StorefrontTV Season 3: On Maintenance


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        Episode 1: Noches vacías by Mariela Scafati

        Episode 2: Before Wearout: by Jessica Kairé

        Episode 3: Collective Wakes by Sumayya Vally

        Episode 4: Se va a caer by Julieta Gil





Episodes of StorefrontTV Season 3 will air weekly on Wednesdays at 6 pm ET here on Storefront’s website, as well as on YouTube and Instagram Live. Each episode is between 5-10 minutes.


Tune in below on Wednesday, July 15th from 6:00-6:05 pm ET for Episode 4: Se va a caer (It’s Gonna Fall) by Julieta Gil. To watch episodes from past weeks, see episode description sections below, or check out our YouTube playlist.









StorefrontTV is an online broadcast channel created in 2014 that presents experimental programming about the built environment. In 2020, Storefront launches the third season of StorefrontTV with the theme On Maintenance.


Presenting newly commissioned videos by artists and architects, this season aims to explore and redefine the notion of maintenance. Participants interpret “maintenance” in various ways, some shared and others divergent, and many reflecting upon particularities of our current moment. Episodes address topics such as the radical reinterpretation of societal values, efforts to avoid wear on the body and mind, networks of people that sustain a neighborhood, nostalgia for unrealized change with the passing of time, and the spatial expertise of domestic laborers, among others.


Each episode provides artists and architects with a space to playfully and critically address a key aspect of social life and culture through the lens of maintenance. Learn more about forthcoming episodes below, and stay tuned for the full schedule.


StorefrontTV Season 3: On Maintenance is broadcast weekly on Wednesdays at 6 pm Eastern. Episodes are brief, between 5-10 minutes each, so we encourage you to subscribe to our YouTube channel, sign up for reminders, and follow us on Instagram at @storefrontnyc.


Learn more about the previous season of StorefrontTV here.


Image: StorefrontTV Season 3: On Maintenance. Design

by Pentagram/Natasha Jen, Jonathan Katav, Ran Zheng






Noches vacías (Empty Nights

by Mariela Scafati (with music by Daiana Rose)


Wednesday, June 24th, 2020 from 6:00-6:05 pm ET



I can’t remove the cat hair from my clothes

nor do I want to

I’m in phase 1

if anything at all

naming at least one place

and there’s no way to cover up that everything is ignored 

I am comforted by the memory of some gesture, of your voice or your gaze

sometimes I dream

other times I sleep,

those times give me

some notion of life

the cat looks at the glass of water

it keeps walking

neither thirst nor the damn habit of throwing the glass

nor looking from the table at the glasses and the puddle of water

a calm that is impossible to sustain

not even the damn habit.


I’m sharing this “table theatre” that I made one night, accompanied by the song Noches vacías” (“Empty Nights”), a melancholic version by Daiana Rose interpreted from the well-known track by Gilda. I chose to use my hands in an attempt at closeness, and to be able to think about what, from this time, we wish to endure and what we are no longer willing to hold onto. 


— Mariela Scafati


About Episode 1

In the first episode of StorefrontTV Season 3, Buenos Aires-based artist Mariela Scafati questions the notion of maintenance by exploring the absurdity of the concept of “normalcy” in our current times, and contemplating the values that shape our societies. Although Scafati’s exhibition Bodybuildings would have been on view at Storefront’s gallery space this summer, she is ready to embrace the challenge of meaningful change brought on by the current moment. 


About the Artists

Mariela Scafati (b. 1973) is a Buenos Aires-based artist using mediums of painting, installation, screen printing, and performance to address issues of gender rights and identity. Scafati completed her studies in Visual Arts at the E.S.A.V. in Bahía Blanca, Argentina. She has been exhibiting works inside and outside of Argentina since 1988. She is a co-founder of Taller Popular de Serigrafía (Popular Silkscreen Workshop), created collectively with the Popular Assembly of San Telmo that emerged during the December 2001 insurrection. She has also been a part of the non-group Serigrafistas Queer (Queer Silkscreeners) since 2007, as well as a member of Cromoactivismo (Chromoactivism). Scafati has worked at the Centro de Investigaciones Artísticas (Center of Artistic Investigations) since 2010, and has participated in many other group-based and collaborative projects that range in medium from education to printmaking, radio, and theater.


Daiana Rose (b. 1980) is a visual artist and a member of Cromoactivismo (Chromoactivism) and Serigrafistas Queer (Queer Silkscreeners). Her work focuses on drawing and performance. She is interested in using her art for communication and learning, and in exploring art as a method of emotional survival. Rose is a graduate of the Lola Mora National School of Fine Arts and a CIA2015 Fellow. Some of her individual exhibitions include Miss Verduritas (CC Recoleta, 2009), A Florencio (Orange Green Gallery, 2013), Bullfighting (Agatha Costure, 2014), and I am attracted by what it brings, I am attracted by what attracts (UV Gallery, 2018). In 2019, she released an album of 11 songs entitled Este peludo sentir (This Furry Feeling) with the label Otros Formas, produced by Lola Granillo. Since 2018, she has been performing this music in various locations. 







