This year, the annual curator-driven art show, Spring/Break chose Transaction as its theme. That was executed sweetly during the press conference when co-founders Ambre Kelly & Andrew Gori got married at the top of the stairs in a endearingly funny ceremony, where the bride took a phone call in the middle of her vows, directing a wine distributor to the loading dock of their after party location.
Spring/Break is one of the Armory Week attractions I try not to miss, it unapologetically has fun with art – blocking out the cynical in favor of its ‘Look at what I did Ma’ art school vibe. This year it moved out of the Old School on Mott Street in Nolita (making way for a depressing condo development), to the Moynihan Station. The new space retained that feeling of being sent off to the races – with a familiar three-floor execution of exhibits – room after room of romping and art browsing. The rooms can be a showdown of hit-or-miss aesthetics, but I continue to enjoy the discovery beyond each door.
Here’s a list of the rooms we loved walking thru.
Free ft. Oliver Jeffers curated by Marc Azoulay
We caught artist Olivers Jeffers in the midst of his dipping performance. Jeffers and his assistants fill a custom built box with gallons of colored paint – the painting is then submerged and lifted out. It’s positioned over a thick sheet of paper impregnated with Jeffer’s handwritten words – excerpts from the sitters interview – these too disappear beneath the spread of the paint. An esthetically pleasing yet haunting reminder that words too like images can be a fading memory.
Bazaar Teens curated by Dustin Yellin
I found Dustin Yellin nailing stale bread to a wall in a dank and musty room that carried nauseating smells of dirt, and coffee. He smiled and shrugged his shoulders when I asked him what was going on. “Go in and find out,” he said. I went through the maze of rooms taking it all in, and laughing to myself at the reactions of the other onlookers. After stepping outside into the hallway, I googled it, reading quickly as I navigated the space a second time. Apparently, Yellin shredded ten grand from an anonymous donor. The shredded money I saw being collaged onto canvases painted the shade of poop by artists clad in white plastic jumpsuits were going to be sold for ten grand a pop and the money used to send artists in need to school. I wondered if it was all a stunt, who would buy them, and praytell whose bright idea it was to paint canvases the shade of crap.
I don’t care what it was supposed to mean – I had fun nailing bread to the wall with Yellin and watching the mayhem ensue.
The Dead People Dead Flowers / Anne Nowak curated by Cassandra M. Johnson
Nowak collects dead flowers from graveyards and makes cyanoprints – breathing new life into the flowers, she gives the sentiments of the living more time for the ones passed on.
Installation by Anne Nowak, curated by Cassandra M. Johnson
Mail Art by Riitta Ikonen, curated by Yulia Topchiy
Over the past 11 years, Riitta Ikonen has been sending her grad school professor postcards constructed from a wide range of materials. This visual diary of tangible objects defies what you think can be posted through the mail system. They’re not an ordinary range of objects, but a thoughtful documentation of materials that reference the specifics of her time and locale.
Greed is Good / Fall on Your Sword curated by Andrew Gori & Ambre Kelly
Greed Is Good is an ‘immersive audio/visual wizard of oz-like spectacle of flying Champagne bottles, a giant sphere, original FOYS score and video’ based on Gordon Gecko’s speeches in Oliver Stone’s 1987 film, Wall Street.
After the Fire is Gone Installation by Cate Giordano, curated by Eve Sussman & Simon Lee
Form & Formlessness: Objects and the Body curated by Peter Gynd
Annulus curated by Corey Oberlander and Lindsey Stapleton
Christine Sciulli’s “Propulsion Field 4022″ light installation, curated by Tracy Causey Jeffrey