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Multiplicity: City as Subject/Matter

July 11 August 29, 2014

Multiplicity

City as subject/matter: Belfast, Hong Kong, New Delhi, New York, Tel Aviv, Tirana and beyond

Artists: Nadim Abbas, Erik Benson, BroLab, CPak Studio, Endri Dani, John Duncan, Yael Efrati, The Extrapolation Factory with PS 147, Vibha Galhotra, Darren Goins, Michael Hanna, Meg Kelly, Nicholas Keogh, Alban Muja and Yll Citaku, Aisling O’Beirn, Jan Pfeiffer, Sascha Pohflepp, Gigi Scaria, Irgin Sena, Alice Schivardi, Seher Shah, Todd Shalom (Elastic City), Sasa Tkacenko and Amir Yatziv.

Curated by Marco Antonini in collaboration with: Catalyst Arts, Hila Cohen-Schneiderman, Khoj International Artists’ Association, Eriola Pira and Magdalen Wong.

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Multiplicity was an international survey of artworks sharing an interest in the politics and poetic potential of contemporary urban environments and exposing the irresistible pull of the similarities—intercultural meeting points, common problems, goals and dreams—around which people converge. Multiplicity featured a wide-ranging selection of works exploring culturally and geographically distant urban spaces, curated by Marco Antonini in collaboration with a network of curatorial advisors based in Belfast, Hong Kong, New Delhi, New York, Tel Aviv and Tirana, and presented as a series of four consecutive exhibitions hosted by NURTUREart, Mixed Greens, INVISIBLE-EXPORTS and Union Docs. The works address the myriad public and private rituals of the city, mining its institutional and vernacular histories while re-imagining its formal and functional aspects.

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A book with an introduction to the project by Curator Marco Antonini, essays by Eriola Pira, Magdalen Wong and Hila Cohen Schneiderman and documentation of all four exhibitions in the series was published with generous support from the British Council of Norther Ireland. You can read it on Issuu (see below.) right now. A hardcopy limited edition of the book will be available on our website around mid-summer 2015.

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Images from Multiplicity‘s opening receptions

Images of the exhibition installations at NURTUREart, Mixed Greens and INVISIBLE-EXPORTS galleries

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Calendar of exhibitions and events:

Part 1: NURTUREart. 56 Bogart St., Brooklyn (Bushwick.) From July 11 to August 25.
Opening Reception: July 11. Please consult www.nurtureart.org for gallery hours.

Part 2: Mixed Greens. 531 West 26th St., Manhattan (Chelsea.) From July 24 to August 29.
Opening Reception: July 24. Please consult www.mixedgreens.com for gallery hours.

Part 3: INVISIBLE-EXPORTS. 89 Eldridge St., Manhattan (Lower East Side.) From August 1 to August 27.
Opening Reception: August 1. Please consult www.invisible-exports.com for gallery hours.

Part 4: UnionDocs. 322 Union Ave., Brooklyn (Williamsburg.)
Video Screening with works by: CPak Studio, Nicholas Keogh, Alban Muja and Yll Citaku, Alice Schivardi, Sasa Tkacenko, Amir Yatziv.
Screening: August 9, 7:30pm. Please consult www.uniondocs.org for info and updates.

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Installation view of Multiplicity Part 1, NURTUREart Gallery, July 11 to August 25, 2014.

Cities unite by bringing people together; sometimes they divide for exactly the same reason. They are both abstract ideas and physical places, strategically sited to coincide with natural resources or created to materialize pure theory. A city is a place for individualism and exchange, solitude and communal living. Its name can engender ideals, both successful and failed, rising to represent something beyond its own history and present/future tensions and aspirations, a total larger than the sum of its parts.

Cities contain multitudes that, as powerful and creative collective entities, give life to the multiplicity that we have identified as the core value of every urban community. This force induces daily struggles and concerns, dreams as solid as concrete pillars, yet as soft as grey matter: resources as infinite and unresolved as the human mind. Such resources can be either investigated and addressed as a whole or broken down into independent ideas and images, personal concerns and local struggles that, although unique, will necessarily inform each other, presenting macroscopic similarities.

Cities are structured around largely internalized foundational ideals, inviting (or inciting) contrasting notions of what sharing, protection, tolerance, competition, access, visibility, circulation, expansion, convenience, exchange, service, profit and productivity actually mean. These possible readings add up to a global urban vocabulary straddling geographical and political boundaries. In this sense, Multiplicity strives to present images and ideas as different and distinct as the urban contexts that originally inspired them, embodying the internal contradictions and boundless potential of small and large, young and old, meticulously planned and chaotically sprawling cities worldwide.

Installation view of Multiplicity Part 2, Mixed Greens Gallery, July 24 to August 24, 2014. Ph. Etienne Frossard.

Funding for Multiplicity was provided in part by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, British Council, Czech Center New York, and Mixed Greens. PR support by Artis, Czech Center New York, Invisible Exports, Mixed Greens, and Union Docs. Refreshments provided by Lagunitas.