On March 25, an empty apartment building in Queens was filled with dazzling art installations and participatory performances.
While the drive-in movie theaters of Kodak-colored dreams are cluttered with classic cars, their heavy bodies dunked in primary colors, the cars at Empire Drive-In are all recent cast-offs, the engines in their wrecked bodies silent, personal artifacts from previous owners left behind on the floorboards. The temporary installation at the New York Hall of Science in Flushing Meadows, Queens, is somewhere between a monument to reuse and a statement on waste.
For a total contrast to the sterile feel of many of the swarming art fairs this week in New York, where most art is untouchable in its protective frames, go to Long Island City to experience Headscapes. The group exhibition of over 25 artists doesn’t just encourage you to touch, but to crawl and climb inside installations as a playground of conceptual sculpture in an empty warehouse. The idea of this “brainstorm of installations” is to get inside the artists’ heads and immerse yourself in their mental worlds. It’s also something of a mini-fair of the creative arts constructors, the large part based in Brooklyn, who turn to boat building, DIY underground venues, and installations in abandoned spaces for their art, such as the Boatel, the art collective Rabid Hands, and Empire Drive-In. Corresponding work is being shown at the Scope fair this week (March 6 – 10) by See.Me, which is hosting a gallery component of Headscapes in its headquarters space next door to the warehouse.
Expectation and experience seldom end up at the same destination, especially when you walk down a subway platform and see a sign that reads “To Breuckelen” and realize — no, no, the MTA hasn’t sold the L line back to the Dutch to save money; rather, you are seeing a sign hung by artist Daniel Bejar (not that one) as part of his Get Lost! installation.