Before Wearout:

by Jessica Kairé


Wednesday, July 1st, 2020 from 6:00-6:10 pm ET



While visiting relatives in Kochi, Japan, my partner’s hometown, the international lockdown caused by coronavirus catches us off guard, and we remain abroad in semi-quarantine for three months. Before Wearout: portrays some cultural nuances of domestic life that I encounter while living in this new environment. In a small space, I perform a sequence of actions that viewers can try at home using resources they have on hand. For me, these include a futon, a pomelo, and some cleaning tools.


Though not without a struggle, I try to do as the locals do. I learn about the culture by conversing with my mother-in-law, eating seasonal produce, and browsing old housewives’ magazines. I reflect upon being confined to a context that never seems to change, and the sense of weariness that this can create. Now that I find myself having “more time than life,” I consider the importance of establishing self-care methods to avoid wearout, and the ways in which mundane actions gain new meaning as we see things around us suddenly shifting.


— Jessica Kairé

About Episode 2

In Before Wearout:, the second episode of StorefrontTV Season 3, artist Jessica Kairé performs the notion of maintenance by practicing small actions of self-care while quarantined far from home. Playing with the notion of “wear” as a noun and a verb, her actions acknowledge both the newness and consistency of her surroundings in a time when everything has changed.


About the Artist

Jessica Kairé (Guatemala, 1980) is an artist and educator based in New York, and co-founder and co-director of NuMu (Nuevo Museo de Arte Contemporáneo), an egg-shaped museum located in Guatemala City that aims to satiate the lack of other contemporary art institutions in the country. In her practice, Kairé combines artistic and domestic elements to create works that engage the public in various forms of activation such as eating, manipulating and wearing. She is particularly interested in appropriating materials, objects and contexts that are informed by personal or collective conflict, and altering the way we relate to them through an often playful and humorous approach. Her work has been shown at museums, institutions, and galleries such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA); Proyectos Ultravioleta, Guatemala City; Museo Jumex, Mexico City; SITElines.2018 Biennial, Santa Fe; 2da Gran Bienal Tropical, Loíza, Puerto Rico; and more.








Collective Wakes

(and Other Spatial Acts of Resistance)

by Sumayya Vally


Wednesday, July 8th, 2020 from 6:00-6:10 pm ET


An exercise in place-making:

     1. Chase former evil dwellers.

     2. Remove dirt.

     3. Dig a hole, place salt in it.

     4. Cover the hole with soil.

     5. Draw a circle of hot ashes within the limit of the cleared space.

     6. Have three priests gather around it with a bucket of water in the middle.

     7. Mix coarse salt in the water.

     8. Pray over the water, simultaneously sprinkling it around.

– Sumayya Vally

About Episode 3

In Collective Wakes (and Other Spatial Acts of Resistance), the third episode of StorefrontTV Season 3, Sumayya Vally presents a choreography of “wakes,” both difficult and celebratory. Drawing upon literary and scholarly works as well as historical and contemporary imagery from public gatherings and advocacy movements, Collective Wakes explores what it means to maintain community over time.


About the Artist

Sumayya Vally is the founder and principal of Counterspace. Her design, research and pedagogical practice is committed to finding expression for hybrid identity and contested territory. She is obsessed with Johannesburg as a laboratory for finding speculative histories, future archaeologies, and design languages; often with the intent to reveal the invisible. Her work is often forensic, and draws on performance, the supernatural, the wayward and the overlooked as generative places of history and work. She is presently based between Johannesburg and London as the lead designer for the Serpentine Pavilion 2020/20 Plus 1.









Se va a caer (It’s Gonna Fall)

by Julieta Gil (with Concepción Huerta)


WATCH LIVE on Wednesday, July 15th, 2020 from 6:00-6:05 pm ET


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On March 8th, Women’s Day, millions of us marched in the public sphere, demonstrating and resisting together. That day, we took a collective vow to dedicate our lives to putting an end to this violence.


The day before the protests, I panicked. My cries merged with the cries that emanate from the bodies of the countless women, non-binary, and trans people who have undergone systemic violence that goes unrecognized, unseen, and nonexistent.


Now, under lockdown, many are confined to the very spaces where the violence originates. Still, we took a vow. Today, I feel like I am part of something bigger than myself – something so big that it can make another thing fall.


I really think it’s gonna fall.

The patriarchy is gonna fall.


— Julieta Gil


About Episode 4

In Se va a caer (It’s Gonna Fall), the fourth episode of StorefrontTV Season 3, Julieta Gil builds upon a series of works entitled Nuestra Victoria (Our Victory) about a prominent Mexico City monument called the Ángel de la Independencia (Angel of Independence). Last summer, hours after serving as the site of protests against violence toward women, the Ángel was boarded up. The government soon began working on its restoration, erasing the voices of protest that it carried. Se va a caer (It’s Gonna Fall), created in collaboration with Concepción Huerta, allows the words and actions of civil resistance to be maintained in our collective memory.


