Proteus Gowanus is a collaborate umbrella organization which began in 2005 and is home to over a dozen mini art exhibits, shops, museums, libraries, and art groups. This collaborative spirit has sparked other organizations to move into their building and has created partnerships with seven non profits, including the Brooklyn Museum and the Brooklyn Historical Society. The 2008-2009 exhibit Mend includes books, art, and rare found objects covering over a dozen topics such as Healing, Stitching, Broken, and Death.
There are examples on display of the Fixers' Collective, a group which meets weekly and invites people to bring in objects which need mending. Next door to Proteus Gowanus is James Walsh's Observatory space and gallery, which is connected to Joanna Ebenstein's space, Morbid Academy. At Proteus James displays books he is mending, not to make them like new again but instead structurally sound and aesthetically pleasing. Morbid Academy is library of books about death. She displays her curious goth objects at Proteus, such as 100 year old teeth in black velvet, a glass eye, and creepy dolls. There are many other projects on view which have to do with mending in some way, including David Mahfouda's American Flag, the size of a small ball field, which was torn during the excitement on election day. I really love Jeffrey Schiff's photographs of stone steps patched with wood at the National Public Library in Mumbai.
The back room is home to numerous collections and reading libraries including a Reanimation Library of books no longer in circulation. There is full office equipment to make scans of the books. There is also an exhibit of the 1960s art collective Anonima, who made paintings concerning optical perception. Mend is a very inspiring exhibit, with morbid overtones of genuine curiosities and good natured fun.