Renewal: Part I
Renewal: Part I
We're converting an empty storefront into an art installation and challenging the public about perceptions of disaster.
We're converting an empty storefront into an art installation and challenging the public about perceptions of disaster. Read more
About this project
What is Renewal: Part I?
The site-specific installation by Kenny Komer and Boris Rasin displays a lifelike figure sitting behind the bar with his back to the storefront façade at 250 Broome Street in the lower east side. The figure peers at a large television set in which the spectator observes the helpless news from the outside windows, akin to the perspective of an often voyeuristic spectator peering through a half-open shoji door. The television plays the looped video displaying news footage of the haunting and memorable image from the Japanese tsunami of the whirlpool enveloping a mysterious large boat in circles. The whereabouts of the boat are unknown, as are those that manned the ship. The TV and faint light are the only light sources within the space.
Renewal: Part I (www.renewalexhibition.org) simulates the lonely and helpless beginnings wrought by the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes in Haiti and Japan, respectively from the real-time perspective. Enormous forces of nature swept away all man-made objects with a horrific and unforgiving power, ripping through the fabric of aesthetic landscapes, psychological realities, and human lives. Within today’s digitally interconnected age, the entire world debated, contemplated, and speculated about the story of a lonely fishing boat slowly enveloping from the center of a giant whirlpool off of the coast of Oarai. It is unclear what became of this boat.
What's behind Renewal: Part I?
In light of the recent natural disasters in Japan and Haiti, our vision is to curate a contemporary arts exhibition entitled “Renewal: Part I” based on the simple observation that natural disaster promotes expression of universal human solidarity; and collective reflection on the proper relation of the human being to his or her aesthetic environment. The devastating wreckage suggests possibilities of improved modes of living just as much as it signals the enormity of human suffering.
With these simple observations in mind, we present to the public works that instantiate the themes of the regenerative possibilities inherent in disaster, destruction, or decay; themes reinforced by the no-longer-defunct space, within an abandoned storefront at 250 Broome Street which would serve as the site of exhibition. Through the generous support of No Longer Empty (www.nolongerempty.org), an arts organization which seeks to develop high-calliber exhibitions in abandoned storefronts, and Community Board 3 in Manhattan, the first part of the two part series of Renewal was made possible by the Arts in Empty Spaces initiative. As part of the Festival of New Ideas (www.festivalofideasnyc.com), Renewal: Part I contributes to the conversation of creative regeneration and rebuilding unused urban spaces.
Where can this project take us?
"Renewal: Part I" has been a collaborative among Boris, Kenny, and Kai, and we're aiming to produce more projects in the future. If as a project we can provide a framework to express art in alternative arenas and challenging citizens to both maturely reflect and do something after disaster, we will work on more projects like this. The faint lightbul above the figure recalls an "idea". "Renewal:Part II" is an ambitious project and will interact with the first exhibition. We're also networking with a few non-profit organizations for disaster-relief proceeds. By combining great art with the concerned social good, we seek to push forth this attitude and disposition to the public.
We have been blessed by No Longer Empty, Community Board 3 in Manhattan, and Forrest Partners, LLC for lending us the space as part of the Art in Empty Spaces initiative. A special thanks to Clemente Soto Velez in the East Village and Motus Fort Art Gallery in Tokyo for providing moral support, agreeable missions, mutual credibility, and a killer sense of humor. Currently, the installation has brought forth a lot of attention to the space from many passersby and media, and we're very excited by the proven fact that art feeds itself; art brings attention, energy, positive spirits, and more art. The installation has been paid exclusively from the pocket money of the curator and artists, including transportation, printing materials, signage, liability insurance, art materials, utilities, and many unexpected costs to come, and we're looking to defray the costs. We're very proud that we were able to minimize the costs to the fullest extent, and through the help of our talents, resources, and friends, this project was made possible.
So we're reaching out to you to continue the Renewal: Part I project. After the majority of costs are covered from our program which also includes performance art events, we're donating the rest to disaster relief organizations of our choice.
The exhibition on May 30th, 2011 and
Boris, Kenny, Kai.
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