About the Artists

Julieta Gil (b. 1987) is a visual artist based in Mexico City. Her creative research incorporates installation, sculpture, 3D animation, and print in order to explore topics of simulation, as well as the overlaps that occur in the interaction between physical and digital realities. Through her work, she creates narratives that reflect upon institutional pasts, presents, and futures. Julieta holds an MFA from UCLA Media Arts, and a BArch from the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City. In 2015-16, she was a grant recipient of Mexico’s National Fund for Culture and Arts in the field of art and technology research and production. Her work has been presented in spaces such as: the Laboratorio de Arte Alameda (Mexico City), the Nevada Museum of Art (Reno, NV), Future Gallery (Mexico City), Human Resources (Los Angeles, CA), and Zuecca Projects (Venice, Italy). 


Concepción Huerta (b. 1986) explores sound through recordings of everyday objects and instruments which, when reproduced and manipulated with tape recorders and processed tapes, create atmospheres based on ambient and noise elements. She creates sound narratives that construct previously invisible stories, eschewing the boundaries of musical genre. She has played in VOLTA, Meditatio Sonus, Overflows, Translation II, Articulations of Silence, THRESHOLD, Aural, Remains, NSMBL, Anxrmal, No Idea Festival, and C4NM, among others. She has also collaborated with many artists, some of whom include: Enrique Arriaga, Turning Torso, Fernando Vigueras, Rodrigo Ambriz, Martín Escalante, Arcangelo Constantini, CNDSD, Viian, Nika Milano, Mabe Fratti, Gibrana Cervantes, Camille Mandoki, Alejandro Morse, among others.


Image: Still from Julieta Gil’s Se va a caer,

July 2020. Courtesy of the artist.

Storefront + Michael Sorkin

On March 26th, Storefront’s staff and board were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of a dear friend, colleague, mentor, and advisor, Michael Sorkin, from complications due to COVID-19. The photo above was taken earlier this year on a visit of staff to his Tribeca studio, where we spent time catching up with him and hearing more about the recent publications and advocacy projects led by his nonprofit organization, Terreform


Michael was a member of Storefront’s Advisory Board for decades and presented many projects at the gallery over the years, including solo shows such as Suburbs of Utopia and group projects such as After Tilted Arc, Postopolis, a design competition for Petrosino Park, and many more. His architectural and scholarly practice resonated deeply with Storefront’s mission to cultivate experimental and critical ideas about the built environment.


Those close to Michael will remember his sharp mind and passionate sense of ethics, and his ability to connect disparate ideas, geographies, and philosophies in a single conversation. His wit and humor will be sorely missed.


We wish peace and comfort to all of Michael’s loved ones, and are grateful for his legacy and contributions to the fields of architecture, planning, social justice, and beyond.
See additional tributes at Terreform.
See below for a links to a selection of Michael’s projects at Storefront over the years:

Remembering William Menking


On Saturday, April 11th, Storefront’s longest standing board member, William Menking, passed away from complications due to lymphoma. After his 25-year tenure, we at Storefront are devastated to lose Bill, and have been at a loss for words to convey how important he was to us personally and professionally.


Bill was the founder (with Diana Darling) and editor of The Architect’s Newspaper, and was a passionate, witty, and thoughtful champion of critical ideas in architecture. Spending time with Bill was a treat, as he was both informed and incisive, always carrying the spark of a radical spirit that was cultivated throughout his youth.


At this time of social distance, we are especially sad to say goodbye to Bill. Ever the social one, he had an uncanny ability to create connections and form relationships, and it seemed as though he knew everyone and anyone.


We wish comfort and peace to all who are feeling Bill’s loss. It’s hard to imagine a future without him, but his legacy will live on at AN, Storefront, and through the many students whose lives he touched over the years.


If you have a thought or memory of Bill that you’d like to share, please email us at We will update this page with quotes and photos (see initial photos in sidebar).


You can also see additional tributes on The Architect’s Newspaper website here.



2020 at Storefront for Art and Architecture


Storefront for Art and Architecture is temporarily closed and all in-person public programming is on hold pending the phased reopening of New York City. We are closely monitoring city, state, and federal guidance. We are not accessible by phone, but email requests can be sent to


We will post periodic updates about programming, reopening plans, and more below. Thank you for helping us promote the safety of our staff, community, and the city at large.




