StorefrontTV Season 3: On Maintenance
Wednesday June 24, 2020 – Wednesday September 30, 2020
JUMP TO EPISODES
Tune in below on Wednesday, August 12th from 6:00-6:10 pm ET for Episode 8: Ziyarat (زیارت) by Samaneh Moafi. 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.
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.
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.
(and Other Spatial Acts of Resistance)
by Sumayya Vally
Wednesday, July 8th, 2020 from 6:00-6:10 pm ET
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.
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)
Wednesday, July 15th, 2020 from 6:00-6:05 pm ET
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, the Ángel de la Independencia (Angel of Independence). Last summer, hours after serving as the site of protests focused on violence against 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.
by Leslie Hewitt
Wednesday, July 22nd, 2020 from 6:00-6:25 pm ET
Though I never actually visited the National Memorial African Bookstore myself, images of the bookstore have flooded my imagination to this very day. In this mental space of post-memory, literature, the chaos of embodied knowledge, and the misremembering of things past, I play with computer code, concrete poetry, and the freeing feeling of chance and happenstance as a place to begin anew. The typefaces of PL/I and IBM Plex Mono serve as foils to potentially instinctual sensory responses that may be stimulated by the temporal poetry present in this in situ documentation of the work “Forty-two.”
— Leslie Hewitt
About Episode 5
In Recapture, the fifth episode of StorefrontTV Season 3, Leslie Hewitt presents documentation of a work entitled Forty-two (2019), a text-based html programmed video that explores the intersection of concrete poetry, memory, and the “technoscape.” The words generated in the work are collected from archival images of books that circulated through the National Memorial African Bookstore, an iconic space that maintained a subversive presence in Harlem, New York City for forty-two years (from 1932 to 1974). Through the work, Hewitt strives to create a sensory experience of a forgone space where art, politics, and activism converged, placing ideas of resilience and fortitude front of mind.
About the Artist
Leslie Hewitt’s approach to photography and sculpture reimagines the art historical still-life genre from a post-minimalist perspective. Her geometric compositions, which she frames and crystallizes through the disciplines of photography and film theory, are spare assemblages of ordinary effects and materials, suggesting the porosity between intimate and sociopolitical histories. Interested in the mechanisms behind the construction of meaning and memory, she decisively challenges both by unfolding manifestly formal, rather than didactic, connections. Her distinct play on syncopation and juxtaposition make her work discursive and beautifully layered. Hewitt further works with site-specific installation, autonomous sculptures, drawings, and the moving image as modalities to contend equally with shifting notions of space and time. Hewitt has held residencies at the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Project Row Houses, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, Konstepidemin in Göteborg, Sweden and the American Academy in Berlin, Germany amongst others. She is an associate professor of art at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art.
Why Not Stand?
by Yolande Daniels
Edited by Julieta Gil
Wednesday, July 29th, 2020 from 6:00-6:05 pm ET
Instructions for a standing piss using OURStandard FEMME™pissoire:
(To be repeated multiple times on a daily basis, with variations as needed)
1. Place your bag on the service shelf in front of the mirror.
2. Stand facing the FEMME™pissoire. Walk up to the urinal and position your feet on the silhouettes on either side of the floor mat. Do not squat, sit, or turn backwards.
3. Face the urinal and look into the mirror. If you have the time, say an affirmation that feels true to you.
4. Position your thighs at the rubber wings on either side of the urinal. This should be the only point of contact. Once you learn this posture, you will no longer need the wings.
5. Stand and remain clothed. With its second zipper at the crotch, the FEMME™p-system pants eliminate the need to lift, drop, or pull down. Use the p-system ring (which doubles as jewelry) to open the crotch zipper.
6. Tilt your pelvis up. Touch yourself to direct the flow of urine. Or, just because. Focus on fostering awareness and controlling the flow. Over time, you will master aiming.
7. Use the spigot to clean, as you would with a bidet.
8. Use the air dryer attachment to dry yourself.
9. Zip your pants closed using the tab-less crotch zipper.
10. Check yourself in the mirror. As you make any final adjustments, focus on fostering awareness of your actions while challenging “proper” toilet protocols.
11. Confront your discomforts. Do they uphold gender binaries? While the FEMME™pissoire was designed to give women parity, the object and components are gender neutral.
12. Don’t forget your bag as you exit.
— Yolande Daniels
About Episode 6
In Why Not Stand?, the sixth episode of StorefrontTV Season 3, Yolande Daniels showcases the OURStandard FEMME™pissoire, a prototype urinal that she originally designed in 1992. The urinal creates a system of objects and accessories that together propose a reimagining of the gendered protocols that inform toilet use. Through the FEMME™pissoire, Why Not Stand? challenges misconceptions of female anatomy, fears of touching and female agency, and the maintenance of societal structures that attempt to raise modest girls to be chaste women.
