Swiss Institute / CONTEMPORARY ART | 18 Wooster Street
“M/L Artspace is an artist-run project, created by artists Marie Karlberg and Lena Henke, both living in New York City. The general idea of M/L is to use spaces in New York to stage exhibitions outside of the (perhaps “off”) white-cube conventions of an artist-run gallery. Our first show was a sculpture show under the BQE (the Brooklyn Queens Expressway), inspired by the Skulpturen Projekte Münster. It was a way of showing art in a different context, using the infrastructural resources that a parking lot under a bridge can offer. Sculptures, installations and other objects made by a dozen artists on raw dirty asphalt fall into formation with preexisting “trash,” performing an aesthetic theatricality in playful contest to New York City’s heavily policed “public” spaces. Likewise, M/L’s second exhibition took place for one night only at Nail and Beauty Salon in Bedstuy, Brooklyn. By literalizing the idea of a salon-style group show in an actual beauty salon, again the exhibition’s unconventional context helped to open up the eyes of visitors to look at art from a different perspective as well as perform a new method for constructing art’s social space.
The aim of M/L Artspace is not to become a “real” gallery. We started our project because we wanted to challenge what we perceive as the monotony in which art assumes its expensive white-cube representation. At a time when galleries in New York City rapidly move from small to big business in a matter of months, we resolved that it was necessary to stage art and its social rituals in different contexts, to promote the idea that within artistic culture ideas are not dependent on money. By design, all the exhibitions occur for only night only, effectively doubling itself as an “opening.” Everything that happens during this short period of time gets documented and will appear on our website later: www.mlartspace.com.
M/L aims to inclusively combine well-known artists alongside relatively unknown artists. We aim to work against hierarchical curatorial positions that opportunistically aim to construct affinity groups based solely off of the marketability of their social currency. We are more interested in gathering an unlikely mix of people that both works with and against this trend, so as to lasso the sensibilities of the unknown to the visibilities of the success. M/L has been a place where artists can experiment, free of the market’s pressures and its consequent social approval. For us, the most important aspect has been to create good shows, where artist feel free to try new ways of showing new works and also have fun.”
-M/L Artspace Statement
On the occasion of Work Hard: Selections by Valentin Carron, please join us for the final chapter in our programs focusing on artists working as curators.
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org