(Photos) Art Exhibition Precedes Destruction of Old Essex Street Retail Market
The new Essex Market has been open for about six months, and the old historic Essex Street Market building on the north side of Delancey Street will soon by knocked down to make room for yet another new apartment building as part of Essex Crossing. For the past couple of months, the Cuchifritos Gallery/Artists Alliance hosted a final exhibition in the abandoned, doomed 80 year-old structure (it closed this past weekend).
The installation, 00 00 00 00 00 [Essex Street Retail Market], was the creation of Italian artist Andrea Nacciarriti. Photographer Roger Bultot viewed the exhibition and shared a collection of images with us. As Artists Alliance explained on its website:
The history of Essex Street Market is deeply ingrained in the history of New York City. Along every wall, inch of floor, and vendor display, one can find traces of the generations of residents who moved through the space. Responding to the building’s currently abandoned state, Nacciarriti will work inside of the historic location to realize a site-responsive intervention that reacts to existing environmental conditions—natural and artificial light, empty corridors, widespread silences—and introduces external objects produced by the artist. Marking Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space’s very last show in its old home, this final work unfolds along a solitary and mysterious path throughout the Market. A series of quiet and subtle gestures, these disappearing interventions become a paradox; the architecture’s fictional resistance to its impending destruction.
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After signing a waiver, visitors equipped with flashlights had the chance to explore the pitch-black environment practically alone. The low visibility was pierced by a bright white cube: the former Cuchifritos gallery, now housed in the location across the street. Its door and partitions were ripped away in a pile nearby, echoing other architectural instances of institutional critique removing gallery facades or opening up such hermetic spaces. The only foreign object introduced to the building was a representation of time in the form of a mysterious, red digital clock, reminiscent of the giant one in Union Square, counting down presumably to the end of the show’s run and thus civilian access.
Cuchifritos Gallery has relocated to the new market. You can see the current exhibition schedule here.