Art and Housing: Illuminating a Crisis

Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness - Each ribbon represents one person without shelter

Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness – Each ribbon represents one person without shelter

If you’re wondering about the genesis of NYC’s housing crisis, head on over to the Mitchell-Innes & Nash  gallery in Chelsea. They’ve handed over the gallery space to The Temporary Office of Urban Disturbances, an autonomous group formed in May 2016, who are presenting  If you can’t afford to live here, mo-o-ove!!

This exhibition has elements of all three parts of artist Martha Rosler’s landmark three-show cycle entitled If You Lived Here…, first shown at the Dia Art Foundation in 1989.

Martha Rosler’s work – photography, video, performance, installation, and writings – focuses on the public sphere, exploring issues from everyday life and the media to architecture and the built environment, especially as they affect women.

The present exhibition – with contributions from numerous activists, artists and organizations – is structured in three parts, focusing on tenant struggles and gentrification; homelessness, both visible and hidden; and urbanism and development.

Homeless II, 1988, Jerry Pagane

Homeless II, 1988, Jerry Pagane

There’s not much by way of fine art work here; rather you’ll find many posters, flyers, maps, videos and articles, which chronicle and illuminate the ways in which government actions and inaction have helped create a housing crisis, not only in New York, but across the country – examples from Seattle and Pittsburgh are included.  There are also stories of communities and individuals who have fought back, some more successfully than others.  What comes across so vividly in this show is how little things have changed since the 1980’s.

A series of town hall discussions dedicated to exploring themes present in the exhibition will take place at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, 534 West 26th Street, and hosted by The Temporary Office of Urban Disturbances.

Maps and timeline of development of lower manhattan by Dan Wiley

Maps and timeline of development of lower manhattan by Dan Wiley

Town Hall Discussions:
Tuesday, June 14, 6-8 pm: Art-Estate
Thursday, June 16, 6-8 pm: Up-and-coming: Trending Neighborhoods, Rising Resistance,                                                    Part 1
Tuesday, June 21, 6-8 pm: Up-and-coming: Trending Neighborhoods, Rising Resistance,                                                     Part 2
Thursday, June 23, 6-8 pm: Privatize!

The exhibit runs through July 9, 2016.  Do see it!  More information here 

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