The Real Estate Show
Over the past couple of years Ana and Steve have been inviting artists to collaboratively use their storefront space. The first installment was a gathering orchestrated by Dan Walsh. Since then there have been many such incarnations (I collaborated on one last year) and currently there is a massive in-progress/partnership coordinated by Peter Soriano and Philippe Richard entitled Real Estate, an ever-evolving installation, loosely inspired by Kurt Schwitter's Merzbau. At Ventana, through a conceptual twist their Merzbau explores the tension between artists and real-estate developers.
Soriano and Richard put together an initial working group of artists to take on the various roles of property developer, architect, general contractor, and branding specialist: all the trappings of current high-end development.
Once they had established their identities and transformed the ground floor space an “Open House” was held on January 24th. This unveiling, with the attendant-overflowing crowd, was more than an “opening”; it was an art world simulation of the Williamsburg condo buying frenzy.
People lined up and packed the inside.
There will be a second phase to this confabulation. A new group of artists, who in the roles of tenants and sub-tenants, will renovate, expand, demolish, and/or subdivide the space. During the run of the exhibit an artist, in the role of a displaced tenant, will stage an independent, parallel exhibition outside the gallery.
Some of the participants:
Peter Soriano, Philippe Richard, Alisdair Duncan, Ward Shelley, Edouard Prulhiere, Sylvie Ruaulx, Bruce Pearson, Tamas Veszi, Olivier Soulerin, Raphaele Shirley, Eve Bailey, Jay Shinn, Kate Shepherd, Michael Scott, Daniela Kostova, Joro-Boro, Milena Deleva, Mario Mohan, Vlada Tomova, Georgi + Nina Tushev (Tushevs Aerials), Meglena Zapreva, Meglena Zapreva, Frederique Lucien, Agnes Barley, Dominique De Beir, Miguel Angel Molina, Pierre Mabille, Michelle Antoine, Kevin Walsh, Jenny Polak, Matt Bua, Peter Dudek, Irina Arnaut, Laurel Sparks, Chris Moss.