On a chilly October weekend, Exchange Rates spread a foreign invasion of art across a particularly industrial area of Bushwick and East Williamsburg. Islands of art in small galleries throughout the neighborhood forged surprising, playful alliances between artists from London, Germany, Colombia, the Netherlands and elsewhere. A sampling collection of “non-objective artists” from the Netherlands presented at Transmitter gallery, while at Fresh Window three British artists all in their 70s — Douglas Alsop, Adam Barker-Mill, and Alan Johnston — all displayed work that all played with ideas of light and perception. The Buggy Factory, a gorgeous renovated brick barn with enormous skylights, was home to a particularly diverse crossover: Enrico Gomez of the New Jersey-based Dorado Project was paired with Grey Cube Projects, a group of artists from Bogotá, Colombia, alongside 12ø, based in London, and Proto Gallery, based in Hoboken.
Theodore:Art hosted several speakers Saturday afternoon, including Chris Stiegler of the Institute For American Art, a tiny “no-profit” art space that’s only intermittently open to the public. “A romantic way of thinking about it is that we’re a flowering plant,” he told the audience. “We show up, we do beautiful things, and then we close back up again.” An hour or so later, in the same space, Faye Scott-Farrington opened her Ate Gallery, a table full of white square plates piled high with snacks — mainly gummi candy — that each referenced an important work of art (a heap of gummi skulls to represent Damien Hirst’s “For the Love of God,” bears to represent Jeff Koons’ “Winter Bears.”) The art could be purchased for a dollar an ounce: “Build your collection of sought-after historical masterpieces,” a promotional flyer advised, but added, as a warning, “Art can never be guaranteed nut free, the art world is full of them.”
Gummi candy popped up again at a show hosted by SHIM, an art exhibition company inside the ArtHelix space. There, the candy was more of a straightforward bribe, with sour belts and licorice ropes offered in exchange for Instagramming pictures from the show. Downstairs in the same space, QWERTY took over a back room, a gentle, goofy art collective from Denmark. They offered visitors various forms of “therapy:” one wrote personalized lullabies, while another stocked a makeshift bar. “Every bartender should have a little psychology training,” he said, winking.
Exchange Rates II took place at various Brooklyn galleries on Thursday, October 20 until Sunday, October 23, 2016.