June 19th, 2020: StorefrontTV Season 3, Episode 1

June 5th, 2020: To Our Members and Supporters Re: Black Lives Matter

May 29th, 2020: On Maintenance at Storefront

March 12th, 2020: Gallery Closing and More





Update: June 19th, 2020


At Storefront for Art and Architecture, we remain in a liminal space – between vulnerability and resilience, between grief and hope, between pausing and planning. Amidst all the noise, we have begun a process of recalibration, one that we know must be both bold and iterative.
A few weeks ago, we shared the news that Storefront will interrupt its previously planned activities for On Maintenance, a new program presenting works that reflect upon our current time. Throughout the program, we’ll explore and challenge the notion of maintenance and its many manifestations in our public and private spaces. This begins next week with the relaunch of StorefrontTV; read more about the season and the episode, and tune in here.
Today, on Juneteenth, we join in commemorations that honor liberation and that remember the ongoing struggles for justice and equity by black people in the United States and worldwide. We believe that transformative change, although unrealized thus far, is possible, and we stand in solidarity with the affirmation that Black Lives Matter. To learn more about Storefront’s preliminary response, you can read our initial statement to members and supporters below. More is forthcoming.




Update: June 5th, 2020


Dear Friend,
Today, we are writing to you as a member, patron, or friend who has generously supported Storefront for Art and Architecture over the past few years, and in many cases well before. Thank you for your support.

Knowing that this is one of the many emails you’ve received in response to current events, we feel it is necessary to speak up in order to say that Storefront stands in solidarity with the affirmation that Black Lives Matter. We are saddened and outraged at the murders of black people at the hands of power. We join with all who mourn George Floyd, Tony McDade, David McAtee, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, as well as those who were killed before them, including Atatiana Jefferson, Bothem Jean, Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, and so many others. We also acknowledge the centuries of oppression and violence, both blatant and subtle, that black people have faced in the United States and around the world, and recognize that the realms of art and architecture have been both complacent and complicit in this oppression. The widespread ignorance to injustices that are so inherently embedded and entangled in our society’s institutions is both inexcusable and exactly the point; it is why people are justifiably on the streets. We support and defend this right to protest — full stop.

Over the past week, Storefront’s staff members have been vacillating between modes of sadness, anger, restlessness, and hope. As a small team of non-black people of color, we have all individually experienced forms of discrimination and systemic racism in our own lives, and this moment, while it is and should be centered on the particular forms of injustice and oppression faced by black people, resonates with us in ways that are both expected and surprising. We’ve been reflecting upon our own relationships to privilege, institutional racism, allyship, and empathy. We recognize the need to claim responsibility and ownership of our biases and those of our respective communities, and to habitually speak out in support of black lives, especially in the spaces where we have agency to effect change.


As a result of these conversations, we believe that silence is unacceptable, and we are heartened by the many expressions of solidarity from organizations and individuals who strive to do better. We also recognize that any institutional statement that asserts that Black Lives Matter is only meaningful insofar as it comes with action, and that any action must in part include a deep interrogation of our policies and methodologies. We commit to developing an action plan that implements changes in the areas of board and staff composition, labor practices, compensation, artist selection, and more. These interrogations are not easy, but they are essential and overdue, and we welcome the challenge of learning, listening, engaging, and self-questioning that they require.


In doing so, we have been reflecting upon Storefront’s history. As a friend of the organization, you may know that Storefront was founded in 1982, in a New York City that was very different in many ways from the one we currently inhabit. Despite a narrative of growth embedded in capitalist optimism and rhetoric, there were devastating manifestations of inequity that are still so painfully visible today. The most vulnerable populations experienced homelessness, police brutality, discrimination based on gender identity, gentrification-led displacement, and more — issues that persist, and that disproportionately impact black, brown, and indigenous communities.


Storefront was born into this context, cultivated by artists, architects, and creatives who sought to infuse the realms of art and architecture with civic engagement and activism, and to address the complexities of our built environment from alternative perspectives. This was done through exhibition making, of course, but also through actions, campaigns, and collective gathering for discussion and debate. The result was the creation of a space that was in the service of publicness, as well a diverse community of artists and architects who explicitly sought to question the status quo, and who did not hesitate to be critical, subversive, or incisive in their words and actions. We seek to uphold the spirit of this history, but in doing so, we know that we must also work in ways that are more self-critical, more aware, and more just. 


As a friend of Storefront, we hope to continue to earn your support beyond that which is financial, and we also hope to be able to engage with you directly to take action. We want to hear from you about how and what you’re doing.

One small effort to start our collective conversations is that we are putting together a list of resources from our members and friends. So many of you have been sharing important information about organizations seeking donations, solidarity funds, compilations of resources, critical readings, and more. If you’d like to participate, we ask you to send us your suggestions for 1) an action, 2) a fund or way to donate; 3) an organization doing key work, 4) a work of art and/or architecture, and 5) a text (i.e. article, book, poem, etc.) that resonate with you in these times. We will compile these, credit them, and share more broadly. We have begun this with the list below.


