“5000 SqFt WILL DIVIDE”
Exhibition Dates: 4–29 September, 2019
Pierogi is pleased to present 5000 SqFt WILL DIVIDE, our second solo gallery exhibition of Andrew Ohanesian’s work. Cleaving the frontage and exhibition space from the gallery site—by papering over the façade, demolishing existing interior gallery walls, and beginning initial build out of a new layout in the effort to attract a new tenant—5000 SqFt WILL DIVIDE inserts itself as a sheep in wolf’s clothing into the slash n’ churn real estate market of the Lower East Side and the larger New York City area. Frozen in partial subdivision, the future of this newly vacant space is undefined, yet decidedly “AVAILABLE.” It represents cultural loss for some, a great space and prime real estate for others, and for even more, is completely unremarkable; one more vacant storefront in a kraft-brown sea of veiled inventory blanketing this city and cities across the globe. The banality of this masquerade illuminating the prevalence and pervasiveness of the city’s largest tenant: vacancy.
In displacement, the precarious position of the brick and mortar gallery is patched and mudded over, the writing on the wall extolling only the salient commercial attributes and myriad potential uses, obfuscating the husk of its former incarnation, a ghost of Christmas future unaware of the cost of its creation. Here, the aesthetics of Asher, Klein, Christo & Jean-Claude exist as unintentional and inconsequential by-products of subdivision.
In keeping with Ohanesian’s attention to conceptual detail, he has created brochures for the available space with working telephone numbers of actual realtors, as well as suggested possible build out options. As with any available real estate, a realtor is contracted to promote, rent, or sell a property. Realtors at Checkmate Real Estate will be available to discuss the property with anyone interested in leasing the space.
5000 SqFt WILL DIVIDE pulls from much of Ohanesian’s previous work using the non-verbal, universal language of architecture to communicate with the viewer before they consent to conversation with the work; by using objects and imagery so culturally ubiquitous that they border on mundane, the viewer does not initially recognize them as art and, upon such revelation, their view of those objects, structures, and hierarchies is permanently altered. Ohanesian’s 2012 “The House Party” transformed audience into actor inside a fully constructed and functional suburban home simulacra. Participants acted without a script in this large-scale interactive performance / installation. His 2014 “Sidewalk Shed” shrouded the outside of Pierogi’s Williamsburg space with the same ubiquitous scaffolding covering buildings across the city. A “Work in Progress: Residential” sign blended into the background, yet jarringly forebode what was to come (hint: condos). It was cited by Vulture and Hyperallergic as one of the best shows of 2014. Ohanesian relishes the specific aesthetic language of these phenomena producing physical and digital collateral that is then commercialized for a commodity that doesn’t exist, but in absentia reveals a truth about those that do, or are about to.
Andrew Ohanesian was born in 1980 in Laguna Beach, CA and lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. His sculpture and site-specific installations have been exhibited widely throughout the US and have been critically reviewed in ARTnews, the NY Observer, Time Out New York, Hyperallergic, and ARTINFO. He received his BFA from the University of California, Berkeley.