
Kevin Greenberg sends us another insightful dispatch from Kenmare Street: Last Tuesday, the Storefront for Art and Architecture felt like a satellite campus of the GSD as Harvard students and other Cambridgians joined locals at the Storefront for a release party for the second issue of New Geographies, a doctoral student-edited periodical recently launched by the GSD’s Aga Khan Program. The editors of New Geographies, Neyran Turan and Stephan Ramos, told us that they had several meanings in mind when they chose the theme for the second issue. Titled “After Zero,” the issue centers on the slippery idea of a “zero point." The editors cite zero carbon and “zero context” urban developments (or “cities from scratch”) as contemporary examples that force designers to question design methodologies and justifications. Nothing makes for compelling architectural discourse like a nice, open-ended theme. The zero in question might be seen as a tabula rasa from which to proceed, but it’s also a means of marking a significant event. In the context of the current climate, zero is also a code word for crisis. How should architects and designers re-frame interventions after the global economic downturn, in an age when the glitzy mega-developments that grew like crystals in the Persian Gulf suddenly seem like relics of a recently bygone age? What kind of models for future urbanism can we realistically project? These are among the questions that interest the journal’s editors and contributors. You have to hand it to them, too: “After Zero” is a handsome, considered object. Design duties were handled by NYC-based Thumb, who also manage graphic design for Princeton Architectural Press’s 306090, and they do a great job presenting articles from a host of notables, including Keller Easterling, Joseph Grima and Peter Hall. While a few contributors chose to focus on the bizarre urbanism of the Persian Gulf, the “geographies” analyzed really range in their scope and locale from the arctic to Africa, from China to goode olde Europe. Matthew Gandy’s article on French landscape architect Gilles Clement’s “paradise of weeds,” for example, is an interesting interpretation of the issue’s theme and will seem timely to anyone who’s recently visited the High Line. Turan and Ramos were on hand Tuesday to briefly present the new volume, and Harvard professor Hashim Sarkis offered a few words both on the significance of some of the nascent issues that are the theme of “After Zero” and of New Geographies itself. Sarkis gave a little insight into yet another shade of meaning of the “zero” in the volume’s title: It’s a nod to the survival of the journal itself. The inaugural issue of New Geographies, released last year, was numbered zero. Since, as Sarkis noted, many student-run publications start with the first issue and end with the first issue, the release of “After Zero” is cause for celebration indeed. Afterwards the audience sipped prosecco and queued up to purchase copies of the journal, which quickly sold out.
Architect and man about town Kevin Greenberg sends along this dispatch from Kenmare Street. Reef, a new kinetic installation at the Storefront for Art and Architecture, exists at the intersection of “the super-exclusive and the trite,” according to its creators, Rob Ley and Joshua Stein. Composed primarily of densely-packed rows of lightweight fins anchored by Shape Memory Alloys (SMAs) across a metal armature, Reef simulates the unmistakable movement of muscle on bone, eschewing the jerky mechanical inelegance of a previous age in favor of bio-mimesis and the “semi-conscious willfulness” of a school of startled guppies or a field of flowers in thrall to the sun. The materials that afford Reef its movement profile (each fin commands a 160-degree range of motion) have previously been applied to both military technology and cheap toys—Stein and Ley initially were inspired by a $10 plastic butterfly—imbuing the system with a pleasant friction between the high and low. Reef’s ambiguity extends beyond its material composition. By design, Reef occupies a grey area between sculpture and structure, and its subtle, fluid movements evoke a basic form of life. Stein and Ley hope that those who encounter Reef will be forced to engage it in an unfamiliar way—to, in their words, “befriend” the softly undulating fins, or to be repelled by them. For its creators, Reef represents a new model for architecture: sidestepping usefulness, it is a study for environment as companion, or at least co-presence. Stein and Ley envision users eventually experiencing a biokinetic environment like Reef in the same way one might approach an encounter with a domestic robot or other form of semi-sentient intelligence. “It’s a type of movement that connotes consciousness,” Ley told us. “Like a Venus flytrap, or a sea anemone.” And Stein added: “We asked ourselves, could you get the average person to project consciousness onto the installation?” Depending on your perspective, the elegant palpitation of the fins is, according to Ley, “creepy, sexy, friendly, or bizarre.” It’s also capricious. “We were very conscious that we were treading in a territory that’s the realm of novelty toys,” Stein says. At a glance, it’s clear that Reef’s moving parts are not in any sense functional. Although the architects concede that the technology that animates Reef could be tailored to a more practical application (they’ve been approached to conduct façade studies and climate control modeling), for Ley and Stein such concerns are beside the point. Reef is an attempt to create a new kind of relationship between structure and end user. For Stein and Ley, who both have training in the visual arts as well as architecture, Storefront was the perfect setting for Reef. From the street, Reef’s long, sinuous profile, with its rows of translucent plastic fins, contrasts beautifully with the hard angles of Storefront’s signature swiveling apertures. Lit from above, the installation takes on the luminous quality of an alien form nestled in the ocean’s silent depths. On Tuesday night, as curious visitors filled the space and (as is often the case at Storefront events) spilled out into the humid evening air, Reef’s fins billowed coolly beneath the lights, seductively evoking a quality of animal potential. Reef will be on display through August 1. And next Thursday, June 4th, Ley and Stein will make an appearance at Storefront to discuss Reef and their collaborative practice.
Postopolis! LA is onto the second day of its second year now, and from the looks of the streaming video, things are off to a great start. But the fun doesn't really start until tomorrow. Why? Because that's when we arrive! I've been invited to join the media panel Sunday, along with my beautiful Cali colleague Alissa Walker. Not exactly sure what we'll be talking about--*gulp*--but it's something along the lines of print-web integration/the future of media/doomsday/etc. After all, I was invited on Twitter. Speaking of which, if you want to follow along, you can certainly do it there--I'll do my damnest to figure out how to Tweet from my phone, which has so far been a resounding failure. And be sure to tune back in here for daily, if not hourly, dispatches; the full schedule is here. And you better be on-hand Saturday, when the panel airs at 6:20 p.m. PACIFIC time. (That's 9:20 p.m. for all you New Yorkers, because we all know you've all got nothing better to do on a Saturday night.) Don't have too much fun without me, and I'll try to do the same.