Featuring Peter Eide, Nina Katchadourian, Brian McClave, Douglas Ross, Elizabeth Valdez
Curated by Stephan Apicella-Hitchcock
Opening Reception: Saturday, December 2 from 4-6pm
Exhibition Dates: December 2, 2006 – January 20, 2007
Gallery Hours: Monday – Saturday, 12-5:30 pm
Location: 120 Essex Street (inside Essex Street Market)
The objectives, mediums, and strategies of the artists included in Place Marker are undoubtedly disparate upon first inspection. Temperaments and approaches to problem solving differ significantly; nevertheless, the small group of participants are united by certain criteria regardless of disposition – they were all asked to develop their ideas based on what could be found within the one block radius surrounding 120 Essex Street, the address of Cuchifritos Gallery/Project Space. This task has been literal for some, while a more metaphoric endeavor for others. Accordingly, contrasting approaches coexist and contextualize one another in the gallery space forming linkages tenuous, yet genuine.
Peter Eide has cast objects found while walking a focused line towards the Essex Street Market from his home in Brooklyn. The transitory nature of the material used for his sculptures highlights the objects themselves, as well as the larger changing environment of the Lower East Side neighborhood. Nina Katchadourian has written, performed, and recorded short jingles for several vendors in the market. The vendors in the market represent an amazing demographic in and of themselves, with businesses that have been around a very long time alongside newer arrivals. Her tunes, written in a variety of musical styles, are based on conversations with vendors and observations about their businesses. Brian McClave, based out of London, has drawn parallels between the mysterious nature of an ant colony and his perceptions of a place to which he has never been. His 3-D video focuses on community, change, and on not knowing. Douglas Ross will be supplying the gallery with a weekly sales circular highlighting items in the market. Elizabeth Valdez has focused on preexisting drip marks on the Essex Street Market ceiling and continued them onto the Cuchifritos rear gallery wall creating an improvisational wall drawing.
The criteria for this exhibition has yielded individual results that are discreet and satisfying, while simultaneously signaling impermanence. Artist’s projects indicate solutions and manage to do so without delineating them too directly. Ultimately, this exhibition should be considered as a platform for gestural solutions and possibilities, not for permanent endings. Along these lines, the contributors to Place Marker have undertaken explorations that share a small facet with Robert Smithson’s infamous and mythologized 1967 A Tour of the Monuments of Passaic, N.J., in that their goals were as open ended as the “tour.” Participants explored, collected, and developed in awareness that their projects would combine with other elements in creating a larger, complex whole. All works, even if unlike, relate delicately to a single point of convergence, 120 Essex Street.
Cuchifritos is a program of Artists Alliance Inc. This exhibit is sponsored in part by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and through the generous support of the following: The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The New York City Economic Development Corporation, The Puffin Foundation, the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation, The Greenwall Foundation, and the members of the Artists Alliance Inc.