The building is gone. There are no shadows on the ones bordering east and west but you know there was something there, now gone for some time. Buildings come and go. The lot’s not far from the Williamsburg Houses of the late 1930’s – first called Ten Eyck Houses – then the Bushwick Houses of the 1960’s. Blanca’s is nearby. Reservations only and no cellphones or cameras in the restaurant please. Then walk around at night and look at the lighted spaces of art studios. In the daytime you can pass by low-rise warehouses or cement plants on the way to galleries close by. Welcome to the subculture of art in vacant spaces in New York, shared, linked to, blogged, Facebooked and Instagramed.
Now leave the circulation of images for a while and think about other kinds of ghosts. Who’s been here and what’s happened here and what’s happening here now? At 16 Harrison Place there is work by three artists that might be about what’s covered and not covered, empty or not empty, lost or not. John Monti and Jennie Nichols install works that would be containers of sorts on this lot that is also one. Monti’s look ancient, like something from a culture distant in time and space that we can only imagine. Nichols’ wax cabinets seem to be from a time and place we think we know, looking as if they might have been carried out of Cripplebush — Captain Kidd’s Williamsburg long ago. Brian Gaman’s two works look likewise sort of antique and down at what might be underneath. Here, wherever. Coffee from Swallow, walk around more.
[Lost or Not is presented in association with Dietl International]