During the month of October 2008, the fourth annual Art in Odd Places will present Pedestrian on 14th Street, Manhattan - the great divider between uptown/downtown and highbrow/lowbrow. From the East River to the Hudson River, artists of all mediums will encourage the masses of daily pedestrians to rediscover this corridor of diverse commerce, including Union Square, historical site of social and political activism. Projects will explore connections between public spaces, pedestrian traffic, and ephemeral transient disruptions. Like a scavenger hunt, New Yorkers will use a map to discover art in unexpected places along this amazing street.
A stoop sale is laid out on a blanket located outside a building where Marcel Duchamp once had a studio. The items in the stoop sale are common objects, but they also could be taken as "poor cousins" of some of Duchamp's readymades.
Time/Location: Saturday, October 11, 18, 25 (11am-5pm). 210 W 14th Street btwn Sixth & Seventh Avenues.
Ethan Crenson is an artist who lives and works in Brooklyn. His last Art in Odd Places exhibition was in 2005, where a "Trojan Purse" was paraded across St. Mark's Place and left parked in the grass in Thompkins Square Park.
A box of books labeled "Free Books" is deposited at various 14th Street locations. A seeming act of generosity, the artist has removed the last few pages from each book. The alteration will only become apparent to the reader after he or she has nearly finished the book, converting the cast-off into a statement of art.
Time/Location: Ongoing throughout October. Four undisclosed locations on 14th Street.
Eric Doeringer is a Brooklyn-based artist. He has had solo exhibitions in New York at Apex Art, Soma NYC, as well as locations in LA, Miami, Toronto, Spain, Switzerland, and Prague.
The artist's work highlights the effects of the city's transformation by covering her face with clippings and media associated with housing changes occurring in New York City. These changes bring revitalization but in some cases displacement, devastation, and anonymity. Engaging different people from all economic and cultural backgrounds, the project asks the question of how housing development changes to the city's demographics as well as its landscape.
Time/Location: Sunday, October 5, 12, 19, 26 (12-5pm). 14th Street btwn First Avenue & Avenue A.
Alicia Grullón is a Bronx-based artist. A recipient of the Franklin Furnace Archive Award and the Chashama Visual Arts Award, her work has been exhibited at Mount Holyoke College's Five College Women's Studies Research Center, the Samuel Dorsky Museum, the Hunter College Gallery, and the University of Rhode Island.
The project uses one thousand mirror tiles to pay homage to an area of 14th Street known for its speakeasies, dance clubs, and a seedier side of life. In this time of gentrification and ordinariness this installation will strive to bring a little "glitz" back to this popular thoroughfare.
Time/Location: Ongoing throughout October. 14th Street & Ninth Avenue.
Terry S. Hardy is an Atlanta based painter, sculptor and installation artist. He has participated in over sixty exhibitions, with Glitz as his third installation in NYC. Thanks to Liberace's "Silver Mirror Outfit".
"Personal Space" tape is used to cordon off areas in which pedestrians may claim their own space. Installed on 14th Street, people can use and interpret the personal space designated by the tape any way that fits their needs. The tape will also be handed out so that anyone may create his or her own personal space.
Time/Location: Thursday, October 1, 8, 22. Random locations along 14th Street.
Illegal Art, started in the summer of 2001, is a collaboration of artists whose goal is to create interactive public art to inspire self-reflection, thought, and human connection. To address this goal of engaging a broad population the artists employ many different strategies including postering, performance, and one-on-one unmediated provocation.
Broken, abandoned, and mundane objects along 14th Street are painted a metallic gold color. By painting these stationary items gold, the artists bring pedestrians' attention to the forgotten relics that otherwise disappear into the urban periphery.
Time/Location: Ongoing throughout October. 22, 247, & 526 E 14th Street; SE corner W 14th Street & Tenth Avenue.
Kenny Komer and Boris Rasin work in a variety of media including painting, drawing, photography, digital art, sculpture, and installation. They have collaborated on sculptural installations since 2004, having met while attending the Cooper Union School of Art. Thanks to Rolco Labs & w. h. Kemp.
