LOST AND FOUND CITY featured artists exploring urban life through sound, sculpture, installation, performance and new media at various locations in New York City.

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. —Lost and Found City was an exhibition project, curated by 10 graduate students in their first year of study in curatorial studies and contemporary culture at CCS Bard. The project examined the intersection of private and public settings, as well as the metaphorical “owning” of locations based upon personal events. The initial component took place at Cuchifritos from January 27 to February 3, followed by the opening of the exhibition at Storefront for Art and Architecture on Saturday, March 3, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. in New York City. Lost and Found City continued on view at Storefront through Saturday, March 24. There was also a performance at Orchard in early March.

For this exhibition project, emphasis was placed upon phenomena within areas of New York City, such as Nolita and the Lower East Side. The individual exhibition components occured at different times and locations, including at the Storefront for Art and Architecture, Cuchifritos (next to Essex Street Market), and Orchard. Exhibition participants reflected a diversity of artistic and cultural practices, including fictional, autobiographical, analytical, politically/socially engaged, poetic, and psychogeographic responses to urban life.

The initial component of the project was a one-week presentation of Lara Favaretto’s suitcase object at Cuchifritos from Saturday, January 27, through Saturday, February 3. The contents of this suitcase remain unknown, suggesting a presence at once familiar and threatening—a magical-realist everyday object, seemingly abandoned in the space.

Favaretto’s work then migrated to the Storefront for Art and Architecture on March 3, where it was econtextualized with the works of other exhibition participants. The Storefront show was composed of a number of newly commissioned and modified works that reactivate the space, including recorded olfactory tours of the urban environment created by Caitlin Berrigan and Michael McBean, designed for visitors to remap and renavigate Nolita and the Lower East Side; architectural/urban investigations and pedagogical projects of CUP (Center for Urban Pedagogy); Jonah Freeman’s imaginary megabuilding as city; a new outdoor urban projection/intervention by LURE (Aaron Igler plus collaborators); Mark Koven’s real-time, live-feed interactive/participatory work that explores history, geography, and the claim of territory; Mads Lynnerup’s performative-video infiltrations of other people’s navigations of the neighborhood’s streets; Jill Magid’s performance about her metaphorical seduction of a New York City police officer in the subterranean environs of the subway system; Costa Vece’s flags made of a bricolage of discarded clothing that contest national/local identities; and Stephen Vitiello’s sound installation that created a provocative interpenetration of city and nature.

Through this careful mixing of art practices, the curators desired to generate a dialogue that animates questions of urbanism with a new grammar, encapsulating the intersections between private and public domain, the personal and the political, and social engagement and poetic disengagement, all of which constitute the complex territory of any city.

Lost and Found City proposed to examine the relationship between the private urban narratives that we invent and the constant flux of the city at large. Where do history and memory intersect? How does subjectivity map itself onto community? The project sought to connect the urban present to the past, articulating cycles of dispossession and reclamation within city space. This pattern is symbolic of the city’s continuous losing and finding of itself, including its citizens’ gains and losses in relation to the cultural, economic, and political systems of a particular metropolis. The New York urban environment, for example, is characterized by an accelerating privatization of public space, as well as by gentrification and development that perpetrate an antihistorical and impersonal experience of neighborhoods. Lost and Found City proposes that there is a continuous oscillation of loss and gain within urban flux, and is a dramatic interplay between winners and losers in terms of power: political, economic, and subjective. That which is lost is usually reactivated and repurposed within urban space, for better and worse.

Lost and Found City was curated by: Lauren Benanti, Daniel Byers, Vincenzo de Bellis, Anat Ebgi, Edith Tyler Emerson, Milena Hoegsberg, Sabrina Locks, Nicole Pollentier, Terri Smith, and Niko Vicario. The graduate students, in their first year at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, developed the exhibition within their first-year practicum, supervised by Joshua Decter, an independent curator and CCS faculty member.

For further information about the exhibition, visit the website www.bard.edu/ccs/lostandfoundcity..

About the Center for Curatorial Studies
Location: Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY
The Center for Curatorial Studies and Art in Contemporary Culture at Bard College (CCS Bard) is an exhibition and research center dedicated to the study of art and exhibition practices from the 1960s to the present day. The Center’s graduate program is specifically designed to deepen students’ understanding of the intellectual and practical tasks of curating exhibitions of contemporary art, particularly in the complex social and cultural situations of present-day urban arts institutions. With state-of-the-art galleries, an extensive library and curatorial archive, and access to the remarkable Marieluise Hessel collection of more than 1,700 works, students at the CCS Bard gain both an intellectual grounding and actual experience within a museum. For further information, call the Center for Curatorial Studies at 845-758-7598, e-mail ccs@bard.edu, or visit www.bard.edu/ccs.

About Storefront for Art and Architecture
Location: 97 Kenmare Street, New York City
Exhibition Hours: Tuesday through Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Founded in 1982, Storefront for Art and Architecture is a nonprofit organization committed to advancing innovative positions in art, architecture, and design. Its program of exhibitions, events, and publications is intended to generate dialogue and collaboration across geographic, ideological, and disciplinary boundaries. Storefront’s distinctive facade is regarded as a contemporary architectural landmark. Commissioned in 1993 as a collaborative building project by artist Vito Acconci and architect Steven Holl, it consists of 12 panels that pivot vertically or horizontally to open the length of the gallery onto the street. The project blurs the boundary between interior and exterior and creates a multitude of possible facades. For further information call Storefront for Art and Architecture at 212-431-5795, e-mail info@storefrontnews.org, or visit www.storefrontnews.org.

About Cuchifritos
Location: 120 Essex Street between Delancey and Rivington, New York City
Exhibition Hours: Monday through Saturday, noon to 5:30 p.m.
Located at Essex Street Market, Cuchifritos is an art gallery/project space that focuses on contemporary art as it relates to community, social issues, and public space. It aims to act as a forum for exploring fundamental ideas, issues, and concerns associated with the Lower East Side through the medium of contemporary art, to highlight the work of underrepresented artists, including artists from this and similar communities. Chuchifritos is a program of the Artists Alliance Inc. For more information call the gallery at 212-598-4124 or visitwww.aai-nyc.org/cuchifritos.

About Orchard
Location: 47 Orchard Street, New York City
Performance: Date to be announced
Orchard is a cooperatively organized exhibition and event space in New York’s Lower East Side. The gallery is run by twelve partners, including artists, filmmakers, critics, art historians, and curators. The partners of Orchard have been variously associated with the New York experimental film and video scenes, institutional critique, ’90s non-yBa practices in Britain, and political conceptualist traditions in North and South America. They do not have a univocal position on their working methods or on art. Orchard’s cooperative framework and resulting exhibition program reflect dialogues among its members, their practices, and their social, geographical and artistic conditions and contradictions. For more information call the gallery at 212-219-1061 or visit www.orchard47.org.