About the Artist
Yolande Daniels is a co-founding design principal of studioSUMO whose works have been exhibited at the Venice Biennale for Architecture, and have been the recipient of various project and firm awards and grants including the AIA Design Awards for Museums and Education Buildings, Emerging Voices Award, Design Vanguard Award, Young Architects Forum, New York State Council on the Arts, and New York Foundation for the Arts. Daniels is a fellow of the American Academy in Rome and the Independent Study Program of the Whitney Museum of American Art. She has taught architecture at the University of Southern California, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Columbia University (M.Arch ‘90), the University of Michigan, Washington University, and City College, CUNY (BS.Arch ’87), and held positions as the Saarinen chair at Yale University, Silcott chair at Howard University, and interim-director of the Master of Architecture Program at Parsons School of Design.
Tomorrow Is So Far
Wednesday, August 5th, 2020 from 6:00-6:05 pm ET
“I miss you.” 6:00 PM ✓✓
“When are we seeing each other?” 6:03 PM ✓✓
“Tomorrow.” 6:03 PM ✓✓
“Tomorrow is so far.” 6:05 PM ✓
— Alvaro Urbano
About Episode 7
In Tomorrow Is So Far, the seventh episode of StorefrontTV Season 3, Alvaro Urbano presents a trailer to an unknown future. A man is alone, outside, busy. His actions fade in and out of his surroundings; he at once becomes part of the landscape and stands starkly apart from it. Tomorrow Is So Far, filmed on a sculptural set created by the artist and acted out by his partner, Petrit Halilaj, is a cinematic teaser that blurs the lines between fiction and reality and between the natural and the artificial, provoking us to contemplate how we maintain human and environmental connections over time.
About the Artist
Alvaro Urbano lives and works in Berlin and is currently a professor at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris, France. He studied at the Institut für Raumexperimente at the Universität der Künste. He has received the Villa Romana Fellowship and has attended The Artists and Architects in Residence at MAK, Los Angeles. His works have been exhibited at Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn; Kunsthalle Düsseldorf; Boghossian Foundation, Brussels; Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne; Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; CAB, Brussels; Moscow International Biennale for Young Art, Moscow; PAC, Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea, Milan; S.A.L.T.S., Basel; and Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, among others. His solo show The Awakening—co-organized by Storefront for Art and Architecture and La Casa Encendida in Madrid— is currently on view at La Casa Encendida and will be presented next year at Storefront as part of its ongoing Building Cycles program.
WATCH LIVE on Wednesday, August 12th, 2020 from 6:00-6:10 pm ET
In Ziyarat (The Pilgrimage), Jalal al-e Ahmad tells the story of his visit to a dam on the waters of Khuzestan:
“The space was like that of a temple. That generator was the altar, the area in between was the sanctuary, the blue shade of light was the holy scent, and the sounds of the turbine – which you couldn’t see – were the humming voices of worship. It wasn’t just the temple; the act of ziyarat had also changed. Instead of the Ayat prayer, the one that you would perform to the floods, or the Istisqa prayer, which you would perform to the skies for rain, now, upon entering the temple, you were to perform in silence one rakat of quandary. This temple entrapped the forces of rains and floods with the curves of a generator’s copper coils, and enslaved them all to the click of a switch that could be turned on, or off.”
I share with you a ziyarat to these same waters: the Dez and Karkheh rivers. The floods and the rains wash the villages of Khuzestan, and the dams and the canals maintain its plantations of sugarcane. A curse echoes in these loose waters; I report on it as it appears from a distance, between differing satellite images, archive photographs, documentation from my travels, written reports, and social media footage.
– Samaneh Moafi
About Episode 8
In Ziyarat (زیارت), the eighth episode of StorefrontTV Season 3, Samaneh Moafi conducts a “pilgrimage” to the Dez and Karkheh rivers in the Khuzestan Province of southwest Iran. This performative retelling of a story by writer and anthropologist Jalal al-e Ahmad weaves together personal, media, and archival documentation. Ziyarat (زیارت) uses installation, objects, imagery, and movement to shed light upon the maintenance of the sugarcane industry and its relationship to water and the ecology of place.
About the Artist
Samaneh Moafi is a researcher and practitioner in architecture. She is a member of Forensic Architecture in the UK, where she develops investigative techniques for environmental violence and oversees the Center for Contemporary Nature. She has a PhD from the Architectural Association (AA), where she completed her thesis on Iran’s contemporary history of state-initiated mass housing, emancipatory practices of female residents, and the intersection of domesticity with gender and class. Samaneh’s practice is a cross between the scales of territory and the domestic, and it involves engagement with historical and contemporary archives through mixed-media installations, video animations and essay writing. Her work and contributions have been exhibited globally in forums such as the Sharjah Architecture Triennial (2019), Tate Britain (2018), MACBA (2017), Venice Architecture Biennale (2016), and Gwangju Biennale (2013).
Image: Still from Samaneh Moafi’s Ziyarat (زیارت),
August 2020. Courtesy of the artist.