Blueprint at Storefront for Art and Architecture
SO - IL
New York, NY, USA
Florian Idenburg / SO – IL Jing Liu / SO – IL Ilias Papageorgiou / SO – IL
Max Hart Nibbrig / SO – IL (Intern) Dustin Hoover / Atlantic Shrinkwrap (Shrinkwrapper)
Storefront for Art and Architecture
Blueprint is a gesture of engagement and dialogue, bringing the exhibitors, viewers, the institution and the building into conversation. Realized as part of the exhibition, the installation shrink-wraps the gallery’s façade of varied and irregular openings, transforming the exterior into one continuous and undulating surface. Wrapped in time and space, the Acconci-Holl façade opens its doors permanently to the works that –while present in the show by reference– are outside the gallery walls. The space loses its literal operational transparency to become a white, translucent icon of its curatorial aspirations. For the installation, we appropriated a “mothballing” technique. The technique to "put things away" is typically used in a range of industrial applications from suspending work on construction sites to preserving ships, and tanks. Here, we use the technique to reevaluate the original intent of the architecture of Storefront; to be an activator and agitator of the public realm. Rather than conserve, this shrink-wrap reinvigorates the existing facade and obliquely reveals activities happening behind its permeable skin through a play of light and shadow. Bereft of objects and closed to the outside world, the resulting interior provides an intimate space for the viewer to see the mind of the artist.
Blueprint at Storefront is most recent iteration of an exhibition that began in 1999. Sebastiaan Bremer originally put together Blueprint in a DIY gallery in Chelsea, New York. The show brought together young artists trying to find their voice, an audience and a future for their work. In 2014, Florian Idenburg, Jing Liu, and Sebastiaan Bremer, followed-up with Blueprint at KAdE, a show that invited many of the original artists to investigate their most “fundamental” work. The curatorial vision was the source of the architectural impulse. The medium of the blueprint is evocative of plans and intentions. The show is an assessment of the past and suggests a trajectory for the future. Blueprint at Storefront for Art and Architecture follows the same logic as its previous versions but now includes its institutional host in the creative dialogue. The Storefront has an expressed mission to engage public discourse around issues facing the future of the urban environment. In 1992, Vito Acconci and Steven Holl created the Storefront facade by installing a set of variegated panels that open onto the sidewalk. When open, the gallery space is engaged with the public sphere. When closed, seams between wall panels create a modernist composition for public purview. Blueprint navigates these intentions and their execution and suggests the possibilities of growth and transformation.
Through public participation and the organization's progressive programming of discourse around the future of art, architecture and urbanism Blueprint was an evolving symbol of the institution's civic ambitions. Shortly after the opening, the installation became the site of graffiti. The spray-paint was not removed—the installation was marked for the rest of its existence. With the actions of this event, the ambitions of the installation took a literal turn and illustrates a form of creative engagement between the public and institutional spheres.