Litter gathered from 14th Street tree wells is cleaned, documented and placed in scientific display boxes. Affixed to its corresponding parkway tree in a display case, the objects become an archeological record of the immediate past.
Time/Location: Friday, Saturday and Sunday, October 10-12, 17-19, 24-26 (9am-6pm). 36 E 14th Street between Avenues A and B / 246 E 14th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues; 12 E 14th Street between University Place and 5th Avenue; 412 W 14th Street between 9th and 10th Avenues.
Michael Knierim has always been a forager, assessing the surroundings by amassing information and objects. His works are an artistic expression of his findings, a chance to share his emotional responses to discoveries with the general public.
Mutilated stuffed animals soaked in dirty water are placed at 14th Street locations. The fabric carcasses resemble the aftermath of real animals that have been hit by a vehicle but delve further into psychological symbolism as the viewers realize the uncannily realistic animals are made out of cloth.
Time/Location: Saturday, October 11, 18, 25 (12-4pm). 14th Street btwn University Place & Broadway; btwn Third & Sixth Avenues; btwn Ninth &Tenth Avenues.
L. Mylott Manning lives and works in New York City. She holds a B.F.A. from Rhode Island School of Design. Her artwork incorporates qualities of absurd humor, while addressing complex issues such as dysfunction and the search for belonging.
Garbage found along 14th Street is painted gold with the goal of transforming all the street refuse in a given day into a precious object.
Time/Location: Friday-Sunday, October 3-5; 10-12; 17-19; 24-26. (12-5pm). All of 14th Street.
Renny Molenaar's work has appeared at the Neuberger Museum, the Spazi Contemporary Art Artists Space, Bullet Space, the Brecht Forum, Lehman College Art Gallery, Fashion Moda, Longwood Arts Project, and the Nuyorican Poets Café. He has created numerous installations and interventions in the streets, rooftops, and other alternative spaces.
Brightly colored tape outlines rectangular shapes in the urban landscape. In a city made up of rectangular buildings, windows, and blocks the artist plays with a shape that is symbolic of New York City. In the attempt to draw attention to forgotten dimensions and overlooked layers, he creates reminders and portals with cubes that allow pedestrians to see the lines they are surrounded by in a new light.
Time/Location: Saturday, October 4, 11, 18, 25. (12-2pm). Bricks, sidewalks, crosswalks, windowsills, and other locations on 14th Street.
Aakash Nihalani is a Brooklyn-based artist and designer. His recent work explores the use of colored industrial tape as a medium for street art.
An outdoor photo studio is set up in Union Square and the Meatpacking District. A special UV filter is used to take portraits of people on the street, so as to offer members of the public a chance to see their possible future and reconsider the fear of flaws that pervades our society
Time/Location: Thursday, Friday, October 16, 17. Union Square; Friday, Saturday, October 24, 25. 14th Street & Ninth Avenue. (10am-1 pm & 3-5pm).
Cara Phillips is a Brooklyn-based photographer. A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, she also writes a photo blog and is the co-founder/curator of Women in Photography, an online exhibition project featuring the work of emerging and established female artists.
Small yellow-brass coins bearing a new symbol for happiness are strategically placed to be found, picked up, and taken by pedestrians. The coin image is based on international symbols seen on signs throughout world locations such as airports, parks, banks and bathrooms. The inscribed message is: "In finding, found; your happiness."
Time/Location: Saturday, October 4, 11, 18, 25 (11am-3pm). SW corner of Union Square at 14th Street btwn University Place & Broadway.
Jan Lynn Sokota was born in Manhassett, New York. She graduated from New York University's Gallatin School in 1999 with an MA and earned her BFA from SUNY Purchase. She has worked as an editor in Broadcast News since 1988.
Pedestrians pick up postcards from participating businesses along 14th Street: one side of the card has a picture of an unusual object to find on 14th Street. There is text on the reverse describing the object's function and clues about how to find it. This search forces the pedestrian to engage with the street in a completely different way by looking at the ground to see what normally remains unseen.
Time/Location: Ongoing throughout October. 9 W 14th Street; 7, 209, 325, 328 E 14th Street .
