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Ross Racine and Peter Feigenbaum, There There

Like the Spice
224 Roebling Street, Brooklyn, 718-388-5388
April 11 - May 11, 2008
Reception: Friday, April 11, 6:30 - 10 PM
Web Site

Ross Racine and Peter Feigenbaum bring their architectural fantasies to life in this boundary-teasing show. Using the built environment as a takeoff point for exploration, the works in this exhibition straddle the line between representation and invention.

Feigenbaum presents environmental photographs of model city blocks as well as a site-specific installation built in the gallery. These cityscapes, both remembered and imagined, use the language of rooftop water tanks, 25-foot-wide five-story walkups, Italianate cornices, ancient brick facades painted Pepto-Bismol pink, roll-up store-front grates, parapet graffiti, and garish plastic storefront awnings that we instantly recognize as New York. Not models of actual neighborhoods these places are 3D redeployments of the cinematic New Yorks of “The French Connection” and 80’s graffiti flicks, the digital New Yorks of Sim City and Grand Theft Auto spliced with the artist’s memories of the city’s fringes as seen from the Bruckner Expressway as a child. As familiar as they are unfamiliar these New York remixes act as a kind of New York experience generator.

Ross Racine’s drawings/plans for exurban developments are similarly invented. Racine imagines McMansion communities as strange hives plunked into post-agrarian wastelands. Seen from the air the communities are built into graphic forms, taking the shapes of spirals, explosions and clouds that mirror the strange psychology of modular communities. Hand drawn directly by computer these drawings are in no part photographic but through digital processes become photographically convincing. They are at once allegories and plans. Racine is concerned with drawing, photography and importantly the new field of imaging. Like satellite scans from a Google Earth that’s almost-but-not-quite our Earth, they combine the eeriness of a Twilight Zone episode with a satire of our simultaneous desires for community, togetherness, privacy and property.

Peter Feigenbaum was born in Cambridge, MA in 1984. He graduated from Yale University in 2006 with BA in Architecture. He works for the architecture firm Arquitectonica, doing drafting, illustration and 3D modeling. Photographs of his models of invented outer-borough neighborhoods attracted internet attention leading to publication in the British architectural magazine, Icon. This is Peter’s first major New York exhibition.
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