Purple Art

[February 10 2017]

Jim Joe and Andrew Kass “Vacant Possession” at 51 Mercer, New York

“Vacant Possession” by Jim Joe and Andrew Kass makes a fun house with New York monuments. The show subverts the architecture of an abandoned space to dwarf recognizable skyscrapers and make parody of construction as party accoutrements.

Jim Joe presents a childhood sheet adorned with miniature models of the Statue of Liberty, The Empire State Building, and One World Trade Center. The same recognizable structures are also painted in negative space along the back wall. These New York symbols are overwhelmed by the vacant space around them, made even more apparent by Jim Joe painting the floor in checkerboard.

The entrance of “Vacant Possession” was illuminated by a searing light, the kind used in public housing projects around New York, installed by Andrew Kass. While it offered intense clarity, it was also painful, a mechanism of persistent surveillance. In contrast to the light, the doorway was draped with construction tarps, creating a type of regal curtain and concealment out of the protective material. Kass also installed a disco ball swaddled in orange mesh, again playing with the notion of reflection and concealment and conflating development with extravagance.

“Vacant Possession” was a pop-up exhibition at 51 Mercer St.

Text and photo Elise Gallant

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