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And The Villagers Never Liked You Anyway…


In partnership with Knockdown Center, Sorry Archive presented And the Villagers Never Liked You Anyway, an archaeological excavation of a 10’x10’ bed of dirt overseen by Dr. Ulf Hueber. The space was gridded into 10 plots, each with its own curator. The plots acted as experimental test pits for heterogeneous creative practices.

Exhibitions are historical sites: they reveal with varying degrees of transparency the events and personalities that produced them. A wide range of curatorial perspectives are situated here within the same set of physical constraints. The objects that emerge are not emblems. They are substances articulated over time and forced into tight quarters, and their materiality cannot be ignored.

Sorry Archive’s scientific approach to this exhibition aimed to reorient viewers in their relationship to art objects. Viewers became excavators, grounded in the real, negotiating strata of cause and effect. Yet they were faced with an array of microcosmic histories and impossible mythologies. There could be no endpoint of knowledge gathered from this paradoxical dig, where factual time was altogether disturbed. New works fell into seeming ruin. Gaps in knowledge pocked all surfaces with expanses of the unknowable. This site was populated with artifacts of the future, a reverse archaeology of the present.

Zimoun [KE]³


Zimoun [KE]³

Knockdown Center, in partnership with bitforms gallery, presented a new site specific installation by Swiss artist, Zimoun.

Using simple and functional components, Zimoun builds architecturally-minded platforms of sound. Exploring mechanical rhythm and flow in prepared systems, his installations incorporate commonplace industrial objects. In an obsessive display of simple and functional materials, these works articulate a tension between the orderly patterns of Modernism and the chaotic forces of life.

For Knockdown Center, Zimoun presented an immersive environment of 250 motorized wood beams and ropes. Each unit cyclically strikes the floor, producing a sonic experience reverberating within a 10,000 square foot atrium – Zimoun’s largest site-specific project in the US to date.

In conjunction with this monumental work Zimoun also presented new projects at bitforms (opening Sunday, February 8) and Simons Center for Geometry and Physics at Stony Brook University (opening Thursday, February 5). Click here for the official press release.

The exhibitions are generously supported by swissnex boston, Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, KulturStadtBern, and Swisslos – Amt für Kultur Kanton Bern.

Maspeth’s World of Wheels Auto Show Extravaganza


On June 21, Knockdown Center presented a full­ spectrum look at the automobile as our nation’s long standing symbol of manifest destiny and superfluous ingenuity. Set amidst three acres of parking lot, gallery, blackbox, and warehouse, M­aspeth’s World of Wheels took this undeniable American obsession to its illogical conclusion featuring an impressive array of high­ end custom and collectible cars in conversation with automobile­ inspired visual art. Complementing the landscape were the sights, sounds and smells typically associated with a state fair including: fried things, metal/psych rock bands, burnt rubber, sledge hammers hitting steel, charcoal grills, pirate radio and more!

Regina Rex: House, What’s Your Crime?


An exhibition curated by the collectively run gallery, Regina Rex.

Taking on the notion that living quarters, work places, or exhibition venues such as the Knockdown Center could have their own agency and voice, James Cordas, Leeza Meksin and Jeff Williams worked with the building to generate works specifically for this occasion. Jeff Williams’ undulating wall piece made from expanded metal flocked with nylon fibers spaned a fifty foot wall, slipping from manmade material into the realm of natural phenomenon—a process that could be seen to mirror the building’s own arc over time. Leeza Meksin stretched sheer fabrics across an isolated section of the architecture, interrogating the structure by highlighting its mutability and permeability. James Cordas used the wind power from an industrial strength fan found on site to generate work that accepts the unpredictable character of the light, sound and body of the cavernous space. Together, the works featured in House, What is Your Crime? spoke to the possibility for placing authorship and active willpower in the hands of the building itself while in dialogue with its artists and inhabitants.

¹The title is borrowed from a line in the poem “House & Bernadette” by Bernadette Mayer from the book Scarlet Tanager. In this poem, the poet holds a conversation with her apartment. The poem begins with the question: “B: House are you anyone who could be doing anything at this moment? Are you a boy watching train tracks in the past standing in a big yellow field?”

Transient’s Theme


Presented in four movements throughout Knockdown Center’s galleries and main spaces, TRANSIENT’S THEME was Bethany Ides’ month-long, soapoperatic document of the trans-temporal, polymorphic exploits of the work’s protagonist, The Transient.

The Transient is a restless spirit who flits between presences & poleis, perpetrators & victims of hysteria, histrionics, conspicuous communitarianism & tele-para-pseudo-phones. As the Transient attempts to blend in, its movements–– modal shifts–– become the only way to detect it. You might see a rustling in & among bodies, escaping & undoing things, in disguise as a gallery opening, an academic conference or a project fundraiser. It is sneaking, nobody suspects a thing until it’s been piped in through the air vents & it’s everywhere, this sudden strangeness. Whose shadow is this? Detective? For all I can tell there’s no such thing as repetition, only this insistent, persistent rhythm.

The month-long opera was presented in four movements:

ACT I: Causing It
An exhibition curated by Andrew Beccone & Pierre Alexandre de Looz
“MYMEOGRAPH” by Pierre Alexandre De Looz and Andrew Beccone and DEUX VACANCES by Tim
Simonds Exhibition/Installation
The work irrigates Knockdown’s accessible and inaccessible spaces, with no interest in productivity- babble and dribble.
ACT III: Conference is Transference
A conference organized w/ Mitchell Akiyama
ACT IV: Traumathon
A fundraising festival

past present futures


Showcased in an evening of performances presented by NYPAC, the New York Performance Artists Collective, past present futures was an experimental presentation curated by Samuel Draxler: over three performances, temporal borders were broken and the seam between times were blurred.