Margot Spindelman is a painter living and working in New York City. She is represented by the Katharina Rich Perlow Gallery. Special thanks to Malcolm Leach and Joel Gil.
Paper picture frames placed around everyday objects construct an atmosphere and establish a context for understanding and interpreting the artistic nature of an object. In this case, the ordinary and unremarkable are given the importance of a work of art, and pedestrians are offered something to reflect on as they go about their daily lives.
Time/Location: Ongoing throughout October. 14th Street btwn First & Third Avenues.
Elena Stojanova is an MFA student at the City College of New York. She works primarily in urban areas and has taken part in several international exhibitions. Her work appears in Graffiti Women: Street Art from Five Continents.
A large sequin-covered log is rolled from one end of Manhattan to the other on 14th Street. This process intends to provoke spontaneous interactions with pedestrians, as well as leaving a physical trail of sequins and log parts that happen to fall off during the piece.
Time/Location: Saturday, Sunday, October 25, 26. (9am-9pm). Beginning at 14 Street & Avenue D.
Benjamin Bellas and Justin Cooper are interested in constructing narratives around actions that playfully rupture the membrane of quotidian life. They have worked together on numerous projects and have shown both nationally and internationally in galleries in Los Angeles, Chicago, Hong Kong, and Vancouver. Thanks to Stuart Keeler.
The artist walks the length of 14th Street, from Avenue D to the Hudson, with a small wooden chair bound to his left foot. Tied under the foot with the heel to the seat, the artist walks among the crowds with an awkward gait, rising above his natural height with the chair as a hindrance and vantage point.
Time/Location: Saturday, October 11, 25. (3-5pm). Beginning at 14th Street & Avenue D.
Matthew Blair lives and works in New York and advocates a difficult re-examination of context known as Post-Art. He has shown work and performed internationally. He is co-founder of Samizdat and the Sanctuary of Hope in Ridgewood, Queens.
In these walking performances the artist wears and removes multiple layers of ski masks that cover her face. The masks represent layers of perceptional distortion and the "suffocating never-ending presence of our own selves," which includes notions of identity and sexuality. This project addresses the masks people wear in everyday life: how we choose to show ourselves as well as how we choose to see others.
Time/Location: Saturday, October 11, 18, 25 (12-2pm). 14th Street btwn First & Eighth Avenues.
Arielle Falk is a Brooklyn-based video and performance artist. A recent graduate of New York City's Eugene Lang College with a major in Performance Studies, her work deals with themes of identity, sexuality, personal danger and endurance, disconnection, comedy, masochism, and voyeurism.
Performers dressed as an 18th century Dutch peasant and a 19th century Victorian dandy perform a historically symbolic ritual on the extreme ends of Manhattan. The peasant, representing the earlier setting of farmland and meandering village streets, pours earth and water from the East River over the image of New York's organized grid drawn by the dandy. The odd couple and their ritual demonstrate the opposing sides of New York Cities evolution, specifically the 1811 Commissioner's Plan which created the grid above 14th Street.
Time/Location: Saturday, October 4, 18, 25 (12pm). North side of 14th Street & Avenue C. (1pm) South side of 14th Street at Ninth Avenue & Hudson.
Patrick Grenier has created an interdisciplinary body of work that probes the role of artists in society to foster change. The artist states, "Art is the imagining of possibilities, a glimpse at a reality that could be." His aim is to juxtapose socio-cultural situations to stimulate discussion and challenge dominant forces.
Performers wearing black, custom-made costumes modeled after generic road sign graphics walk and hold impromptu performances, blending social commentary, sculpture, comedy, and beauty to create an unforgettable 14th Street experience. This project is an ongoing performance work originally created in 1989.
Time/Location: Saturday, October 4 (2-5pm); 11 (3-6pm); 25 (2-6pm). 14th Street btwn First & Ninth Avenues.
Yvette Helin is an artist and costume designer who always had an interest in exhibiting her work in public places. Her initial Pedestrian Project was an answer to her desires and has been performed worldwide.
