Strike Gulf

 

Gulf

Imani Jacqueline Brown

 

Opening:

Saturday June 22nd, 2024, 4 – 6:30pm

Special performance by Les Cenelles at 5pm

97 Kenmare Street

New York, NY

 

Gulf by Imani Jacqueline Brown examines geographies of oil and gas, spanning from their cosmological origins to our emancipatory futures. For a decade, Imani has traced the fractal catastrophes that unfurl along the continuum of extractivism in her homeland of Louisiana, from colonialism and slavery to fossil fuel production.

 

Now, through audiovisual layering, sonic reimagining, and archival recontextualizing, this exhibition envisions a blackout of fossil power across the territories affected by the legacies of Gulf Oil Corporation. This exhibition illustrates the ways in which the planet’s surface, depths, and biosphere have been depleted for the extraction of financial value. Imani maps out the intertwined ways in which the production of oil and gas from the Gulf of Mexico is part of an expansive politico-economic, socio-technological, and cosmological system.This work intricately ties the celestial with the geological, emphasizing the manifold ways in which fossil capitalism perpetuates epistemic, ecological, and economic violence, but also creates the impetus for the formation of fractal solidarity networks among peoples, places, and species branching from Louisiana to Angola to Palestine.

 

The exhibition presents a number of new experimental works, in progress research, and collaborations, beginning with a two-channel film that explores the origin story of the relationship between oil, land and water in the Gulf of Mexico and its consequences. Gulf reflects on the Chicxulub asteroid impact, which struck the Gulf 65 million years ago, contributing to the formation of the Gulf’s remarkable biodiversity, along with its vast hydrocarbon fields, and cementing the region’s destiny as both a cultural crossroads and an  extractive hub. She meticulously layers the gallery’s interior facade with mappings of Gulf Oil’s pipeline and well networks –  corporate follies imposed upon the Gulf of Mexico. At one end of the gallery, Imani animates and reinterprets core samples extracted to enhance corporate knowledge of petrogeographies. Additional core samples are presented as light boxes and contextualized through accompanying reports and other modes of knowledge production. Finally, she considers the notion of the strike as a mode of resistance and emergent futurity by time mapping the trajectory of offshore oil exploration – from Louisiana’s Gulf to Angola in the form of a double-arm spiral – the symbolic representation of a hurricane. Through it, the myriad tactics, strategies, and discourses that movements across the US have articulated in their struggle against Gulf Oil’s financing of the Portuguese imperial army and support of the Angolan and Palestinian liberation movements. This visualization illustrates modes of radical defiance against petro-capitalist systems of power, from whichl international solidarities between American, African, and Arab nations emerged.

 

The exhibition’s title, Gulf  (read “Strike Gulf”) is inspired by the power of strikes and other formations of solidarity to defend and tether lifeworlds. In this critical moment, the exhibition maps the persistent threat of extractivism, which spawns planetary crises from colonialism and slavery to the present climate crisis, and communicates the urgency of advocating  for corporate accountability and ecological reparations. This exhibition invites us to engage directly with the conflicts and solidarities that shape our interconnected worlds and yet orient us towards collective liberation.

 

About the Artist

Imani Jacqueline Brown is an artist, activist, writer, and architectural researcher from New Orleans, based in London. Her research is disseminated internationally through art installations, public actions, reports, and testimony delivered to courts and organs of the United Nations. Imani received her MA with distinction from the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London, in 2019 and her BA in Anthropology and Visual Arts from Columbia University in 2010. Among other things, she is currently a doctoral candidate in the School of Geography at Queen Mary, University of London, a research fellow with Forensic Architecture, and an associate lecturer in MA Architecture at the Royal College of Art.

 

Credits

This exhibition aspires to abstain from the use of materials derived from fossil fuels.

 

This exhibition is organized by the Storefront Team

Lead Curator: Guillermo Ruiz de Teresa

 

Collaborators: Tobechukwu Onwukeme, Mark Mushiva, Mohamad Safa, Les Cenelles

 

Special thanks from the artist to: Bruce SunPie Barnes, Frank Dexter Brown, Kiluanji Kia Henda, Adrian Lahoud, Godofredo Perreira, Tom Turnbull, Eyal Weizman, Jeanne M. Woods, The Rivers Institute, Amistad Research Center, and The Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts

 

Graphic design by Estudio Herrera

 

Swamplands

Swamplands, a year of research and programs at Storefront for Art and Architecture focused on the ethical and technical entanglements of water, takes the murky soil and unstable grounds of swamps as a conceptual framework to highlight the ecological and socioeconomic intricacies that lie at the threshold between bodies of water and land. Presenting newly commissioned works and exhibitions that are anchored alongside the coast of the Gulf of Mexico by artists Imani Jacqueline Brown, Gala Porras-Kim, and Fred Schmidt-Arenales, Swamplands explores unique social, political, and economic conditions in the tidelands of Louisiana, Yucatan, and Texas respectively. In addition to the three exhibitions, this multi-sited project will also unfold through public programs, radio broadcasts, a research fellowship, an open call, and a thematic reader connecting with other geographies dealing with the increasing complexities of wetlands.

