Mind The Gap, Smack Mellon

March 18 – April 30, 2006. Reception: March 18, 4-7pm
Smack Mellon, New York, US
Curated by: Eva Diaz and Beth Stryker

Azra Aksamija, Jan Baracz, Center for Urban Pedagogy, Elizabeth Felicella, Stephen Hilger, neuroTransmitter, Kyong Park, Graham Parker, Marjetica Potrc, Michael Rakowitz, Doris Salcedo, Ines Schaber, Lise Skou and Lasse Lau, Sancho Silva and John Hawke, Alex Villar.

Mind the Gap examines the residual spaces of cities: spaces left over as a result of zoning, unclaimed spaces that are taken over for use by marginal communities, “dead zones” deemed un- or underdeveloped by master planners who intend to take over common grounds, and the spaces between spaces that are the unintended by-products of urban and architectural design. This exhibition presents work by artists that considers these residual spaces and so-called “urban voids” as places of particular interest, as sites for invention and do-it-yourself intervention. Through sculpture, photography, video, performance, and urban-scale architectural interventions, these projects amplify and animate the urban void as a space for renegotiating the increasing circumscription of the public sphere.

Recent debates in New York City and elsewhere about the governmental use of eminent domain in annexing public land for private use have pointed to the diminished public control over broad swaths of urban centers. The artists included in this exhibition exacerbate this tendency by occupying, altering, or otherwise testing the motivations and conflicting interests behind urban planning: they ask who formulates such plans and who benefits from them. Hosted by Smack Mellon Gallery in DUMBO, Brooklyn, Mind the Gap is located on one of many waterfront areas in which cycles of deindustrialization, blight, and gentrification— patterns in which “dead zones” feature prominently—have been enacted and challenged. Mind the Gap foregrounds such contestatory practices.

A free catalogue which includes essays by each of the curators will accompany the exhibition.

Support for the exhibition is provided by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts and HSBC. Smack Mellon receives generous support from the City of New York Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency, the National Endowment for the Arts, Agnes Gund and Daniel Shapiro, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Greenwall Foundation, Independence Community Foundation, Jean and Louis Dreyfus Foundation, Inc., Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc., Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, New York Community Trust, Robert Sterling Clark Foundation Inc., The Rodney L. White Foundation, The Starry Night Fund of Tides Foundation and the Jerome Foundation in celebration of the Jerome Hill Centennial and in recognition of the valuable cultural contributions of artists to society. Space for Smack Mellon’s programs is generously provided by the Walentas Family and Two Trees Management.

92 Plymouth Street, Dumbo, Brooklyn, NY 11201
718.834.8761 www.smackmellon.org
Gallery hours: Wednesday-Sunday 12- 6pm

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