An interactive performance inspired by the regalia of school crossing guards as fashion police. The goal is to have pedestrians to "fit" their neighborhood stylistically: Guards will tuck or un-tuck a shirt, improvise a Mohawk, apply eyeliner, affix designer labels, roll or unroll hems of pants, etc. These actions will illuminate the drastic cultural shifts of the area, while also questioning the authenticity of personal expression and challenging the pedestrians' personal space.
Time/Location: Saturday, Sunday, October 11, 12 (12-3pm; 6-8pm). 14th Street & Eighth Avenue.
Sara Holwerda is drawn to the surreal, costumed and choreographed events occurring in daily life. She lives and works in Chicago. A native New Yorker, Nick Tobier is a lifelong participant-observer of street life and the social life of public places. He is an assistant professor at the University of Michigan.
The artist drags a log across 14th Street. In transit, the log will erode slightly, leaving a line drawn across Manhattan. By bringing nature and physical labor to the urban landscape, the artist opens a dialogue on what constitutes "work" in New York City, as well as the disconnect from the natural landscape.
Time/Location: Saturday, October 25 (10am-3pm). 14th Street beginning at Avenue D.
Ken James co-founded Fellow Travelers Performance Group in 1992 to create a hybrid of traditional and experimental dance theater, involving the voices of choreographers, dancers, musicians, visual artists, directors and actors. Their work charts human interactions, the place of the individual in society, power and image.
A mime performance of a continuous wall tagging, the projection of a stop motion film by a hidden projector mimics spray paint markings. As the video is projected, the artist appears to repeatedly write on the wall "It's ok, it's only art," followed by a red circle encompassing an "A". This symbol normally represents anarchy however in this performance the artist shifts the meaning of the symbol to Artarchy.
Time/Location: Friday, October 3; Saturday,Sunday, October 11 & 12; Thursday-Sunday, October 16-19; Wednesday, Friday-Monday, October 22 & 24-27 (6-8pm). 412 E 14th Street.
Jesse La Flair's is a New York-based artist whose work covers mixed mediums, performance, and sculpture. He searches to captures the emotional experience and beauty within single moments.
A series of collaborative cell phone movie events explore and reflect urban public space. Just as some of the earliest moving images ever made document scenes on 14th Street, participants are asked to shoot video with their cell phones in the same locations. Each event's videos are combined into a single finished work that can be viewed at www.collectivesight.org.
Time/Location: Saturday, October 11 (11am). South side of 14th Street & Broadway; Sunday, October 19 (2pm). SW corner Union Square; October 26 (2pm). E 14th Street & Fifth Avenue.
Katherin McInnis works with video and photography, studying issues of public space, landscape, and community histories. Her projects have been shown internationally in museums, galleries, and film festivals and she works with the art collective Neighborhood Public Radio.
A television monitor placed in a street-level cafe window displays live video feed of a nearby busy sidewalk. The artist and friends appear on camera and carry out a series of actions to highlight and disrupt the ordinary behaviors of pedestrians.
Time/Location: Friday, October 3, 17 (4-6pm); Saturday, October 18 (4-6pm). 348 W 14th Street.
Laura Napier's photographs reveal how objects, architecture, and invisible social codes influence the behavior of people in public places. She has shown at The Bronx Museum of the Arts, PS122 Gallery, and the Bronx River Art Center. Thanks to DubSpot Café.
The artist, dressed in coveralls and an orange safety vest, will walk on a planned route around Union Square while distributing graphic buttons and window clings honoring Union Square history. Central to the history of the labor movement in the United States, 14th Street was the site of New York City's first Labor Day Parade in 1882, a protest that ended at the southwest corner of Union Square.
Time/Location: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday, October 3-5 (9am-5pm). The perimeter of Union Square.
Calla Thompson is a Baltimore-based artist who examines the ways in which power is enacted and exchanged. Working with mixed media, her works have been exhibited in South America, the United States, and Canada, including New York and Toronto.
While wearing a white Korean funeral dress, the artist wanders 14th Street carrying a skeleton. The physicality and appearance of the girl and skeleton moving from place to place intends to provoke the sentiment of the city to confront death resulting from the brutality of the current political situation, revealing the overlooked truth that death is ever-present in our contemporary society.
