February 14, 2020 - Hot Air - The FiDi Arsenale
e-flux Architecture
February 14, 2020
February 14, 2020

Hot Air / Mery Gates

The FiDi Arsenale.

The FiDi Arsenale
February 28–March 27, 2020

Opening: February 28, 6–9pm

The 23 Space (Formerly the Barleycorn Pub)
23 Park Place
New York, NY 10007

Instagram: Mery Gates / Instagram: Hot Air

The economic engine of NYC has altered urban space to enforce economic austerity and marginalize emerging arts and culture. Meanwhile, blue chip galleries and large institutions are working with ever increasing budgets to attract a rapidly expanding consumer audience. 

New alternatives to traditional institutions are found both in virtual territories and in precarious IRL spaces. The repurposing of tools and networks provided by game engines allow artists to create new places to perform identities and power dynamics through custom avatars or characters. In parallel, the securing of abandoned retail and unused residential space in the physical world allows artists to experiment with ways of displaying work untethered from market viability. Undermining the need for traditional exhibition space, these strategies challenge the implicit power structures of the art market and financial capital. 

The FiDi Arsenale is located in a vacant Irish pub just blocks from the World Trade Center. The show will include installations, found objects, and artifacts derived from the byproducts of commercialism and the transformation of retail territory. Alongside these physical works, a series of videos, software, and research-based artworks give glimpses of new worlds where people are carving out and enacting their own visions and communities.

Curated by Collin Clarke, Bika Rebek, and Matt Shaw. With contributions from Joshua Citarella, Keiron de Nobriga, Mark Fingerhut, Claire Hentschker, Jason Isolini, Damjan Jovanovic, Filip Kostic, Pierce Myers, Sam Rolfes, Bika Rebek, Rachel Rosheger, Daesup Song, Tea Stražičić, Stock-a-Studio, Theo Triantafyllidis, and Leah Wulfman.

Support provided by SCI-Arc.

HOT AIR is a nomadic, volunteer-run, DIY architecture space in downtown Manhattan that provides a platform outside of the traditional institutions of New York City. Run out of abandoned and vacant storefronts, the initial iteration was in the former home of Haute Air, “a boutique blow dry bar in the heart of Soho." Located in the most expensive neighborhoods in the world, HOT AIR paradoxically benefits from the extreme gentrification that has made Manhattan less hospitable to artists. By reclaiming space left behind by this perverse logic of capital, HOT AIR is part of another stage of gentrification. In a post-commercial context, next to brand flagships and private clubs, HOT AIR provides a place for aesthetic flexibility and experimental ideas—a counterpoint to the market-driven aesthetics that now dominate the city.

About Mery Gates
Mery Gates is an artist-run exhibition space and curatorial program directed by Collin Clarke, Matthias Krankl, Russel Barsanti and Sam Siegel. The space, which is primarily the artist’s studio, is located in Bushwick in a once derelict storefront. Under the name Mery Gates, each of the artists take their hand in organizing shows or collaborating with local curators. Without the economic pressure of a traditional gallery structure, the artists are enabled to disregard market viability in favor of exhibiting work with relevance to the contemporary art community.

Hot Air
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