 

Support

This exhibition has been made possible through the support of the Mellon Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Ruth Foundation for the Arts, the National Endowment of the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature; public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; with invaluable support from Storefront’s Board of Directors, the Storefront Circle, Storefront members, and individual donors. Storefront is a proud member of CANNY (Collaborative Arts Network New York), currently supported by the Mellon Foundation, Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Arison Arts Foundation, Imperfect Family Foundation, and Jay DeFeo Foundation. Storefront extends special thanks to CARA.

ARTIST TALK: Fred Schmidt-Arenales and New Red Order

Image: Still from IT IS A GOOD PROJECT AND SHOULD BE BUILT, 2024 by Fred Schmidt-Arenales

 

Tuesday May 21, 2024, 6:30pm

97 Kenmare Street

New York, NY

 

[RSVP]

 

On the occasion of the exhibition IT IS A GOOD PROJECT AND SHOULD BE BUILT by Fred Schmidt-Arenales, the artist is joined by public secret society New Red Order for a conversation with Associate Curator Jessica Kwok. The discussion will unpack how the artists both approach structures of bureaucracy, “theories of change” and decision-making processes within their practices, and what these strategies reveal about the inherent assumptions and philosophies carried by governments. 

 

About the Participants

New Red Order (NRO) is a public secret society facilitated by core contributors Jackson Polys, Adam Khalil, and Zack Khalil. Polys is a multi-disciplinary artist who examines negotiations toward the limits and viability of desires for Indigenous growth. He holds an MFA in Visual Arts from Columbia University and was the recipient of a Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Mentor Artist Fellowship. Adam Khalil is a filmmaker and artist whose practice attempts to subvert traditional forms of image making through humor, relation, and transgression. He received his B.A. from Bard College and is co-founder of COUSINS Collective. Zack Khalil is a filmmaker and artist whose work explores an Indigenous worldview and undermines traditional forms of historical authority through the excavation of alternative histories and the use of innovative documentary forms. He received his B.A. at Bard College in the Film and Electronic Arts Department, and is a UnionDocs Collaborative Fellow and Gates Millennium Scholar. Their work has appeared at Artists Space, Haus der Kulturen der Welt Berlin, Kunstverein in Hamburg, Lincoln Center, Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, New York Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Toronto Biennial 2019, Walker Arts Center, and Whitney Biennial 2019, among other institutions.

IF THE WATER GETS IN

Image: Still from IT IS A GOOD PROJECT AND SHOULD BE BUILT by Fred Schmidt-Arenales, 2024. Courtesy of the artist

 

Friday May 10, 2024

6:30pm

97 Kenmare Street

New York, NY

 

 

Drawing upon artist Fred Schmidt-Arenales’ methods of collapsing unstaged and scripted performance, IF THE WATER GETS IN is an evening of acts by a constellation of participants in dialogue with the themes explored within IT IS A GOOD PROJECT AND SHOULD BE BUILT, currently on view at Storefront. It will encompass a re-staging of “Basin Girl” by Canal Street Research Association as a way to engage with New York’s history as a marshland, a discussion between Kate Boicourt from the Environmental Defense Fund and Jacqueline Klopp from the Center of Sustainable Urban Development at Columbia University on the ecological issues echoed in the exhibition, and a live performance of the original score and “Opera” scene by the film’s composer, Jacob Brunner and musicians. 

 

 

About the Performers

Canal Street Research Association was founded in 2020 in an empty storefront on Canal Street, New York’s counterfeit epicenter. Delving into the cultural and material ecologies of the street and its long history as a site that probes the limits of ownership and authorship, the association repurposes underused real estate as spaces for gathering ephemeral histories, mapping local lore, and tracing the flows and fissures of capital. They have occupied storefronts, empty office buildings, and storage units—and are currently located in a basement under Canal Street.

 

The fictional office entity is operated by Shanzhai Lyric (Ming Lin and Alex Tatarsky), a poetic research and roving archival unit that take inspiration from 山寨 (shanzhai or counterfeit) goods to examine how bootlegs use mimicry, hybridity, and permutation to both revel in and reveal the artifice of global hierarchies.

