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Avant-Guide to NYC: Discovering Absence

291 Church Street, 212-431-5270
Tribeca / Downtown
November 4 - December 19, 2009
Reception: Wednesday, November 4, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

Curated by Sandra Skurvida

Including work by: Julieta Aranda, caraballo-farman, Kabir Carter, Dexter Sinister, Eckhard Etzold, Andrea Geyer, Pablo Helguera, Nancy Hwang, Pia Lindman, Anna Lundh, Nina Katchadourian, Carlos Motta, Angel Nevarez & Valerie Tevere, Hatuey Ramos-Fermin, Katya Sander, Ward Shelley, Xaviera Simmons, and Alex Villar

Finding our way around the city, we are navigating among interconnected pasts and presents of people, places, and events that make up the histories that we choose to investigate, record, and possibly reclaim. AVANT-GUIDE TO NYC maps these “minor” histories in the cultural environment of New York of the twentieth century. Marcel Duchamp’s studio, Art of This Century, and Group Material — where are these places, and what do they represent today? Visits to many notable addresses reveal that current functional existence of the place — a store, a loft, or a street corner — has been estranged from its discursive role. The intent of this project is to resituate these places and their narratives in the time bend between past and present — in the actuality.

This project started as a compendium and documentation of art sites in the city. Yet any attempt at documentation only confirms the fact that an investigative archive is not stable — it is responsive, evolves in time, and requires constant updating. Realization of a “live archive” calls for a networked approach — preliminary research has been presented to a number of artists who are engaged in contextual, collaborative, and public art practices. The artists added their own multiple and variegated points of interest to the list — their responses to the research initiative, presented in this exhibition, proceed from documentation towards production of history.
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