One of the highlights of Armory Arts Week in recent years has been the Spring/Break fair in the Old Schoolhouse on the LES, for its combination of gritty character, creative energy, and stirring, quality work (last year’s photos HERE). This year, 40 curators have filled 40 schoolhouse rooms with work from diverse media engaging the stated theme PublicPrivate and the result is, once again, delightful and absorbing.
Per the show's site, PublicPrivate explores "how the high visibility of the self in the 21st century everyday -- via social network, selfie ubiquity, jealous vacation landscape, video-game avatar, and surveillance m.o. -- activates and disinhibits the artistic practice, and that contrary or complementary production of self which is the artist process."
The fair is open through March 9th and you can find a tour of highlights from Tuesday’s press preview, below.
Sean Fader a.k.a. #TheWishingPelt. Viewers were invited by a man at the entrance to the room to climb the pedestal and whisper a wish into the #TheWishingPelt’s ear while rubbing #TheWishingPelt. Viewers were instructed to take, post, and hashtag a selfie while doing this. Necklaces with hair from #TheWishingPelt were also for sale.
"Private Drive-In" by Fall on Your Sword (Will Bates and Sarah Bereza). Viewers in the surround sound-equipped car press the button on the steering wheels to change the movie clips, which are all make-out scenes. As the scenes heat up, the seats in the car vibrate with corresponding intensity.
"Reasonable Doubt" by Scott Avery (a.k.a. Amani Olu), in which the artist hooks anyone willing up to a lie detector machine and asks them personal questions in front of a seated audience of whomever happens to be present.