Karl Blau continues to blaze trails in country-infused grunge with jazz underpinnings and overtones. Since 1996 he has released over 40 of his own records and toured/recorded with numerous other artists, including the Microphones/Mount Eerie, Laura Veirs, Little Wings, D+, and Earth. He has a new genre-bent album—made in a studio he calls Andy’s Room (based in hometown Germantown, Philadelphia)—forthcoming on Philly/LA label Otherly Love Records. 

 

Kate Boicourt a director for the Climate Resilient Coasts and Watersheds team at the Environmental Defense Fund. She works within EDF’s Climate Resilient Coasts and Watersheds team to foster partnerships to collectively advocate for comprehensive, evidence-based and equitable policies and investments that build resilience for all in New York, New Jersey and beyond.

 

Previously, she was the Director of Resilience for Waterfront Alliance. In this role, she spearheaded Rise to Resilience, a multi-year campaign and coalition for resilience in the NY-NJ region, as well as the development of WEDG (Waterfront Edge Design Guidelines) into a national rating system and education program for excellence in waterfront design. Prior to that, she served as the restoration program manager for the NY-NJ Harbor & Estuary Program (HEP), where she focused on coastal issues related to restoration, public access, and climate change.

Jacob Brunner is a composer, songwriter, and producer from Philadelphia. He studied anthropology with Michael Taussig and music theory with Fabien Lévy and Charlie Looker (Extra Life, Zs). His work draws from contemporary classical music, ethnomusicology, structured randomness, and various forms of transformative mimesis (sampling, folk music, cut-up techniques). Since 2006 he has released music under the name Strawberry Hands; collaborated with songwriters such as Weyes Blood, Little Wings, and Thanksgiving; and scored for film, theater, and art installations.

Chris Covatta is a multi-disciplinary artist living and creating between Philadelphia and Brooklyn. His recent projects include co-producing the new Karl Blau record (Otherly Love Records), collaborating with Strawberry Hands, and producing a variety of visual works.

Jacqueline Klopp is the Director of Center for Sustainable Urban Development at Columbia University. She is a Research Scholar who explores the intersection of sustainable transport, land use, accountability, data and technology. Klopp is the author of numerous academic and popular articles on land and the politics of infrastructure with a focus on Africa and is increasingly exploring the potential of new technologies to impact transportation and land-use in the 21st Century. Prior to joining CSUD Jacqueline Klopp was an Assistant Professor of International and Public Affairs at the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) and Director of the Economic and Political Development Concentration where she taught the politics of international development and oversaw student workshops across the globe. She currently teaches in the Sustainable Development undergraduate program at Columbia University.

Alexandra Venzke is a musician and native Houstonian currently working in New York. She is a classically trained vocalist, early childhood music specialist, and accomplished session singer. Alexandra has considerable experience performing both as a soloist and in ensembles across many genres and musical styles. She is passionate about cultivating community and collaboration. Recent collaborators include a visual artist inspired to paint to recordings of her singing, a film maker that has included her singing original music with custom costuming, and songwriters who have her perform and record their original music. She teaches private and group music lessons, produces musical, performance arts, and fashion events and sings with Pride Chorus Houston.

Swamplands: Open Call

Storefront for Art and Architecture and frieze magazine launch Swamplands: Open Call, an opportunity for artists, architects, researchers, writers, and collectives to propose an exhibition to be presented at our gallery space at 97 Kenmare in January, 2025. 

 

We are in search of projects focused on the ethical and technical entanglements of water through diverse forms of artistic practice, including photography, video, performance, installation, architecture, and other media. Proposals should take the form of a solo exhibition. Collaborations across different professional fields/practices are welcome.

 

The selected proposal will be chosen by an international jury of curators, scholars, and cultural practitioners  through a blind review process.  The selected project will demonstrate a strong exhibition idea and the applicant’s engagement with the subject matter, as well as the project’s feasibility with regards to the budget and timeline, and its responsiveness to Swamplands series and Storefront’s mission at large.

 

To find out more about Swamplands series please click here.

 

 

 

Applications are open from May 1st to June 15th, 2024.

 

In order to apply, you will be asked to submit the following information through this online form:

–  A detailed explanation of the project and how it relates to the Swamplands research and exhibition series and your broader practice at large. (500 words)

–  Images that inform your project proposal with credits (up to 5). Accepted formats are jpg. png.

