Capitalism and its consequences: “FiDi Arsenale” questions gentrification effects on New York

16 artists and architects are called to rethink society and its spaces. An abandoned irish pub next to the World Trade Center is occupied by installations and videos on gentrification’s effects and its possible responses.

The economic boom in New York and its the constant dedication to the logic of productivity has inevitably influenced the architecture and the organisation of its spaces. An example are the “blue chip galleries” – a term borrowed from the Poker slang – the most powerful galleries of the art system that draw up their own annual programs through high budgets and commercial strategies in order to attract the general public.

In this scenario, what is left to emerging artists far from such dynamics? The problem quested by the independent realities of Hot Air and Mery Gates, which occupy the 23 Space (first Barleycorn Pub), an abandoned irish pub near the World Trade Center: the area where the great temples of American business arose, such as the Twin Towers, whose paradigm was shaken by tragedy in 2001.

“FiDi Arsenale”, this is the title of the new exhibition project that invited 16 visual artists and architects to consider the changes on the idea of community and society in relation to the advancement of capitalism and the logics exclusive to the majority of the population. Installations, objet trouvé, the byproducts of commercialism, but also video and software take space in this wreck mesuring 6,000 square-foot. Curated by Collin Clarke, Bika Rebek and Matt Shaw, the creatives invited are Joshua Citarella, Keiron de Nobriga, Mark Fingerhut, Claire Hentschker, Jason Isolini, Damjan Jovanovic, Filip Kostic, Pierce Myers, Sam Rolfes, Bika Rebek, Rachel Rosheger, Daesup Song, Tea Strazicic, Stock-a-Studio, Theo Triantafyllidis, and Leah Wulfman.

If in recent years the advancing of gentrification has monopolized the central districts of New York, making them off-limits to artistic experimentation, “FiDi Arsenal” aims to gain an outpost again, raising a critical voice and exploring the leaks raised in post-capitalism.

FiDi Arsenale
Curated by:
Collin Clarke, Bika Rebek and Matt Shaw
28th of February to 27th of March 2020
23 Space
23 Park Place, New York

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