Archive for the ‘art installation’ Category

On View at Cuchifritos Gallery

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Artist Antonia Pérez creates sculptures by weaving discarded plastic bags. She worked at the gallery during the exhibition.

This is the final weekend for the exhibition “Lettuce, Artichokes, Red Beets, Mangoes, Broccoli, Honey and Nutmeg: The Essex Street Market as Collaborator” at Cuchifritos Gallery located in the Essex Street Market. The exhibition curated by Nicolás Dumit Estévez Raful has been in the works for the past two years. The premise of the exhibition is for “six socially conscious artists to engage vendors, customers and the Market itself in their artistic processes as a means of co-generating experiences centered on the life that unfolds outside Cuchifritos Gallery, the art space of the Artist Alliance Inc”.

Ricardo Miranda Zuniga

“Recetas y Gangas: The Essex Street Market Recordings” with mock up of originally proposed installation of bullhorn on the facade of the market

So in preparation for the exhibition, the artists came together with Jodi Waynberg the Executive Director of Artist Alliance as well as Nicolas to begin considering how the artists might work with the market. Jodi toured the artists through the market and introduced them to various vendors as well as the building manager and staff. Nearly all the artists attended a Vendors Association Meeting to present their projects and solicit collaboration.

Ricardo Miranda Zuniga

“Refuse Redo” a collaboration between Mary Ting and Lower East Side Girls Club/La Tiendita – sculptures made from market cardboard.

As one may imagine, the vendors are small business owners and workers. The market is the place that they go to for employment, not necessarily for cultural engagement. Many of the vendors are entirely preoccupied with maintaining their business and were no nonsense about artistic participation. If the artists did not approach with a brief and concrete plan for collaboration, there was little chance of any cooperation. A few vendors were excited at the prospect of creative engagement and happily collaborated. However in general, the ambitious projects envisioned by the artists needed to be simplified.

Ricardo Miranda Zuniga

Scent and air time capsule of the Essex Street Market by Beatrice Glow.

Ricardo Miranda Zuniga

Market collection and journal by Inspector Collector Harley Spiller.


Laia Solé and Nicolás Dumit Estévez Raful employ the color green from the market to create a video montage that collapses the artists at work and the market at work.

For example, I wanted to create an audio montage of the vendors chanting or singing their goods and then to have that audio amplified onto the street via a bullhorn installed on the facade of the Essex Street Market. The concept was to have the interior of the market spill out onto the street as street markets commonly do in Latin America and Europe. Most of the vendors were not comfortable in singing their goods and the building management did not allow the installation of the bullhorn due to city ordinances regarding noise pollution (at least that was their excuse). When I was recording one of the vendors, a shopper approached me to tell me about recipes that she uses for a particular root. It then occurred to me that if vendors did not want to sing, perhaps they would share a recipe and the audio montage became primarily recordings of market recipes. As the piece would not be projected onto the street via a loudspeaker, I created a sandwich board with a speaker installed into it and wore the sandwich board on the street. In this way, the original concept of the piece was fully realized.

Each artist has her or his own story of how the work needed to be modified for the final exhibition. And in the end, this is the nature of collaboration.

Ricardo Miranda Zuniga

“Recetas y Gangas: The Essex Street Market Recordings” with mock up of originally proposed installation of bullhorn on the facade of the market

The Essex Street Market Audio Montage

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Recetas y Gangas

Proposed work “Recetas y Gangas” audio montage of vendors projected onto the street through a bullhorn mounted on the facade of the Essex Street Market

The Recetas y Gangas: Essex Street Market Recordings presents the compilation of recordings made at the market over several weeks between the end of 2015 and beginning of 2016.

The full collection of recordings are available here.

Written by ricardo

March 4th, 2016 at 8:00 am

The Essex Street Market Recordings 8

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As Juana Figueroa of Luna Brothers market within the Essex Street Market broke down boxes to contribute to an installation within the Cuchifritos gallery, I spoke with her about that afternoon’s lunch. Listen to her describe it below, yams quick, simple and delicious:

Listen to the full collection of recordings.

Written by ricardo

March 2nd, 2016 at 8:00 am

The Essex Street Market Recordings 7

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After 25 years of having a store front in the Lower East Side, Puebla Mexican Food moved into the Essex Street Market. In 2015, they lost their lease and the new rent was beyond what they could afford. The Essex Street Market presented a new home and strong future. Listen to Irma Marin of the Puebla Mexican Food list the various plates that she offers:

Listen to the full collection of recordings.

Written by ricardo

February 29th, 2016 at 8:00 am

The Essex Street Market Recordings 5

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I met Chris Bickford at the Cuchifritos gallery when I was doing audio recordings at the Essex Street Market and as a visitor to the market, I asked if he had a recipe to contribute to my project. Chris obliged with his corn chowder meal:

Listen to the full collection of recordings.

Written by ricardo

February 21st, 2016 at 8:00 am

The Essex Street Market Recordings 4

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Charlotte Pradie from Saxelby Cheese Mongers at the Essex Street Market presented a detailed account of the making of the Pawlet Sandwich. Listen to Charlotte’s description below:

Listen to the full collection of recordings.

Written by ricardo

February 19th, 2016 at 8:00 am

The Essex Street Market Recordings 3

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Arancini Bros is the latest addition to the Essex Street Market and their rice balls are delicious. I met Julia de la Gata at the new location and she shared the recipe for the Bianco Verde as well as its history. Listen to Julia’s account below:

Listen to the full collection of recordings.