Time/Location: Saturday, October 4, 11, 18, 25 (2- 4 pm). 14th Street btwn Union Square & Second Avenue.
Yoonhye Park explores the cultural landscape measuring its surroundings with her own body in order to create visual language. Her artistic interests are often expressed within the communal elements of the public space, examining the consequence of seeking an identity while under the constraints of societal and political pressures.
The artist walks, stands still, cavorts, rolls around, and lies on the sidewalk in a costume made of trash. A videographer will document pedestrian reactions and non-reactions to the idea of "human garbage" and inanimate trash that gets ignored, walked on, blocked out, cursed and thrown onto the streets of America on a daily basis in epidemic proportions.
Time/Location: Saturday, October 4, 11, 18, 25 (2-5pm). All of 14th Street beginning at Avenue D.
Edith Raw is a poet, performance and visual artist originally from Chicago. She has performed and exhibited in a variety of venues in Chicago, New York City, Washington D.C., and Albuquerque, NM.
Volunteer teams sweep the sidewalks starting from the extreme ends of 14th Street. Using brooms and wearing cleaning gloves the artists push the debris from East or West continuously until they reach Union Square, where the dirt and grime will be carted away. Intending to "activate the space," the project plays with the expected roles and unsaid rules that come along with partitioning the "high brow" and "low brow" of public spaces.
Time/Location: Saturday, October 4 & 18 (12-4pm). 14th Street btwn First & Tenth Avenues; October 11 (12-4pm). 56 W 14th Street.
Meaning Cleaning is collaboration between Hayley Severns and Angela Rose Voulgarelis Illgen. They have collectively cleaned public spaces since 2006. Performing together, they document the process of activating public spaces, taking responsibility for shared environments, and bringing notions of domestic work into public spheres.
A series of boxes painted in bright colors are continually loaded, unloaded and moved from one place to another on a cart. The normally mundane job takes center stage as the delivery moves at a high speed and with no clear destination. Pedestrians will be forced to interact with the "moving" process while the colorful delivery boxes continue to question: who sent them, to whom do they belong to?
Time/Location: Friday, October 3 (2pm-6pm); Sunday, October 26 (10am-2pm). 14th Street btwn Union Square and Seventh Avenue.
Miryana Todorova, originally from Sofia, Bulgaria, lives and works in New York. Her work studies crowds and situations of social interaction, crossing boundaries in public space. Her projects combine painting with direct public interventions which have taken place internationally in Sofia, London, Rome, Barcelona and New York.
Hatuey Ramos-Fermín, born in the Dominican Republic and currently based in New York, explores notions of migration and globalization through performance, video, photography, sculpture, and installation. His work traces the meaning of a shared public-private space in relation to cultural specificity. Thanks to Daniela Kostova, Stanislava Georgieva, David Ricart, Anne Phillips-Krug, Toby Klinger, Philip Dusel, Ivar Theorin, Jabari Owens-Bailey, Nobutaka Aozaki, Clark Stoeckley and many others.
Two performers walk the length of 14th Street from East to West, directly across the street from each other wearing the same 1868 era full-skirted day dress. The performers' mirror movements but different surface patterns reflect the dichotomies of uptown/downtown and highbrow/lowbrow and the changing face of New York City through time.
Time/Location: Sunday, October 5, 12, 19, 26 (1-2pm). All of 14th Street beginning at Avenue D.
Gretchen Vitamvas has been based in Brooklyn for the past 10 years. She received an MFA from Queens College/CUNY and a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University. Her recent group shows include Vested Interest at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygen and Pathogeographies (Or Other Peoples Baggage) at Gallery 440, UIC, Chicago.
The artist rides the L train on a swing that doubles as a bag. In a refusal to use her eyes to identify or condemn others, the project encourages collective imagination, taking the monotonous commute to the playground with an innocent game.
Time/Location: Saturday, Sunday, October 11, 12; 25, 26 (3-5pm). Last car, L train btwn First & Eighth Avenues.
A graduate of Cooper Union and a recipient of the school's Elliott Lash Award in sculpture, Caroline Woolard's work examines subjectivity in architecture, art, and design. She has been involved in other psychogeographic events including New York's Conflux Festival.
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