BEING: The Critical History Project
Storefront for Art and Architecture / 97 Kenmare St. / NY, NY 10012 / www.storefrontnews.org
October 12, 2013 – January 18, 2014
Curated by Eva Franch i Gilabert and Carlos Mínguez Carrasco
Designed by Bittertang
Graphic Design by This is our Work
Curatorial Fellows: Jessica Ngan and Matt Shaw
Curatorial Support: Jordan Anderson, Isabelle Claire Kirkham-Lewitt
Storefront TV Co-producer: E.S.P. TV
BEING was an exhibition that looked into Storefront’s 30 years of history of dreaming, amplifying, questioning, unveiling, connecting, disrupting, merging, reacting and experimenting in relation to individuals, ideas and spaces from its past, present and future.
BEING was a collection of actions. BEING was a transversal examination of Storefront’s 30 years of history to better understand the role and transformation of alternative practices in the construction of culture and public life.
While looking into archival material, institutional archaeology, and contemporary events, the exhibition presented, acted and projected forms of “being” Storefront for Art and Architecture by providing a set of historical and experiential acts around 9 action verbs: Question, Dream, Unveil, Connect, Disrupt, Amplify, React, Merge and Experiment.
Each one of these actions were presented as a series of installations that allowed the visitor to understand in more depth the mechanisms, methodologies and aspirations of an institution dedicated to the production of radical and alternative practices, while inviting and enabling the visitor to act.
As if entering into a living organism, each constantly changing environment, constructed as an experiment in and of itself, informed, armed, and provoked the viewer while indirectly revealing the ways in which the organization functions and its social and cultural positions. After engaging each environment, the visitor leaves with a series of real-time experiences that carry simultaneously Storefront’s history of making.
From a waterbed of unfulfilled dreams containing unsuccessful grant applications, unrealized exhibition proposals or frustrated conversations and encounters, to a compilation of instructions towards disruption, to a TV Broadcast studio station installed in Storefront’s basement for the unveiling of relevant contemporary issues, the exhibition aimed to bring together all the individuals invested in the discussion and production of alternative work to propose new ways of action.
The exhibition included works previously on display at Storefront by a varied range of artists and architects in specific moments in their trajectory. Artists included Vito Acconci, Liz Diller & Ricardo Scofidio, Dan Graham, Steven Holl, Jenny Holzer, Bjarke Ingels, Camilo José Vergara, Tadashi Kawamata, Laura Kurgan, LTL, Enric Miralles & Carme Pinós, Antoni Muntadas, Shirin Neshat, Kyong Park, Kiki Smith, Michael Webb, Krzysztof Wodiczko, and Lebbeus Woods. among many others.
BEING launched Storefront’s Critical History Project, a conference, an exhibition, a film, and a book that work together to understand the role of Storefront for Art and Architecture in the construction of architectural discourse within the last thirty years. Presented on the occasion of the organization's thirtieth anniversary, the project aims to reevaluate the past, scope, impact, and residue of the most relevant projects undertaken by the institution and position them in contemporary culture to assess the present and future role of alternative positions within the field of architecture.
Thanks to the support of previous directors Kyong Park, Shirin Neshat, Sarah Herda and Joseph Grima.
This exhibition was supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Art Works.
The Critical History Project, a conference, exhibition, film and publication celebrating 30 years of Storefront for Art and Architecture is made possible by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, F.J. Sciame Construction Co., Inc., the Graham Foundation for the Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts and through generous contributions from a group of individuals directly supporting 30 years of Storefront including David Adjaye, Minsuk Cho, Beatriz Colomina, Claudia Gould, Steven Holl, Steve Incontro, Bjarke Ingels, David Joselit, Galia Solomonoff, Mabel Wilson, and Karen Wong.
Special thanks to SAFEHOUSEUSA.COM for producing the edition of DREAM duvets by This is our work.