Written by ricardo

February 17th, 2016 at 8:00 am

The Essex Street Market Recordings 2

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Ramona Rodriguez of Luis Meat Market in the Essex Street Market sells a prepared pork for the holidays. This is the recipe that she shared with me when I was soliciting recipes from the vendors – “El Pernil Adobado”. Click the play button below to listen to Ramona’s preparation.

Listen to the full collection of recordings.

Written by ricardo

February 15th, 2016 at 8:00 am

The Essex Street Market Recordings

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Recetas y Gangas

Proposed work “Recetas y Gangas” audio montage of vendors projected onto the street through a bullhorn mounted on the facade of the Essex Street Market

Commonly street markets around the world have both an outdoor and indoor space. The perimeters of the market may extend on to the street to invite pedestrians in to the market. Rather than walls, street markets may present large openings and awnings to create an arcade where people are at once outside and inside. The Essex Street Market in the Lower East Side of New York City does not have a side walk extension beyond sandwich boards and signage outside its brick wall. The Essex Street Market facade does not even present pedestrian level windows for those outside to peer in to the interior. The facade is rather an uninviting brick facade, perhaps a planned institutional barrier that Mayor La Guardia desired as he sought to take cart vendors off the sidewalk in an effort to clean up the streets from obstacles and noise. For the exhibition “Lettuce, Artichokes, Red Beets, Mangoes, Broccoli, Honey and Nutmeg: The Essex Street Market as Collaborator” at Cuchifritos curated by Nicolás Dumit Estévez Raful , I have sought to extend the Essex Street Market on to the sidewalk through sound.

There is a long history of market vendors announcing, singing or chanting their goods to the public. On Essex Street before cart vendors were moved off the street and into the market, they would call out their goods, hoping to attract buyers. I imagine that when the market first opened this practice continued. Today, walk through a traditional Latin American market and you will hear various products sung in to the air. To develop my project, I solicited vendors to vocalize their products and the more performative, the better. Only two vendors played along, one eagerly – Rosella Albanese from Pain d’Avignon and another through a bit of coaxing – Yanivis Rodriguez of Luna Brothers. You may listen to each of their recordings below.

Yanivis Rodriguez, Luna Brothers


Rosella Albanese, Pain d’Avignon


When I was trying to talk Yanivis into the recording while she worked the register, a shopper began to tell me about her recipes for preparing yams. It was an older Dominican woman, perhaps in her 60s who after describing her recipe, told me about the many health benefits of yams.

As I was having a difficult time convincing vendors to sing or chant their goods, I decided to request a recipe from them. This turned out effective as I’ve collected several recipes from vendors and customers. Over the next few weeks, I will describe the interactions with the subjects and you may listen to the shared recipe. The final piece is an audio montage that captures a portrait of the Essex Street Market through the voices of vendors and customers alike all recorded within the market. The audio montage is titled “Recetas y Gangas” (Recipes and Deals) and is available online. And please check out the show at Cuchifritos in the Essex Street Market opening on February 22nd, 2016.

Carlos Aguirre at the Museum of Modern Art, Mexico City

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Between the Museo de Arte Moderno and Museo Universitario Arte Contemporanea (MUAC) there was a great deal of Carlos Aguirre (Acapulco, Mexico 1948) to take in this past month in Mexico City. “Zona de Riesgo” was the retrospective of the artist’s work from 1979 to 2014 installed at Mexico City’s Museum of Modern Art. The show was excellent and an amazing overview of an incredibly active artist. In general the exhibition is dark, even macabre as Aguirre appears to be driven by the violence of Mexico from the execution of criminals to excessive contamination.

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Upon entering the multi-gallery exhibition, one is greeted by a line of axes cleaved into a white wall. The blades of the axes are mounted on to branches, a powerful transformation of the ax that reminds the viewer of the violent nature of deforestation. In the early 1990s, Aguirre visualizes environmental impact with objects that may not be ignored such as blackened human lungs split open and cast in clear material hanging over a box filled with carbon.

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In the next gallery hangs an electric chair and below it the portraits of those executed. Near by is “Los olvidados” (1990), a giant portrait of a man in profile constructed from work gloves used by laborers.

Los olvidados

Name of Dead

As I continued through the exhibition, I was drawn to a grid of small newsprint cutouts pinned to a wall. It was “Name of Dead” 1139 obituaries carefully cut out and posted to the gallery wall. The various galleries are joined by a large circular and domed area where “Dialectica, inteligencia vs. poder” (1995) is suspended. The piece is composed of many fire extinguishers hanging at various heights and at the center hanging at the end of a metal bar are a human brain and a small bust of Gustavo Díaz Ordaz, the president during the Tlatelolco massacre of 1968 when hundreds of unarmed protestors were shot.

Dialectica, inteligencia vs. poder

Dialectica, inteligencia vs. poder

Beyond “Dialectica, inteligencia vs. poder” lies a dirt rectangle upon the floor and above the dirt are many shovels placed upon a wooden structure. When the dirt is inspected one will find human teeth and bones as well as corn.

One of the final pieces in the exhibition is a black priest’s robe embroidered with 200 names of victims sexually abused by priests when the victims were children.

There is not much nuance in the visual metaphors constructed by Carlos Aguirre, instead the work is direct and confrontational. He makes it difficult to ignore the dark realities of our culture, Mexico’s reality is one giant risk zone or zona de riesgo.

At MUAC there is a large retrospective of the artist collective Grupo Proceso Pentágono in which Carlos Aguirre played a role during a period of time. For this exhibition, Aguirre rejoined the group to create a critique of the 43 missing students who disappeared on the night of September 26th 2014.