Sing’s Millennium Mart
Curated by Seung-Min Lee
December 13 – February 1, 2014/2015
Opening Reception, December 13th 6-9pm
Call them corner stores, bodegas, delis, or organic food marts and they seem innocuous in their everyday nooks but these neighborhood markets are palimpsests of cultural battles and values. The winners of these merchant wars have always been those who could predict the desires of their customers and orchestrate them into a form of theatre.
How do the origin stories of eBay and Amazon, differ from the ancient markets like the agora and the souk? Once, paths of traders kept crossing each other at spots in the sand. People gathered in those intersections swapping smokes and spices, and some hung around for the action. It has always been the itchy discontent wanderers who loiter in the agora with their desires for self-improvement, seeking that certain perfect thing they convince themselves they need.
Nowadays, food sells itself, each package wrapped and labeled with its provenance and pedigree. Kale chips and coconut water beam their promise to enlighten us from the shelf. We reciprocate with demands that our food be smarter and closer to the land then we are; we fear dumb food as we fear the poverty and death that creeps in from subaltern spaces.
Agoraphobia. The market can trigger dread and anxiety as it promises sustenance. With its dizzying array of choices, it realizes and answers our desires for transformation before we do and tells us to follow. So the spotlight is on you the would-be buyer. When your corner store starts to stock food you don’t understand and can’t afford—you begin to wonder whose expiration dates will pass first.
Sing's Millennium Mart is the corner deli of the future. Seung-Min Lee invites several artist collaborators to create their ideal market place. With Simone Frazier, she will create a vertical garden and indoor greenscape of edible plants, for a 24/7 tossed salad bar. Jonathan Butt and Lee design generative, nurturing retail fixtures and with Ted Mineo, cast prototypes for the staple goods of tomorrow. In addition, Mores McWreath creates masks to keep your favorite old junk foods ever-green.
A series of performances in the installation will highlight the mixed and competing emotions the corner deli arouses. Artists participating include: Daniel Bozhkov, Allison Brainard, Nicholas Buffon, Sean J Patrick Carney, Kiran Chandra, Ana Fabrega, Danyel Ferrari, Sameer Kapoor, Devin Kenny, Dominika Ksel, Jaeeun Lee, Mores McWreath, Irvin Morazan, Sahra Motalebi, Clifford Owens, Andre Springer, and Jennifer Sullivan. Full schedule of performances TBA as well as additional performers.
This work was made possible, in part, by the Franklin Furnace Fund supported by Jerome Foundation and by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
December 19th - 7:00-9:00pm
Allison Brainard, Sean J Patrick Carney, Ana Fabrega and Joe Kay, Devin Kenny
January 10th - 6:00-8:00pm
Sameer Kapoor and Jennifer Sullivan, Nicholas Buffon, Sahra Motalebi, Sophia Peer
January 24th - 5:00-8:00pm
Daniel Bozhkov, Jaeeun Lee, Mores McWreath, Clifford Owens
January 31st - 5:00-8:00pm
Amanda Pohan, Kiran Chandra, Dominika Ksel, Andre Springer/ Shaquanda Coca Mulattar, Danyel Ferrari and Patrick McElnea
Press for exhibition: The New York Times