Condo New York
              Orit Gat
              I’m leaving New York in a month. The other night I told that to an acquaintance who asked if I had read Goodbye to All That (2013), a collection of writing about “loving and leaving New York.” I’ve only read the 1967 Joan Didion essay that gave the book its title. A friend suggested we go to the used bookstore around the corner. “They probably have a shelf dedicated to it,” I said. “You see I was in a curious position in New York,” Didion writes: “it never occurred to me that I was living a real life there.” She came for a few months and stayed for eight years. I came with an intention to stay, but “a real life” is elusive or impossible under the current political system. The third iteration of Condo New York, an initiative begun in London in 2016 in which local spaces host visiting galleries, opened in the same month MoMA closed for renovations as it soaks up the building of its displaced former neighbor the American Folk Art Museum, and in the same week I skipped an opening at the New Museum because I didn’t want to cross the picket line of its …
              Orit Gat
              When it comes to galleries, size does matter. With the big getting bigger, one London gallery suggested the small get together. Condo is a collaborative project between 24 galleries from 11 different cities housed in eight London spaces. Initiated by Vanessa Carlos of Carlos/Ishikawa, Condo’s premise is simple: each of the London galleries hosts between one and three visiting galleries. The invited galleries pay 600 pounds to cover costs and keep the full amount from any sales that result. Condo is not an alternative to art fairs; it’s a new structure meant to allow galleries of a similar size to band together in order to promote their artists and share resources. The participating galleries have similar financial concerns and, as a result, comparable stakes in circumventing the usual flow of funds at an art fair, where the young galleries are encouraged to participate in special sections—displaying work that buys the fair (and them) cultural capital—while the big players bring their most commercial stock. The ethos of younger galleries, from the Lower East Side to East and Southeast London to Kreuzberg, is that they allow for experimentation. At Condo, the main novelty was the model itself, whereas the art looked like a …

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