–   Relevant writing or images of past work that relate to your proposal. Please include captions that  clarify that relationship. (up to 5 images, videos or writing pieces)

– Contact information (e-mail address and telephone number).

 

To download the 2D and 3D drawing set of the Storefront gallery, please visit this link: Storefront Drawing Set

 

 

The selected proposal will receive a budget of $10,000, an artist fee of $2,500, and institutional support to produce and present a month-long exhibition that will be on view from January 18 to Feb 17, 2025. This opportunity is open to applicants at any stage of their careers regardless of experience level or background. Neither a curriculum vitae nor letters of recommendation are requested. There are no fees involved at any stage of the process. Storefront cannot cover relocation or travel costs beyond the exhibition budget, in case the applicant is not based in New York. 

 

The selected candidate will be announced with an advertisement in frieze Magazine. As part of Storefront’s public program, a conversation with frieze’s senior editor Terence Trouillot will be held at the gallery space during the run of the show. 

 

We look forward to reviewing your proposal. If you have questions please contact opencall@storefrontnews.org

 

 

Sarah Herda

Director, Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts

 

Yina Jiménez Suriel

The Current IV Curatorial Fellow, TBA21–Academy 

 

Inés Katzenstein

Curator of Latin American Art and Director of Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Research Institute for the 

Study of Art from Latin America, MoMA

 

Humberto Moro

Deputy Director of Program,  Dia Art Foundation

 

Gean Moreno

Director, Knight Foundation Art + Research Center, ICA Miami

 

Diya Vij

Curator, Creative Time

 

 

 

Storefront’s Swamplands program is made possible in part with support from the Mellon Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Ruth Foundation for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature; public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; with invaluable support from Storefront’s Board of Directors, the Storefront Circle, Storefront members, and individual donors. Storefront is a proud member of CANNY (Collaborative Arts Network New York), currently supported by the Mellon Foundation, Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Arison Arts Foundation, Imperfect Family Foundation, and Jay DeFeo Foundation. Storefront extends a special thanks to our partner for the Open Call, frieze Magazine.

IT IS A GOOD PROJECT AND SHOULD BE BUILT

Image: Still from IT IS A GOOD PROJECT AND SHOULD BE BUILT, 2024 by Fred Schmidt-Arenales. Courtesy of the artist.

 

IT IS A GOOD PROJECT AND SHOULD BE BUILT

Fred Schmidt-Arenales

 

Exhibition Dates

Mar 13th, 2024 – Jun 1st, 2024

 

 

This exhibition focuses on a proposed $57 billion water development infrastructure project called the Texas Coastal Barrier Project, colloquially known as the Ike Dike. Expanding upon the existing Galveston Seawall, the Ike Dike is framed as a means of protection from hurricane-induced storm surge flooding in Galveston Bay and along the petrochemical corridor in the Houston ship channel. When completed, it will include a greater than 2 mile long ocean barrier that, when closed, will plug the entrance to Galveston Bay. 

 

Employing documentary and narrative filmmaking strategies, this three channel video installation explores the symbolic and unconscious projections underpinning the Ike Dike. The scenes toggle between recordings of actual bureaucratic proceedings and open-ended imaginary scenarios in which avatars representing state actors engage in decidedly non-bureaucratic actions. By untangling the governmental interests driving this  project, the work offers viewers a field for imagining how they might intervene in such opaque processes. IT IS A GOOD PROJECT AND SHOULD BE BUILT contemplates human attempts to engineer nature into submission under the guise of resiliency, and at the cost of huge ecological detriment.

 

This work on view at Storefront will eventually be developed into a feature length film following the exhibition.  

 

About the Artist

Fred Schmidt-Arenales is an artist and filmmaker. His projects attempt to bring awareness to unconscious processes on the individual and group level. He has presented films, installations, and performances internationally at venues including SculptureCenter and Abrons Arts Center (New York), Links Hall (Chicago), The Darling Foundry (Montreal), LightBox and The Institute of Contemporary Art (Philadelphia), Artspace (New Haven), The Museum of Fine Arts and FotoFest (Houston), Künstlerhaus Halle für Kunst und Medien (Graz), and Kunsthalle Wien (Vienna). His recent film Committee of Six was an official selection of the 2022-23 Architecture and Design Film Festival and was awarded a jury prize for best film at the 2023 Onion City Experimental Film Festival.