With humility and appreciation,
The staff of Storefront for Art and Architecture




José Esparza Chong Cuy

Executive Director & Chief Curator
ArtworkColor(ed) Theory Series by Amanda Williams (see Amanda’s TED Talk here)
Text: “Remember, No One Is Coming To Save Us” by Roxane Gay; Nobel Lecture by Toni Morrison
Jinny Khanduja
Deputy Director
ActionRepeal 50-A to Stop Hiding Police Disciplinary Records (read more here)
Monetary SupportDirectory of Community Bail Funds
OrganizationColor of Change and Soul Fire Farm
ArtworkDeconstructed Anthems by Ekene Ijeoma (see artist interview here)
Text: “Non-Black People of Color Perpetuate Anti-Blackness Too” by Sean Dajour Smith; A Litany for Survival by Audre Lorde


Jessica Kwok

Gallery & Operations Manager

ActionMapping Police Violence
Monetary SupportQueer Detainee Empowerment Project
OrganizationShowing Up For Racial Justice and HOUSING
Artworkrootkits rootwork by Devin Kenny (read more about the exhibition here)
TextWomen, Race, & Class by Angela Y. Davis; The End of Policing by Alex S. Vitale




Update: May 29th, 2020


Dear Friends, 


It’s been a while since we’ve reached out from Storefront, and in the time since you last heard from us, it seems as though the world has become unrecognizable. In the past few months, we’ve been trying to take care of ourselves, and to make sure we can continue to advance our mission for many years to come. 


Storefront for Art and Architecture has always been a place of experimentation; a space where the boundaries between private and public are blurred, and an open and inclusive site of exchange where ideas about the built environment flow freely. But what does this look like in a pandemic? 


The ongoing crisis has exposed how simultaneously vulnerable and resilient we are. It’s made us reconsider our perspectives on health and safety, and reassess what it means to practice care. We have been thinking a lot about intersections: between bodies and spaces, between emotional well-being and political outrage, between expressions of hope and grief. Rather than rushing to respond, we have sought to reflect.


In times like these, as the systems and values that comprise our societies continue to transform, we are thankful for one constant: our community. In the context of branded dialogue, digital distractions, and overproduction in the cultural sphere, the most valuable resource we have is your attention. We hope that Storefront’s mission of critical experimentation continues to resonate. If you have any thoughts or ideas for us, or if you’d just like to say hello and share what you’re up to, please feel free to drop us a line at 


With appreciation and best wishes,

Storefront for Art and Architecture



José Esparza Chong Cuy, Executive Director and Chief Curator

Jinny Khanduja, Deputy Director

Jessica Kwok, Gallery and Operations Manager




Update: March 12th, 2020


Storefront for Art and Architecture will be temporarily closed beginning tomorrow, March 13th. We are closely monitoring updates regarding COVID-19 from city and state authorities, as well as from the CDC and through conversations with many of our peer organizations and galleries.


In addition, all public programming initiated by Storefront is currently on hold.


We will post any future updates on our website. Thank you for helping us promote the safety of our staff, community, and the city at large.


Members Tours of Alien Property and Arabesque with Rayyane Tabet

Alien Property:

Monday, March 9th, 3:00 pm

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

1000 5th Ave, New York, NY



Wednesday, March 11th, 3:30 pm

Storefront for Art and Architecture

97 Kenmare Street, New York, NY




#arabesque    #rayyanetabet     @storefrontnyc 


Storefront for Art and Architecture partners with The Metropolitan Museum of Art to host two exclusive members tours of our respective exhibitions featuring the work of artist Rayyane Tabet. Arabesque (on view at Storefront) and Alien Property (on view at The Met), both draw from Tabet’s research-oriented practice to explore issues of provenance, colonialism, appropriation, and context through personal stories that animate buildings, objects, and personal narratives.


These tours are open to members of Storefront for Art and Architecture. Current members, please RSVP below. To join our membership program in order to attend the tours, please email


Read more about Arabesque and about Alien Property.


RSVP for one or both of the tours here by Sunday, March 8th.

Notes on Arabesque: Rayyane Tabet at The Cooper Union

Tuesday, March 10th, 2020

7:00 pm – 8:30 pm


The Cooper Union Foundation Building

7 East 7th Street, Room 315

New York, NY


In collaboration with the IDS Public Lecture Series, organized by Leslie Hewitt and Omar Berrada




#sfevents     #rayyanetabet      @storefrontnyc     @thecooperunion


As part of the IDS Public Lecture Series at The Cooper Union, Storefront for Art and Architecture collaborates with The Cooper Union to present “Notes on Arabesque,” an event that draws upon the concepts that inform Rayyane Tabet’s current exhibition at Storefront’s gallery space.


About the Exhibition

In 2020, an improbable meeting takes place between a young American architect and an older French architectural historian over a century after they were both at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris.


Julia Morgan (1872-1957) was the institution’s first female architecture student, and went on to become a prolific representative of the American Arts and Crafts movement in her home state of California. At a time when Modernism was coming into favor, her design for the Hearst Castle at San Simeon was grand and complex, utilizing decorative elements and mixing many architectural styles.


Jules Bourgoin (1838-1908) was a Paris-born professor who spent much time traveling across the Middle East and North Africa. Bourgoin’s trips were intricately documented, and his keen interest in architectural detail and ornamentation was made visible through elaborate drawings that were incorporated into publications such as Les Arts Arabes (“The Arab Arts”) and Les Eléments de l’Art Arabe (“The Elements of Arab Art”).


