Strange Fruit in the Streets

Event  |  Reviews  |  Comments
Strange Fruit in the Streets, 2009 © Courtesy Centre d'Art le LAIT, Albi, France
Strange Fruit in the Streets

114 Bowery,
New York, NY 10013
November 13th, 2009 - January 17th, 2010
Opening: November 13th, 2009 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

east village/lower east side
Wed-Sun 12-6


Jane Kim/Thrust Projects is pleased to present "Strange Fruit in the Streets," an exhibition of new work by the Irish born, Paris-based artist Malachi Farrell. This is the artist's second exhibition at the gallery and will run from November 13, 2009 to January 3, 2010.

Malachi Farrell deals with major political and social issues, past and present, in a narrative mode. He combines craft and ingenious technology to achieve a Gesamkunstwerk (synthesis of the arts) through the use of sound, light, machines, everyday found materials and articulated objects. He approaches his work through engagement, resistance and attempts to expose violence against humanity. Farrells' sculptures simultaneously arouse emotion and reflection, catalyzed by humor and irony.

"Strange Fruit in the Streets" is a sculptural environment of four clusters of worn shoes and sneakers tied together with cables, suspended from the ceiling of the gallery like chandeliers. Each grouping is comprised of 40-50 shoes, with approximately six outfitted with electronic mechanisms, LED lights and mini sound systems that open the toe of the shoes to play "She Loves You" by Peter Sellers (original German version), a cover of the Beatles' hit.

The title of the show refers to the poem written by Abel Meeropol, a Jewish schoolteacher from the Bronx who wrote under the pen name Lewis Allen. "Strange Fruit" describes the 1937 lynching of two black men in Indiana, made into a song by Billy Holiday in 1939.

Shoes hanging from wires have become a popular motif, especially in urban cities originating in the US and spreading from South America to Europe. What initially is a gesture of rebellion and liberty for young teenagers in gangs has become a mode of street art. The exhibition is a journey through the streets of a poor neighborhood in New York, a place at the margin of society, a metaphor for cities in crisis.

Born in 1970 in Dublin Ireland, Malachi Farrell resides in Paris, France. His projects in 2009 include shows at Centre d'Art le LAIT, Albi, France where "Strange Fruit in the Streets" was first shown, and "Gaz Killers" at the Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris. "Nothing Stops a New Yorker," exhibited at the gallery in 2005 as the inaugural show for the space, will be included in "Dreamlands," Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris opening April 28, 2010.