Pierre de Fermat, writing a note in the margin of Diophantus’ Arithmetica in 1637, claimed to have discovered “a truly marvelous proof… which this margin is too narrow to contain.” The historical record is insufficient to verify whether Fermat had actually solved the problem, or if the statement was pure bravado. Scientific methodology, like that of an archeological excavation, allows a form of history to be reconstructed — “now” being a fog that slowly overwhelms access to an unmediated past. The recovered materials, as relics of another time, yield certain information about their production. This information is recovered in spite of its present context. This friction between times is what happens when past and present speak at one another, when they misrecognize each other, when the borders collapse under extravagant claims and counterfactuals, when ghosts brag of feats and historians get their hands dirty. Fictive archeology, mysticism and the occult, ritualized action: these conflicting methods each connect with the present by narrating the past.

For past present futures, Meredith Neuman reprised Witch-hunting: What’s In It For Me?, guiding the audience through the identification and elimination of witches that hide amongst us (no previous experience necessary). Sara Grace Powell lead the audience on a paranormal walking tour along the site’s absent infrastructure. The evening culminated in Ashley’s presentation of an excerpt from KIDNAP ME, a mix of dance, performance, and live drawing that constitutes an “experiment in duration.”

past present futures was held in collaboration with And The Villagers Never Liked You Anyway, an exhibition and archeological survey conducted by Sorry Archive under the direction of Dr. Ulf Hueber.

Negative Space


Negative Space featured five artists whose works reference the domestic environment. Through various media, the artworks in this exhibition explored the temporal and spatial intervals between humans and the objects that most closely surround them; as the viewer encountered references to the emotional and psychological space of home, they were placed in stark contrast to the Knockdown Center’s vast industrial space. The artworks situated the viewer in a contemplative space, at once personal and claustrophobic. The comfort and security of home was juxtaposed with raw open space. This exhibition explored how works depicting the domestic can simultaneously convey an emotion of feeling exposed and vulnerable.

Jeremy Coleman Smith carefully built a 12 x 12 x 8 foot room in which interior paneling was made from hand-cut cardboard and exterior siding was formed out of soaked and embossed Stonehenge paper. Rachel Higgins exhibited two works, both read as domestic objects gone awry. Her sculptural work is often performative and participatory, bringing an unexpectedness to familiar objects. Cait Carouge’s large-scale photographs are unsettling and explore the uncanny in domestic interiors. Lauren Gregory turns the process of painting into an animation and creates a narrative that locates the viewer at home on the couch, comforted by face-painted pillows. Kevin Frances also uses a narrative form in his three Japanese woodblock prints, telling a story of a young woman moving into a new apartment.

In conjunction with the exhibition was a dinner event by Eric May, Chef and Founder of the Piranha Club, an artist-run underground supper club that was launched out of the Roots and Culture Contemporary Art Center in Chicago. Eric teamed up with artist Paul Anthony Smith in a long-anticipated culinary throw down to present an intimate dinner on Saturday, March 28.

Curated by Stacie Johnson and Gabrielle Garland

image: Kevin Frances, “Lucas’s Clothes (3),” 28x14x6 in, Ceramic, pigments, acrylic varnish. 2014.


Clocktower Productions: Anxious Spaces


In partnership with Clocktower Productions, a new generation of New York-based artists utilized installation work as a platform for performance, and partnered regularly with alternative event spaces and collectives in Brooklyn and beyond. Featuring the work of Hisham Bharooccha, Ranjit Bhatnagar, Raul de Nieves, Christian Joy, Desi Santiago, and Ben Wolf, Knockdown began its exploration of this very intersection. Through its ambitious program and expansive architecture, this exhibition brought a dynamic selection of artists onto its grounds for a month of on-site project development, culminating in a celebration of the work and its fluid transformation from environment to stage.

Tightened, As If By Pliers


Curated by Joshua Bienko and Leeza Meksin, Tightened, As If By Pliers included works by Julio Cortàzar, Kevin Andrew Curran, Luc Fuller, Angelina Gualdoni, EJ Hauser, David Humphrey, Mary Reid Kelley, Amy Lincoln, Chris Martin, Susan Metrican, Hooper Turner, Alan Ruiz, Harriet Salmon, Michael Velliquette and Sheilah Wilson.

In 1968, Argentine novelist Julio Cortàzar traveled to India to photograph an 18th century observatory built by Maharajah Jai Singh II, in Jaipur. He took nearly 300 photographs of the structure which later became the source for, and a contingent part of From the Observatory, an epic poem-narrative consistent with his genre-less writing style. Cortàzar’s photographs and subsequent writing considers the observatory in relation to the “art space.” For Cortàzar, the observatory in Jaipur was a place of deep consideration of the cosmos, but also of the dance eels do for an absent audience, of the eroticism of Jai Singh, of the depth of humor and the surface of philosophy.

For Cortàzar’s artistic output there were no categories: taking photos, writing poems, drinking mates, writing a nonlinear novel in 1963: these were all natural outgrowths of an intellectual curiosity. He was not being a “Photographer,” then a “Writer,” then a “Poet.” He was Socratically committed to questioning.

Through this insistence on questioning, the artists in Tightened, As If by Pliers practiced resistance to the mundane anchoring of the present using art as a window through which the past and the future is accessed from the vantage point of the present.

Tightened, As If by Pliers was presented by Ortega y Gasset Projects.

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