With no fewer than 205 galleries from 36 countries exhibiting in two expansive piers, The Armory Show 2016 promises to offer a lot of art to take it (and walk away with) when opens in New York City on March 3 - 6, 2016. Along with art presented in exhibitor booths, The Armory Show has announced two special projects to be installed throughout Piers 92 & 94. One series features installations and performances exploring time and decay. Another project series presents emerging artists from Africa and the Diaspora that challenge preconceived notions about contemporary African art.

With art overload sure to set in, it's best to be forearmed about the projects, their curatorial aims and where to find them before heading over to Piers 92 & 94 when The Armory Fair settles in from March 3 - 6, 2016.

Time-Based Projects

The time-based projects include works by Romina de Novellis, Los Carpinteros and Jonathan Schipper.

Romina de Novellis’ La Gabbia, will be staged at Pier 94. The performance art piece addresses the concept of purity through the act of concealment. In La Gabbia, de Novellis will appear naked in a square wire cage with 500 white roses at her feet. She will weave singular blooms into the structure, eventually concealing herself entirely from the viewer's gaze. Throughout the daylong performance, the artist will distribute caramelized flowers contained in a glass sphere through a small opening in the cage. La Gabbia is presented by Galerie Alberta Pane (Paris) and staged in partnership with Kreëmart, who first preformed the piece in Paris in 2012.

The Havana-based artist collective Los Carpinteros will stage their sculpture, Clavo tres, 2015, in partnership with Sean Kelly Gallery (New York). Installed in Pier 94, Clavo tres will appear discarded and maybe even forgotten amidst the crowds of The Armory Show. Oversized, disconfigured, rusted, and aged, the work spans 10 feet in length and four feet in height and coaxes the question of function, folly and the intersection between.

On Pier 92, Pierogi (Brooklyn) will present Jonathan Schipper’s Slow Motion Car Crash, a choreographed collision in which a car smashes into a wall at an imperceptibly slow rate. Slow Motion Car Crash will occur over the five days of the fair, with the collision’s culmination synced to the fair’s final hours. Slow Motion Car Crash forces reflection on the inevitability of the car’s – and our own – mortality. It was first displayed over the course of thirty days in March 2012 at the AV Festival in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.


"Slow Motion Car Crash" by Jonathan Schipper 2012. Courtesy of the artist, Pierogi and The Amory Show

"Slow Motion Car Crash" by Jonathan Schipper 2012. Courtesy of the artist, Pierogi and The Amory Show.


Special Projects: Curated Contemporary African Art

Shattering preconceived notions about what contemporary African art may look like or be concerned with, The Armory Show 2016 will present eight special projects curated by Julia Grosse and Yvette Mutumba, who are also the curators for the 2016 Focus Section of The Armory Show: African Perspectives. The aim of each project is to contribute to an evolving narrative revealing contemporary art from Africa and the Diaspora can look, sound and feel many different ways, according to the art fair. Considered as a new generation of “Young Global Contemporaries” by co-curators Grosse and Mutumba, the works will challenge and, sometimes, poke fun at the art fair context as vehicle for experiencing their art.

Participating artists are Armory Commissioned Artist Kapwani KiwangaKaro Akpokiere, Jared Ginsburg, Lebohang Kganye, Mame-Diarra Niang, Emeka Ogboh, Athi-Patra Ruga and Ed Young.


"NOT ME IT'S YOU" by Ed Young, 2015. Courtesy of the artist and SMAC Gallery.

"NOT ME IT'S YOU" by Ed Young, 2015. Courtesy of the artist and SMAC Gallery.


On Pier 92, Kapwani Kiwanga will present The Secretary’s Suite, an interactive installation that investigates the complexities of gift economies. Presented with Galerie Tanja Wagner (Berlin), the project’s point of departure examines the history and tradition of gifted items within the United Nations’ art collection. The work will be composed of a single-channel video and a viewing environment inspired by the 1961 office of the United Nations Secretary General. As part of the installation, visitors will be able to take a series of limited edition prints depicting gifts given throughout history. 

On Pier 94, Karo Akpokiere will stage Alternate Art Fair, a live-drawing performance that will unfold over the course of the fair. Akpokiere, who was chosen to participate in the 56th Venice Biennale, will create a site-specific illustration from the perspective of a cast of fictitious artists and galleries. Also on Pier 94, visitors will encounter the irreverent work of Ed Young who, along with SMAC Gallery (Cape Town), will present an installation combining humor with unexpected materials in series of text-based works.

Afronova (Johannesburg) will present Lebohang Kganye’s animated film, "Pied Piper's Voyage". In this work Kganye explores her familial history through the personification of her grandfather. Kganye slips into his persona, dressing up as the patriarch and reimagining her family’s historic narratives. Emeka Ogboh will present Oshodi Stock Exchange v 2.0, a soundscape that transports visitors to a Lagos bus stop scene, channeling the frenetic energy of the fair. Ogboh’s Market Symphony will be on view concurrently at Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in Washington, D.C.

In the Focus Lounge, Jared Ginsburg and blank (Cape Town) will present Loop with Bamboo III which investigates cycles and loops with two motorized, kinetic sculptures that continually transform in shape as they move through a sequence of construction and deconstruction.

In the VIP Lounge on Pier 94, Athi-Patra Ruga and WHATIFTHEWORLD (Cape Town) will present A Land Without a People for a People Without A Land, a series of embroidered tapestries that use African tropes of myth as a contemporary response to the post-apartheid era. Photographer Mame-Diarra Niang presented by STEVENSON (Cape Town, Johannesburg), will show work reflecting on the plasticity of territory. In her vision the elements composing the landscape become an inevitable reflection of the self, a personal mythology.


BASIC FACTS: The Armory Show will be presented March 3 - 6, 2016 at Piers 92 & 94, 12th Avenue at 55th Street, New York, NY 10019. For tickets and details, visit www.thearmoryshow.com.


Copyright 2016 Hamptons Art Hub LLC. All rights reserved.

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