EFA Project Space
323 West 39th Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10018
September 14, 2007 - October 27, 2007
Wherever the Art Goes, the Market Will Follow
The group show curated by Jason Murison, The Price of Nothing: Luxury after the Real Estate Show, is an assorted mix of well-known and lesser known work from varied time periods. Based on the controversial The Real Estate Show (1979/80), the exhibition considers an important and problematic relationship that exists between gentrification and the art market. Martin Wong’s painted garage door façade with abstract remnants of graffiti (Houston Street, 1996), reminds us of the mid 80s and early 90s and the now-vastly changed Lower East Side and East Village neighborhoods profoundly affected by gentrification. The painting’s own existence and presence in the show confounds us – as we understand that the painting is here because we were there. From the collaborative video project of Michael Smith and Josh White (Open House Sales Pitch, 1999), which parodies both the art market and the kind of show found on the home improvement cable network HGTV, to Christy Rupp’s 1978 simply rendered Rat Posters hung low to the ground on the eye level of rodents and other vermin, the majority of the work in the show contributes to a kind of deadpan quality, a self-reflectivity, a somber look back upon itself. The original The Real Estate Show was organized by an anonymous group of artists and staged in guerrilla-like style, squatted in an abandoned storefront in the Lower East Side. In Murison’s exploration of this project, displayed in the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts gallery in a twelve story midtown Manhattan building, one is forced to question the role of institutional critique in an art market world entangled and wed to the real estate market which spins itself round and round again.
Posted by Kristin Dickson
(*Images from top to bottom: John Feckner, The Price of Nothing: Luxury after the Real Estate Show, September 14 - October 27, 2007; EFA Gallery, Decay, Courtesy of EFA Gallery, New York. Martin Wong, The Price of Nothing: Luxury after the Real Estate Show, September 14 - October 27, 2007; EFA Gallery, Houston Street 1986, Courtesy of EFA Gallery, New York. Amos Poe, The Price of Nothing: Luxury after the Real Estate Show, September 14 - October 27, 2007; EFA Gallery, The Foreigner, film still, Courtesy of EFA Gallery, New York.)