In the wake of 2014 Frieze NYC on Randall’s Island, everyone was talking about the exhibition “Hot House,” which took place uptown, in Harlem, in a four-story townhouse. From May 8-11, BLACKROCK/WHITEROCK, KNOWMOREGAMES, and NIGHT GALLERY presented “an exhibition of performance, music, and other experiences of art as a ritual.”
The exhibition featured artists, Sam Anderson, Jennifer Castle, Victoria Cheong, Mira Dancy, DJ Dog Dick, Sara Gernsbacher, Samara Golden, Barkev Gusselarian, Miguel Guttierez, Daniel Heidkamp, Bernard Herman, Miles Huston, Jay Isaac, Jamian Juliano-Villani, Julia Kennedy, Louis Louis, Rose Marcus, Elise Rasmussen, Jen Rosenblit, Michael Mahalcek, Kristie Muller, Davida Nemeroff, Jo Nigoghossian, Sojourner Truth Parsons, Big Pen, Brad Phillips, Ben Phelan, Anna Rosen, Sean Townley, Jacques Louis Vidal, Christine Wang, Tasseomancy (Romy and Sari Lightman and Evan Cartwright), Curt Kobain (Shawn Kuruneru and Booze I Dar Brazda), R. Lyon, David X Levine, Andrew Gbur, JPW3, Andy Meerow, FlexNation and more.
The HOT HOUSE is a layered experience, in which works, objects and actions are organized by function as opposed to content or context. In organizing these things BLACKROCK, NIGHT GALLERY and KNOWMOREGAMES have asked questions like, “Does this make me hungry?” or “Does this solve a mystery?” rather than a typical question like, “What were the artists intention?” which is normally associated with curating.
The HOT HOUSE is also a sanctuary for psychic colleagues, an anti-haunted house where the spirits are free and drinkable. BLACKROCK is the foundation for which HOT HOUSE exists.
In this inaugural BLACKROCK happening, guests will wander through a formerly abandoned Spanish Harlem townhouse, where each level has a distinct function.
The basement is imagined as a grotto-as-sculpture-garden. The viewer is invited to explore an expansive and dimly lit space, and in doing so discover works minimally installed throughout.
The ground floor has been left open and empty. This all white warehouse will house performances that require large space, a valuable commodity in the city. Only the largest gestures will happen here, such as a dance battle with FlexNation and a performance with 100 remote controlled helicopters by R. Lyon.
The second floor will host TGIM (Thank Goodness It’s Myself). The early TGIFridays restaurant invited patrons to bring their own objects to decorate the walls. That thought is recreated here with works and tchotchkes hung along side one another as a sentimental tribute to the art world of BLACKROCK, NIGHT GALLERY and KNOWMOREGAMES.
Lastly, the third floor is repurposed as a domestic space, literally housing a number of artists and performers for the week. This will be a calm place for communal meals and rest featuring DAISY TEMPLE, an ongoing performance by Julia Kennedy and Sojourner Truth Parsons.
BLACKROCK/WHITEROCK is a shifting space for artists and dialogue from and between New York City (represented by BLACKROCK) and Los Angeles (represented by WHITEROCK). The future will see permanent sites for BLACKROCK in both NY and LA. Until then, the aim is to produce large- and small-scale shows and events on a regular basis.
BLACKROCK is always thinking of WHITEROCK and WHITEROCK is always thinking of BLACKROCK. One reflects, one absorbs. They reflect and absorb each other. A platform on the ocean, BLACKROCK is somewhere to land, and maybe to stay. It is a conduit and a container to facilitate happenings, exhibitions and gatherings–a space for exchange outside the market, and a free and spirited experience for those who want a taste. BLACKROCK and WHITEROCK aim to co-exist and harmonize with each other, as a dark and light, coeval and countervailing forces. BLACKROCK/WHITEROCK is founded by artist Julia Kennedy. Her goal is to be the ultimate facilitator and host. She aims to nurture and create a container for which ecstatic and psychedelic moments and love may transpire.
NIGHT GALLERY opened her doors in February 2010 in a strip mall just north of Chinatown in Los Angeles. The black walls and colored lights of this original space engendered a hotbed for dialogue three times a week between the late night hours of 10pm and 2am. Today Night Gallery inhabits a space six times her former size, divided by an array of white walls at playfully odd angles. The dialogue that began amongst friends in a small black room has multiplied at an infectious rate with over 75 past exhibitions, frequent nocturnal events and off-site projects, and a twice-yearly literary publication titled Night Papers. The gallery’s concern for social politics has
recently led her to initiate a ʻSexy Beastʼ benefit for Planned Parenthood Los Angeles, to take place in September 2014. Night Gallery strives for an expanded exhibition model and remains a flaneur for life.
KNOWMOREGAMES is a project space located in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, founded in 2011 by Jacques Vidal, Brian Faucette and Miles Huston. Knowmoregames operates with a core belief that, from recreation center to content generator, any room can have many functions.