 

Swamplands

Swamplands, a year of research and programs at Storefront for Art and Architecture focused on the ethical and technical entanglements of water, takes the murky soil and unstable grounds of swamps as a conceptual framework to highlight the ecological and socioeconomic intricacies that lie at the threshold between bodies of water and land. Presenting newly commissioned works and exhibitions that are anchored alongside the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, Swamplands explores unique social, political, and economic conditions in the tidelands of Louisiana, Yucatan, and Texas respectively. In addition to the three exhibitions, this multi-sited project will also unfold through public programs, radio broadcasts, a research fellowship, an open call, and a thematic reader connecting with other geographies dealing with the increasing complexities of wetlands.

 

Credits

This exhibition is organized by the Storefront Team

Lead Curator: Jessica Kwok

 

Graphic design by Estudio Herrera

 

Support

This exhibition has been made possible through the support of the Mellon Foundation, the Ruth Foundation for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature; public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; and The Stolbun Family; with invaluable support from Storefront’s Board of Directors, the Storefront Circle, Storefront members, and individual donors. Storefront is a proud member of CANNY (Collaborative Arts Network New York), currently supported by the Mellon Foundation, Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Arison Arts Foundation, Imperfect Family Foundation, and Jay DeFeo Foundation. Storefront extends special thanks to CARA.

Swamplands

 

Swamplands, a yearlong research and exhibition series at Storefront for Art and Architecture focused on the ethical and technical entanglements of water. This program takes the murky soil and unstable grounds of swamps as a conceptual framework to highlight the ecological and socioeconomic intricacies that lie at the threshold between bodies of water and land.

 

Presenting newly commissioned works and exhibitions that are anchored alongside the coast of the Gulf of Mexico by artists Imani Jacqueline Brown, Gala Porras-Kim, and Fred Schmidt-Arenales, Swamplands explores unique social, political, and economic conditions in the tidelands of Louisiana, Yucatan, and Texas respectively. In addition to the three exhibitions, this multi-sited project will also unfold through public programs, radio broadcasts, a research fellowship, an open call, and a thematic reader that will aid in connecting with other geographies dealing with the increasing complexities of wetlands. Individually and collectively, these artistic expressions challenge perceptions of swamps as unstable environments, portraying them instead as sites of inherent duality and hybridity, both of emergence and transformation, of care and kinship, as well as of violence and neglect. 

 

The different projects and dialogues hosted throughout the year aim to uncover the emergence of diverse life forms amidst the dynamic interplay of weather, water, land, and the coexistence of human and non-human elements. The intrinsic ambiguity of mud becomes a poignant locus of resistance, defying conventional capitalist interpretations of climate dynamics and environmental health. Swamplands thus becomes a platform for reimagining our relationship with these ecologically rich yet often misunderstood landscapes, inviting a reevaluation towards notions of environmental stewardship and cultural engagement.

 

 

Swamp Summit

Serving as a prelude to Swamplands, the Swamp Summit was a field trip and learning summit which took place in February 2024, and brought together a multidisciplinary group of artists, curators, anthropologists, biologists, environmental activists, and poets to collectively think on the social, political, and material presence of water in the Yucatán peninsula. It was organized in collaboration with Fundación Transformación, Arte y Educación, and Jorge Pardo.

 

Exhibitions

Fred Schmidt-Arenales: March 2024

 

Imani Jacqueline Brown: June 2024

 

Gala Porras-Kim: September 2024

 

Open Call

The Swamplands: Open Call in collaboration with frieze magazine will be launched this Spring and invites proposal submissions for a month long exhibition to be presented at Storefront’s gallery in January 2025. The selected application will receive institutional support, a budget, and a fee to develop and realize the project.

 

Broadcasts

Throughout the year, Storefront will be collaborating with the independent online radio Montez Press Radio to release Swamplands: Broadcasts, a series of radio programs that further explore the subject through staged conversations, interviews, readings, etc. These broadcasts provide another platform to disseminate our ongoing generative research. These four radio broadcasts will collage case studies, conversations, and field recordings to weave our findings together. 

 

Open Sessions

During the last week of each month Storefront will open the gallery for Swamplands: Open Sessions, inviting a different guest to curate and host the evening. These informal gatherings will open a space for collective learning where critical issues surrounding ecological and socioeconomic intricacies that lie at the threshold between bodies of water and land are shared and discussed.

 

Researcher in Residence

The Swamplands: Researcher in Residence will spend the year thinking through ideas of borders and ambiguous land and water terrains as it pertains to Florida and Cuba, with an emphasis on investigating marginalized histories and ecological narratives.  

 

Reader

A publication with excerpts from the cumulative research, new commissions, and archival materials will be published at the end of this year-long program.