It remains unknown the impact that Bourgoin’s work had on his students, and whether Morgan-who was a master in adopting different architectural styles-actually studied under him. Arabesque creates a space where the work of Morgan and Bourgoin is juxtaposed to reflect upon notions of appropriation and context. Anchoring his explorations around these two figures, Tabet presents a new body of work that sits between historical truths, chance encounters, and the migration of ideas.


Read more about the exhibition and the artist here


This event is free and open to the public. Please RSVP here.

Modernism Across the Sykes-Picot Line

Friday, February 14th, 2020

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm


97 Kenmare Street

New York, NY


Ines Weizman in conversation with Nora Akawi 

On the occasion of the launch of Dust & Data: Traces of the Bauhaus Across 100 Years by Ines Weizman




#sfevents     @storefrontnyc


The infamous Sykes-Picot line, based on a 1916 secret treaty between the UK and France, partitioned the former Ottoman Empire and established mutually agreed upon spheres of influence between the UK, France, Russia, and Italy. It served to partially define the boundaries of what we now consider to be the Middle East, and has fed an endless conflict since. Drawing upon her recently published anthology Dust & Data, Ines Weizman (in conversation with Nora Akawi) will examine the hundred-year history of international modernism across the national and settler-colonial borders of the Middle East.


The Sykes-Picot Agreement established not only a line but a series of structures – British and French custom houses – that were built along its borders during the height of international modernism. Of the existing custom houses today, only two are within the jurisdiction of a single state. One of these, controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, was recently occupied and blown out. The other, in the Israeli occupied Golan Heights, is considered a celebrated example of Bauhaus architecture, and is being converted into a hotel.


Using methods such as material analysis and documentation, Dust & Data includes a study of these buildings that connect them to the complex history of colonial control and occupation in the region, but also to modern architecture across Palestine and the Arab world, as well as to trans-Arabian infrastructures and routes of trade or exchange that are no more.


Ines Weizman is Director of the Bauhaus Institute for the History and Theory of Architecture and Planning and Professor of Architectural Theory at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar. She is Founding Director of the Centre for Documentary Architecture (CDA). Weizman is the editor of the recently released publication Dust & Data: Traces of the Bauhaus across 100 Years, published with Spector Books, Leipzig (2019). In 2014, she was editor of Architecture and the Paradox of Dissidence, published by Routledge. Her book Before and After: Documenting the Architecture of Disaster, co-written with Eyal Weizman, was published in the same year by Strelka Press. Weizman has also worked on exhibitions and installations such as Repeat Yourself: Loos, Law, and the Culture of the Copy, exhibited at the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale, as well as solo shows at the Architecture Centre in Vienna and the Buell Center at Columbia University, New York (2013). Other research and exhibition projects include: Celltexts: Books and Other Works Produced in Prison (2008, with Eyal Weizman), first exhibited at the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin and The Matter of Data (2019), which was shown in Weimar and Tel Aviv, and is currently on view at the Architektur Galerie Berlin.


Nora Akawi is an architect based in New York City. She is Assistant Professor of Architecture at The Cooper Union. Her research and teaching lie at the intersections of displacement, erasure, and memory within architecture—drawing from the areas of migration and border studies, mapping practices, and archive theory. Prior to joining The Cooper Union, Nora taught urban design and history/theory at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) at Columbia University. In 2012, she joined Columbia GSAPP and the Columbia Global Centers as Director of Studio-X Amman, a platform dedicated to advancing critical discourse in architecture in the Arab world through public programming, exhibitions, and publications, and other educational projects. Most recently, Nora curated Al Majhoola Min Al-Ard (“This Land’s Unknown”) at the Biennale d’Architecture d’Orléans 2019, and co-curated Friday Sermon, the Bahrain Pavilion exhibition in the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennial. She has co-edited books such as Friday Sermon (2018) and Architecture and Representation: The Arab City (2016). Akawi’s recently published work includes “Mapping Borderlands: Drawing From the Jawlan” in GTA Papers 2: War Zones (ETH Zürich, 2019) and “Worlding From the South” in Manifesta 12: Palermo Atlas, (OMA / Humboldt Books, 2018). Nora is a graduate of the Critical, Curatorial, and Conceptual Practices in Architecture program at Columbia University (MS.CCCP, 2011).


RSVP here.



 ريّان تابت

 من ٢٣ كانون الثاني إلى ١٨ نيسان ‪ ٢٠٢٠‬ 

 [RSVP] الافتتاح: الخميس ٢٣ كانون الثاني ، من الساعة ٦ إلى الساعة ٨ مساءً



في مطلع عام ٢٠٢٠،أكثر من قرن بعد أن كانا كلاهما في كلية الفنون الجميلة في باريس، تلتقي مهندسة معمارية أميركية مع مؤرخ معماري فرنسي في اجتماع غير محتمل.


