Collected Works: A Brief History of Artists Alliance Inc.

Collected Works: A Brief History of Artists Alliance Inc. is  an installation by LES Studio Program resident Alison Owen and curated by Sanna Almajedi. Collected Works is an imprint of The Clemente building on 107 Suffolk St. created through Artist Alliance Inc. archive, and the residue of its artists-in-residence. Artist Alison Owen tells her own story of what AAI is in an investigative installation situated at the Cuchifritos Gallery. The installation consists of the remnants and ephemera of current and former residents’ creative projects, as well as dust, paint chips, and other materials collected from the stairwells and studios, creating an impression of what it means to work within AAI’s community. The Clemente has been occupied by artists since the 80s; Owen herself has been an artist-in-residence there since October 2016 through AAI’s LES Studio Program. Owen’s installation will be accompanied by a catalog introducing the audience to the rich and creative history of AAI, told through the perspective of both short- and long-term residents.

Presented as part of the Workspace 2016 exhibition series, featuring the work of LES Studio Program artist-in-residents

Alison Owen: My art practice explores collections, archives, found materials, and architecture. I engage with an archive or museum collection, gathering materials and taking notes on patterns, colors, similarities, differences. I then present these chosen objects in a new light. I invent a lyrical, intuitive framework, to give the objects a new set of relationships, a new context. I begin an installation or body of work by establishing a stock of materials: I sweep and save the dust, take inventory of the materials in the gallery storeroom and the leftovers from previous exhibitions. I meet with and collect donations from people connected to the space. I create a compositional system for the collected objects, thinking about visual resonance, similarities, and differences, use and meaning. When I am installing a show, I respond to the architecture of the space, so there is a relationship between the site and the things brought into the site.

Sanna Almajedi: I am an Iraqi-born independent curator, and I am currently a curatorial fellow at the School of Visual Arts. I have previously worked at Bold Tendencies in London, Ellen de Bruijne Gallery in Amsterdam, and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. I have curated shows with artists Shana Moulton, LARAAJI, and Data Garden. I am also the co-director of Intelligent Instruments, a vinyl record label that focuses on new commissions and reissues of ambient music.

Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space is a program of Artists Alliance Inc., a 501c3 not for profit organization located on the Lower East Side of New York City within the Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural and Educational Center. Cuchifritos is supported in part by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. This program is made possible by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts. We thank the following for their generous support: Marie and John Zimmermann Fund, Gilbert MacKay Foundation, New York City Economic Development Corporation and individual supporters of Artists Alliance Inc. Special thanks go to our team of dedicated volunteers, without whom this program would not be possible. For more information, visit