Once upon a time the streets towards Asia made it possible not only to travel goods, but also big ideas and religions. Today the route has inverted. It is China that offers a fertile ground to cultivate the arts and thinking. Chinatown is not anymore the place where to go to eat and shop Asian food, but it has become a neighborhood with a very interesting architectural and artistic trasformation.
Music, art and the written word. In a skyscraper where business oriented offices are located, a tiny gallery that schedlues shows in which art and music play a determined role. Boo-Hooray works with people like Jon Savage, Linder Sterling, Carl Johann de Geer, Larry Clark, Angus Maclise, but now it’s the moment of Penny Rimbaud, founder of the anarchic punk group Crass. The opening reveals that the artist deals also with poetry, philosophy and images. The exhibited works are part of his sketchbook that testifies his special relation to the written, Marinetti likely word.
Hyper-realism in a former label factory. The first show in the former label factory, recently remade by Peter Freeman Gallery, is by Catherine Murphy. Her hyperrealistic drawings and paintings intrigues us as well as the amazing space. The space, full of history and experience offers a perfect ambient for elder visitors who observe instants of daily life that reminds us that none can escape from the passing time.
Photos and drawigs at the limit to reality. Munch Gallery is loceted just a few blocks away from Chinatown. The new show stages the photographs and drawings by Kristoffer Axén and Jacob Dahlstrupp, the one with pictures that have a strong movie-like aesthetics, the other with drawings depicting galaxues and meteorits.
New technlogies in an old garage. Between a chinese laundry and a stockhouse for noodles, Simon Preston Gallery opened in a former carstorage. The space hosts an exhibition by John Gerrard that fits perfectly between new, white walls and the old timbers of the ceiling. The videosimulations about the wars in South Africa and Iran emphasizes geographical areas and historical events known to us only through the media. Presto investigates and doubts in the potential and function of videogames, 3-d proto-tools and geo-localisation software in our contemporary society as a new artistic medium.
Chinese buisness. From outside it seems to be an asian Kindergarten, inside one for adults. The exhibition is composed by printed sentences and sculptures that reminds old, badly assembled school tables, nobody is really convinced and the guests hold more the glasses of wine, reflecting upon the sense of art, than having a look to the works. But there is an interesting approach that this tiny space has: Invisible Exports offers to a curator once a month the possibility to introduce a young emergent artist who is asked to realize a work in edition of 50 that are offered to the members of this „club“.
Upstairs chic, downstairs …. Rox Gallery opened a few months ago transforming an old paintershop in an art gallery. And while the opening on th eground level is going it’s traditional way, in the basement is going on the real party where we can finally find the so missed Mew York’s underground art scene: the cellar hosts the show The Silverstones with scandalous photographs by Anna Bloda and Merilyn Minther.
From packaging to artwork. It’s not Chinatown anymore, but for sure one of the most interesting Galleries in this neighborhood. On Stellar Rays shows two bodies of work from 2000-05 and 2012 by the artist Rochelle Feinstein. Both actively deploy words, declarations and cliché expressions in service of making images. The exhibition includes found photographs, paintings, and other various mementos including buttons, newspapers, Xerox copies, and recursive use of Feinstein’s own work, commemorating in a way also the loaders of food cases working outside.
The Chinese loft. A performance and photograpy in a hidden loft that functions as gallery, event agency, risto and cocktail bar. Perfect circumstances to end a weekend made of shopping and opening on the top of a chinese beauty salon and asian supermarkets. Between one drink and another we try to assist to the performance by Sharmila Desai and to have a look to the pictures by Pablo Guarderas, but the restaurant is too crowded.
The effects of gravitiy. Essex Street Gallery relocated next to the most famous Dumplig House. The exhibition The Handler of Gravity investigates the force of gravity through works of emergent artists (Juliette Blightman, Nina Koennemann, Valerie Snobeck, Lucie Stahl) and well know artists like Duchamp and Broodthaers. The exhibition space of the gallery, two stair steps upon Eldridge Street, represents though a real window to the future in which experimentation and consolidated art coexist, bound by a deep research about the forces that rules our world. An idealistic walk and knowledge-teaching experience through the Silk Road.www.essexstreet.biz
This article has been published on Artribune.