 

Additional public programs will take place in conjunction with the exhibitions. For more information, follow us on Instagram, or sign up for our newsletter

 

Credits

Swamplands is conceived and organized by the Storefront Team

Graphic design by Estudio Herrera 

Photography by Yvonne Venegas

 

Support
Storefront’s Swamplands  program is made possible through the support of the Ruth Foundation for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature; public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; with invaluable support from Storefront’s Board of Directors, the Storefront Circle, Storefront members, and individual donors. Storefront is a proud member of CANNY (Collaborative Arts Network New York), currently supported by the Mellon Foundation, Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Arison Arts Foundation, Imperfect Family Foundation, and Jay DeFeo Foundation. Storefront extends to a special thanks to our Swamp Summit partners, Fundación TAE and Jorge Pardo.

Red Canary Sings: Karaoke Fundraiser

 

Saturday, February 17th, 2023

2pm – 6pm

97 Kenmare Street,

New York, NY, 10012

 

[RSVP]

 

Welcome the Year of the Dragon on the final day of Red Canary Song’s exhibition Flower Spa: Solidarity Outside In! On February 17 from 2-6pm, Storefront will host Red Canary Sings: A Karaoke Fundraiser to support RCS.

 

The event will be MC’d by very special guest Drag King Wang Newton and includes opening performances by KQT Pungmul, a crew of Korean Queer and Trans pungmul dummers based in NYC, an art auction with handcrafted works by Studio Jin Kwak, and Korean fare by RCS’s very own Charlotte, Mixtress of Kimchi!

 

This is a free community event to raise funds and celebrate the very important work that RCS does. RSVP and masks are strongly encouraged!

 

On the Ground

Flower Spa by Red Canary Song is the result of an open call for proposals connected to On the Ground, a yearlong research project and exhibition series about New York City’s ground floor. Through a close look at the urban typology of the storefront, this expansive endeavor presents newly commissioned artistic explorations and dialogues about the heterogeneous threshold between public and private space throughout 2023 and early 2024. The project unfolds through three exhibitions, a radio show, an open call, a public program, and a thematic reader.

 

Storefront would like to thank frieze Magazine for their partnership in this project, as well as the jury that selected the winning proposal composed of Naomi Beckwith, Tom Finkelpearl, Danielle A. Jackson, Sohrab Mohebbi, Manuela Moscoso, and Felicity D. Scott. 

 

Support  

This exhibition has been made possible through the support of the Graham Foundation, the Ruth Foundation for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature; public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; with invaluable support from Storefront’s Board of Directors, the Storefront Circle, Storefront members, and individual donors. Storefront is a proud member of CANNY (Collaborative Arts Network New York), currently supported by the Mellon Foundation, Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Arison Arts Foundation, Imperfect Family Foundation, and Jay DeFeo Foundation. 

Flower Spa: Solidarity Outside In

Image: Flower Spa: Solidarity Outside In by Red Canary Song, 2024. Courtesy of artists

 

Flower Spa: Solidarity Outside In

Red Canary Song

 

Exhibition Dates
January  20th, 2024 – February 17th, 2024

 

 

Building on their exploration of intimate bodywork spaces as hubs of collective activism, Red Canary Song (RCS) utilizes Storefront’s gallery to engage both the migrant massage workers in Flushing, Queens and Chinatown, Manhattan. For RCS, the massage parlor is a home, a sanctuary, and stage of resistance for decriminalization and migrant justice. 

 

Flower Spa: Solidarity Outside In delves into entangled practices of placemaking while navigating issues of commercialism and fetishization, domestic violence and survival. The gallery is presented as a space of work and domesticity, as it is often experienced by the migrant massage worker. This portrayal reflects both the policing and surveillance directed specifically at migrant Asian women, as well as the collective grieving and reciprocal care within the community. The spatial progression from the sidewalk to the inner quarter of massage chambers, registered by interior ornaments and architectural thresholds, embodies the transpositional existence of the migrant workers. 

 

The exhibition’s centerpiece is a newly released feature-length documentary by RCS titled Fly in Power, which narrates the collective actions taken by the collective in confronting contradictions of racism, patriarchy, and capitalism against racialized working women, in the form of law enforcement, urban policies, and social segregation. Throughout the exhibition’s duration, the gallery will serve as a hub for convening, organizing, celebrating, and fostering mutual relationships within the broader RCS community. The exhibition sets up an opportunity to forge new connections across boroughs. 

 

Forefronting mutual aid as the foundation of abolitionist frameworks, Flower Spa: Solidarity Outside In re-orientates the engagement of informal labor economies as unbound and emancipatory. 

