Tuesday, June 30, 2009

No Longer Empty

As the storefronts of New York City sit vacant, thanks to a combination of landlord greed and economic meltdown, No Longer Empty steps in to fill the voids.

"Revitalizing space : unlocking creativity...No Longer Empty is a group of curators and artists who present thought provoking exhibits in empty store fronts." Their first stop: The Chelsea Hotel. Running until July 18, they've taken over the former space of the Capitol Fishing Tackle shop.

Inside, there's a vaguely nautical theme--the curators told me that each show will have a theme somewhat in line with the space's former occupants--beach balls pile on the floor, there are sailors and portholes.

There is also tattooing imagery, a few life preservers, and a collection of sculptural books on how to catch "big fish" like Andy Warhol and Allen Ginsberg.

It reminded me of my favorite moment in time on 42nd Street, when the empty theaters were filled with art installations, surrounded by smut shops and peep shows. It was, to me, the perfect combination of aesthetics and cultures. Art and sex.

There are no smut shops around the No Longer Empty show, but it does feel a little bit like the early 1990s--when a recession opened up creative possibilities in the city.

There is still hope.


Anonymous said...

Not into it.

I like the ads better that I see around NYC in the empty storefronts.

Laura Goggin Photography said...

What a good idea.

And I didn't know the fly-fishing place was gone. :(

Mark said...

I loved the Jenny Holzer aphorisms on all the marquees along 42nd Street! I also remember a Todd Oldham installation. How exciting that was!

Anonymous said...

The artist who created the "How to Catch" piece should do some factchecking. The people who currently manage the Chelsea Hotel and gave this empty space to the art show have nothing to do with the Chelsea Hotel being known worldwide as an important artistic institution. They actually fired the Bards and evicted artists all in the name of MONEY! The minority shareholders are also responsible for Capitol Fishing & Tackle moving to 34th Street. They refused to renew their lease.

Newburgh Restoration said...

cool link for No Longer Empty! I just wrote about the same exact thing and how it's been a positive impact in depressed cities. I will be looking around for this one