كانت جوليا مورغان ‪(١٩٥٧-١٨٧٢ )‬ أول إمرأة تدخل كلية العمارة في معهد الفنون الجميلة  في باريس لتصبح بعدها أحد أهم ممثلي حركة الفنون والحرف في كاليفورنيا. في وقت كانت فيه الحداثة في العمارة أسلوب جديد ومؤاتي، جاء تصميمها قصر هيرست في مدينة سان سيميون فخم ومعقد، استخدمت فيه عناصر زخرفية عديدة وخلطت أساليب معمارية مختلفة.    


 كان جول بورجوان ‪(١٩٠٨- ١٨٣٨)‬ قد أمضى الكثير من الوقت في أنحاء الشرق الأوسط وشمال أفريقيا. وثق رحلاته تلك بدقة ووضوح عبر رسومات لتفاصيل معمارية وحرفية تم نشرها في العديد من الكتب منها ” الفنون العربية” و.”عناصر الفن العربي”


لا أحد يعلم مدى تأثير بورجوان على تلاميذه بعد عودته إلى باريس وإن كانت مورغان أحد طلابه في كلية الفنون الجميلة. “أرابيسك” معرض يخلق مساحة لدمج أعمال مورغان و بورجوان و للتساؤل عن مفاهيم الإستعارة والاستيلاء. في هذا المعرض، يقدم تابت مجموعة جديدة من الأعمال تقع ما بين حقائق تاريخية، لقاءات غير محتملة وتساؤلات حول هجرة الأفكار.


ريّان تابت فنان يعيش ويعمل في بيروت‪.‬  بالاعتماد على البحث الموجه، يستكشف تابت قصصًا توفر مفاهيم بديلة للأحداث الاجتماعية والسياسية الكبرى من خلال سرد فردي. استنادًا إلى دراساته في الهندسة المعمارية والنحت، يبحث عمل تابت في المفارقات في البيئة المبنية وتاريخها عن طريق المنشآت التي تعيد تكوين تصور المسافة الجسدية والزمنية. أحدث معارضه الفردية تشمل مركز والكر للفنون في مينيابوليس، متحف المتروبوليتان للفنون في نيو يورك، باراسول يونيت في لندن، كاري دار في نيم، كنستفيرين في هامبورج ومركز ويت د ويت للفن المعاصر في روتردام. شارك تابت في مانيفستا ١٢, بينالي سيدني ٢١، بينالي إسطنبول ١٥، بينالي ساو باولو ٣٢، بينالي مراكش ٦، بينالي الشارقة ١٠ و ١٢و في ترينالي النيو موزيوم الثاني.


دورات البناء

“أرابيسك” ثالث معرض من “دورات البناء”,برنامج مدته عام ينظر إلى عملية البناء كمكان ومنهج. هذا المعرض تحديداً يركز على مفاهيم الزخرفة والحرف للتساؤل على مفاهيم الإستعارة والاستيلا في الممارسات الحالية والتاريخية داخل بيئتنا المبنية. “أرابيسك” يأتي بعد أول معرضين في المجموعة، “هنا يعيش الناس” و”وزارة للجميع.”


Read more about the exhibition in English here.



Rayyane Tabet

January 23rd–April 18th, 2020*

97 Kenmare Street, New York, NY

#arabesque  #rayyanetabet  @storefrontnyc   


*Please note that this exhibition has been extended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Stay tuned for new information on dates.


See photos from the opening here.
Watch the full exhibition video by PLANE-SITE here or below. 



In 2020, an improbable meeting takes place between a young American architect and an older French architectural historian over a century after they were both at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris.


Julia Morgan (1872–1957) was the institution’s first female architecture student, and went on to become a prolific representative of the American Arts and Crafts movement in her home state of California. At a time when Modernism was coming into favor, her design for the Hearst Castle at San Simeon was grand and complex, utilizing decorative elements and mixing many architectural styles.


Jules Bourgoin (1838–1908) was a Paris-born professor who spent much time traveling across the Middle East and North Africa. Bourgoin’s trips were intricately documented, and his keen interest in architectural detail and ornamentation was made visible through elaborate drawings that were incorporated into publications such as Les Arts Arabes (“The Arab Arts”) and Les Eléments de l’Art Arabe (“The Elements of Arab Art”).


It remains unknown the impact that Bourgoin’s work had on his students, and whether Morgan—who was a master in adopting different architectural styles—actually studied under him. Arabesque creates a space where the work of Morgan and Bourgoin is juxtaposed to reflect upon notions of appropriation and context. Anchoring his explorations around these two figures, Tabet presents a new body of work that sits between historical truths, chance encounters, and the migration of ideas.


About the Artist

Rayyane Tabet lives and works in Beirut. Drawing from experience and self-directed research, Tabet explores stories that offer alternative understandings of major socio-political events through individual narratives. Informed by his training in architecture and sculpture, Tabet’s work investigates paradoxes in the built environment and its history by way of installations that reconstitute the perception of physical and temporal distance. His most recent and upcoming solo shows include the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Parasol Unit in London, Carré d’Art in Nîmes, Kunstverein in Hamburg, and Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam. His work was featured in Manifesta 12, the 21st Biennale of Sydney, the 15th Istanbul Biennial, the 32nd São Paulo Biennial, the 6th Marrakech Biennale, the 10th and 12th Sharjah Biennials, and the 2nd New Museum Triennial.