 

About the Artist

Image: Red Canary Song, 2023. Photo by PJ Rountree

 

 

RED CANARY SONG is a collective of migrant massage workers, sex workers, and allies of the Asian diaspora, based in Flushing, Queens. Their work centers on mutual aid, community care, decriminalization of sex work, and abolition of the prison industrial complex. RCS was formed in 2018 at a vigil for Yang Song, a Chinese migrant massage worker who fell to her death from a four story window during a police raid. 

 

Red Canary Song: Charlotte, Chong, David, Esther, Elena, Eunbi, Edward, Fran, Lisa, Linn, Layla, Mei Mei, Tommy, Wu, Xen, Yves, Yeonhoo, Yoon,Yin

Curatorial Team: Chong Gu & Yin Q

 

This exhibition is organized by the Storefront Team

Graphic design by Estudio Herrera

 

On the Ground

Flower Spa by Red Canary Song is the result of an open call for proposals connected to On the Ground, a yearlong research project and exhibition series about New York City’s ground floor. Through a close look at the urban typology of the storefront, this expansive endeavor presents newly commissioned artistic explorations and dialogues about the heterogeneous threshold between public and private space throughout 2023 and early 2024. The project unfolds through three exhibitions, a radio show, an open call, a public program, and a thematic reader.

 

Storefront would like to thank frieze Magazine for their partnership in this project, as well as the jury that selected the winning proposal composed of Naomi Beckwith, Tom Finkelpearl, Danielle A. Jackson, Sohrab Mohebbi, Manuela Moscoso, and Felicity D. Scott. 

 

Support  

This exhibition has been made possible through the support of the Graham Foundation, the Ruth Foundation for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature; public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; with invaluable support from Storefront’s Board of Directors, the Storefront Circle, Storefront members, and individual donors. Storefront is a proud member of CANNY (Collaborative Arts Network New York), currently supported by the Mellon Foundation, Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Arison Arts Foundation, Imperfect Family Foundation, and Jay DeFeo Foundation. 

 

Storefront Book Bash

 

Sunday, December 17, 2023

2pm – 6pm

97 Kenmare Street

New York, NY

 

[RSVP]

 

Storefront is thrilled to announce Storefront Book Bash, a celebration of art, architecture and literature hosted at the gallery on December 17, from 2pm – 6pm. We’ll be hosting publishing projects from across the city who will be sharing and selling their books and other printed works, along with brief book presentations and artists talks. 

 

Participants include Canal Street Research Association, Wendy’s Subway, Primary Information, Coloured Publishing, Small Editions, Floating Opera Press, Vera List Center, Art Against Displacement, Interference Archive, New York Review of Architecture, Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space, Montez Press, Montez Press Radio, Viscose, Center for Human Rights and the Arts at Bard, Research and Destroy New York City and The Architectural League of New York.

 

It will also be a chance to explore Storefront’s curated collection of books and exclusive limited edition prints by Bernard Tschumi and Lebbeus Woods, as well as the release of a new artist t-shirt by Canal Street Research Association. 

 

Come get your holiday gifts and support independent publishers!

 

Buy a Book, Become a Member!

Students and Storefront Members will receive 25% off Storefront items.

We will also be offering a free year-long Storefront Membership to students (with a valid ID) who purchase from any vendor!

 

Event Program
3:00pm – 4:00pm New Publication Presentations featuring

  • Glass House by NO ARCHITECTURE
  • Field Guide to Indoor Urbanism by MODU Architecture.
  • Through the Ruins by Center for Human Rights and the Arts at Bard

5:00pm – 6:00pm Artist Talks featuring

  • Montez Press 
  • Small Editions 
  • Interference Archive 

On the Ground: Open Call

 

Building on their exploration of intimate bodywork spaces as hubs of collective activism for migrant massage workers, sex workers, and allies of the Asian diaspora, Red Canary Song utilizes Storefront’s gallery to engage both the Flushing, Queens community and the migrant body care workers in Chinatown, Manhattan. For RCS, the massage parlor represents a multifaceted space – a home, a stage, a confinement, and a battleground for decriminalization and migrant justice.

 

The works on view delve into these entangled practices of placemaking, navigating issues of commercialism, fetishization, domesticity, exotification, policing, violence, self-care, and survival. In this context, Storefront itself evolves into a site of advocacy and collective struggle while addressing the nuanced risks and liberatory power associated with the interior and exterior aspects of labour and their respective communities. 

 

The exhibition will open at Storefront for Art and Architecture on January 20, 2024. Throughout the show, Red Canary Song will offer community-based programs, including body care workshops, karaoke evenings, fundraisers, and a Lunar New Year celebration for Chinatown spa workers.

