Exhibition: Past Futures, Present, Futures

Past Futures, Present, Futures
October 6, 2012 – November 24, 2012
Storefront for Art and Architecture
97 Kenmare Street
Tuesday – Saturday 11:00AM – 6:00PM; Closed Sunday and Monday

The island of Manhattan, which most people in and outside of New York consider “New York City,” is —when you really think about it—pretty small. Neighborhoods here can be as small as just one street that goes for a long block, like Koreatown, while a neighborhood, say, in Seoul, could be the half the size of Lower Manhattan. The city of New York is also relatively “young,” as compared to hundreds of centuries old established and re-established cities outside of the States. And perhaps because of the size and age, in addition to a high concentration of energy, innovation and dynamism of many different cultures that define the fabric of the city, designing or re-designing Manhattan would seem to be a city planner’s dream.

A new exhibit at the Storefront for Art and Architecture explores this notion of possible New Yorks with a new exhibit called “Past Futures, Present, Futures.” Culling work and ideas from artists, architects, writers and policy-makers, and is currently exhibiting the “Past Futures” part of the title with the “Present” and “Futures” to be on display with a second opening later this month.

Storefront, by design, has a wonderful façade that opens up like a modernist spaceship the size of a shipping container, where every door is a window and vice versa. The interior design for this show was done by two relatively young but already quite prominent architect brothers that make up the design firm, Leong Leong and for this, they created a sort of modernist mini-funhouse, equipped with flashing blocks of color from LCD screens embedded into a wall of mirrors, with mirrored slat curtains that mold the space into half-circular-shaped rooms. However, the proposed New Yorks feel somewhat hidden and secondary to the exhibit itself, with only quick, almost at times seizure-inducing, flashes of images on the screen and concealed stickers of past snapshots of New York in past years like 1960 or 1984 within the slat curtains. The hidden information is somewhat brought out by a sound installation of a female android-like voice seemingly reading information that we cannot see to read ourselves. Despite this, it is perhaps worth a stop-in, if not for a quick Instagram shot of the space, but to write in your own proposed New York, which can be added to the hidden New Yorks in the futuristic curtains.

-Janet Kim

Image: Storefront for Art and Architecture, Past Futures, Present, Futures, 2012. Photos by Cameron Blaylock



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