Building Cycles

Arabesque is the third exhibition in Building Cycles, Storefront’s year-long curatorial program that examines building as both a place and a process. Focused on decoration and ornamentation, this exhibition questions existing and historical modes of practice by examining the notions of context and appropriation in our built environment. Arabesque follows the first two exhibitions in the cycle, Aquí­ vive gente and Ministry for All.




Arabesque by Rayyane Tabet. Graphic design by Morcos Key. Organized by Storefront for Art and Architecture, 2020.


Storefront for Art and Architecture Team:

José Esparza Chong Cuy, Executive Director and Chief Curator

Jinny Khanduja, Deputy Director

Jessica Kwok, Gallery and Operations Manager

Kweku Addo-Atuah; Axelle Dechelette; Eduardo Meneses; Victor Ohene, Interns



Arabesque is generously supported by funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Violet Jabara Charitable Trust, and BKSK Architects.


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Arabesque is the third exhibition in Storefront for Art and Architecture’s year-long program of exhibitions and events, Building Cycles. Founding support of Building Cycles is generously provided by Linde-Griffith Construction Company and the Graham Foundation.




Building Cycles has also been made possible through general support from Arup; DS+R; KPF; Steven Holl Architects, WXY architecture + design; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; and by Storefront’s Board of Directors, members, and individual donors.


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Public Launch: Storefront’s Digital Archive

Launch Event:
Wednesday, December 18, 2019 / 6:00 – 8:00 pm 
Archive on View:
Thursday, December 19 – Friday, December 20 / 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
97 Kenmare Street, New York, NY
With presentations by Francisca Benítez, Beatriz Colomina, Farnoosh Farmer, Claudia Gould, Lauren Kogod, Parker Límon, Cosimo Pori, Tal Schori, Amie Siegel, Anthony Vidlerand Aleksandra Wagner
#sfarchive     @storefrontnyc
On Wednesday, December 18th, Storefront for Art and Architecture hosts a holiday gathering in the gallery space to celebrate the launch of our digital archive, which consists of documentation from the organization’s 37-year history in the form of historical newsprints, rare publications, foundational texts, exhibition materials, and more. The digital archive is part of an ongoing archive project that began in 2015, and has been spearheaded by Storefront’s Archive Curator, Chialin Chou.
At the event, key figures from Storefront’s past and present will present curated selections from the digital archive in order to resurface some of the organization’s most memorable moments since its founding. The selections are curated by: Francisca Benítez, Beatriz Colomina, Claudia Gould, Lauren Kogod, Tal Schori, Amie Siegel, Anthony Vidler, and Aleksandra Wagner.
From the evening of Wednesday, December 18th through the end of the day on Friday, December 20th, Storefront’s digital archive will be available to browse in the gallery space, alongside newsprints and publications from our exhibition history and artworks from past events for sale.


Guests are welcome to browse Storefront’s digital archive, view the online selections by guest curators who participated in the public launch of the archive, and pick up some artwork for holiday gift giving. A reminder that all members of Storefront receive 10% off of select artwork and publications. To learn more about membership, see here.


We invite you to toast with us to the holiday season and to Storefront’s past, history, and future of experimental and critical programming about the built environment and the ways in which we inhabit it.
About the Archive Project
As one of the first alternative spaces in New York City dedicated to presenting innovative and provocative work at the intersection of art and architecture, Storefront has accumulated an archive documenting its diverse and influential program of over 280 exhibitions and events dating from its founding in 1982. Featuring the work of more than 1,500 architects, artists, and designers (including Nam June PaikDan GrahamMary MissDiller + ScofidioLebbeus WoodsKiki SmithPetra BlaisseCarolee SchneemannCoop Himmelblau, and more), this material contains a collection of original artwork, as well as over 115 cubic feet of proposals, correspondence, photographs, audio-visual media, and publications that together constitute a unique and underrepresented collection of narratives in contemporary cultural production and design.
The goal of Storefront’s archive is to significantly improve stewardship of and public access to Storefront’s collections. As a public design resource, the archive serves as a platform for research, ongoing programming, and collaborative partnerships with other resonant collections and organizations. The organization and digitization of Storefront’s archive has been made possible through the generous support of many funders; please see below for the full list.
Learn more about Storefront’s archive project and access the digital archive here.
The digitization of Storefront for Art and Architecture’s archive is made possible by a major grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). The archive has also received generous support from the Documentary Heritage Program of the New York State Archives, a program of the State Education Department; the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH); the Council on Library & Information Resources (CLIR); and Mr. Robert M. Rubin.  


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Photo: Performance A-Z, Storefront’s first program at its original location on Prince Street.