Since their first series of installations in vacant storefronts adjacent to New York’s famous Chelsea Hotel little more than a year ago, non-profit organization No Longer Empty (NLE) has organized a prolific program of site-specific exhibitions housed in vacant spaces in the New York metropolitan area. For their current project, The Sixth Borough, NLE has taken space in the vacant Dutch colonial buildings and grounds of Governor’s Island which, while only 800 yards from Manhattan, remains the remote former home to the US Army and Coast Guard. The Sixth Borough takes this unique backdrop to explore the ideas of parallel realities, notions of memory and residual entities.
As part of the closing ceremony of the exhibition, on October 2nd artist Pablo Helguera will explore these themes through a series of fantastical walking tours in his project Urÿonstelaii, which serve as prologues to a book published as part of the project. Drawing on the Dutch history of the island, Helguera’s parallel reality walking tours tell the story of 17th Century Dutch mystics who arrive in the New World with their governing principle revolving around the uninterrupted performance of a single dramatic work in seven tableaux vivants in order to test the human boundaries of time, physical endurance, and the commitment of society to an idea. With a background of themes from NLE’s previous exhibitions ranging from the serious (an arsonist’s fire in a popular gay bar) to the absurd (novelty toy “the invisible dog”), take a break on Governor’s Island and decide if Helguera’s parallel reality is seriously absurd, or absurdly serious.
Hop on the ferry before it’s too late – this is the last summer to enjoy cultural events on the island.
Until October 10, 2010 at 10 South Street, Battery Maritime Building, Slip 7, New York, NY 10004. Governor’s Island can be accessed via ferry from Manhattan or Brooklyn.
Opening hours: Saturdays and Sundays 12pm to 5pm
Pablo Helguera’s Urÿonstelaii: October 2, 2010. Prologue tours by historical reenactors: 12pm – 4pm. Book signing: 4pm
More information about No Longer Empty and future exhibitions can be found on their website http://nolongerempty.org/
The Greenwich Hotel in Tribeca is our recommended spot to stay at when hitting New York.
Contributing writer: Melissa Frost