 

About Red Canary Song

Red Canary Song’s (RCS) work centers on mutual aid, community care, and decriminalization of labor. 

 

In November 2017, RCS formed in response to the death of Yang Song, a migrant Chinese massage worker who fell to her death from a fourth-floor window during a police raid. RCS rallied to protest the police, provide mutual aid to the family of Yang Song and other Asian massage and sex workers, and to advocate for decriminalization of unlicensed massage work and sex work. 

 

Through the pandemic, RCS provided workers with mutual aid including groceries, legal assistance, funds, and translation services. In March 2021, a gunman targeting Asian massage workers killed eight people in Atlanta. RCS responded to the tragedy by gathering communities together to mourn and protest. RCS vigils have brought together thousands of workers and allies across a range of ethnic, gender, economic, and political orientations to participate in art activations and rituals of healing.

 

Storefront for Art and Architecture, in partnership with frieze magazine, are thrilled to launch an open call for proposals that reflect on the spatial dynamics of New York City’s ground floor. 

 

Building upon On the Ground, our yearlong program focused on the critical role storefronts play in shaping public life, this open call is an opportunity for artists, architects, and researchers to develop a new body of work that will be presented at Storefront’s exhibition space during January 2024. 

 

Amongst other things, storefronts act as thresholds between public and private space, as social anchors or carescapes within communities, as voids of real estate speculation or markers of changing consumption patterns. This new initiative invites critical responses to the forces that shape the city’s street life through the production and presentation of new work by individuals or collectives.

 

Ever since it was founded in 1982, Storefront has chronicled the changing urban landscape of New York City and beyond. We’re interested in supporting work committed to presenting diverse notions of place and public life, which is at the core of Storefront’s mission. 

 

We are open to diverse forms of practice, including video, photography projects, performance-based work, installation pieces, architectural ideas, and other media. Proposals should take the form of a new body of work aligned with On the Ground that can be presented as a month-long exhibition at Storefront. Collaborations across different professional fields and practices are welcome.

 

The selected proposal will receive a $10,000 production budget in addition to a $1,500 artist fee and curatorial assistance from Storefront to present the work at the gallery. Through the support of our partner frieze magazine, and their unparalleled platform for the discovery, inspiration, and discourse of contemporary art and culture, the selected project will gain additional attention from an arts and culture audience worldwide.

 

Storefront is committed to determining the successful project through a blind review process composed of a New York-based jury of curators, scholars, and leading cultural practitioners. Projects will be considered by the strength of the ideas, the applicant’s engagement with the subject matter, the feasibility of the project with regard to budget and timeline, and the responsiveness to Storefront’s mission at large.

 

To find out more about On the Ground series please click here.

 

 

– Naomi Beckwith, Deputy Director and Jennifer and David Stockman Chief Curator, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

– Tom Finkelpearl, Social Practice Teaching Scholar-in-Residence, The City University of New York 

– Danielle A. Jackson, Curator, Artists Space

– Sohrab Mohebbi, Director, SculptureCenter

– Manuela Moscoso, Executive Director and Chief Curator, CARA

– Felicity D. Scott, Professor of Architecture, Director of the PhD program in Architecture (History and Theory), and Co-Director of the CCCP program, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, Columbia University

 

–  The successful project will be announced through Storefront and frieze digital platforms by the end of July.

–  The selected candidate will be announced with an advertisement in the printed edition of frieze magazine.

–  As part of Storefront’s public program, a conversation between the selected participant with frieze’s senior editor Terence Trouillot will be held at the gallery space during the run of the show. 

–  The work must be realized within August and December 2023 and be ready to be installed at the gallery during the first two weeks of January. (Please note the facade panels will be closed during the winter. Interventions on the exterior facade will not be possible due to our ongoing Groundworks commission.). 

– The production budget is $10,000, which should include all costs involved in the development and installation of the project, including materials, fabrication, printing, transportation and shipping, installation, and the realization of any other related events and activities. There is an artist fee of $1,500 for the selected applicant in addition to the production budget.

– The work will be presented at Storefront from January through February 2024. 

– This opportunity is open to New York City-based applicants at any stage of their careers, regardless of experience level or background. 

– No curriculum vitae or letters of recommendation are required.

– There are no application fees at any stage of the process. 

– Only one proposal per applicant will be reviewed.

 

 

Support
Storefront’s On the Ground program is made possible through the support of the Graham Foundation, the Ruth Foundation for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature; public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; the Storefront Circle and Storefront’s Board of Directors, members, and individual donors.