Life Between Buildings الحياة بين المباني

Life Between Buildings examines how artists have used the city’s interstitial spaces to consider the politics of public space from an ecological point of view. The history of community gardens in New York City inspired this project. The exhibition, which brings together a few archival items and works of art from the 1970s to the present, goes beyond the history of artists transforming buildings (like MoMA PS1) to examine how they have engaged the spaces between, transforming unused areas into places for everyday life, such as gardens, installations, performances, and gatherings.

Grassroots organizations started turning vacant sites into community gardens all around New York City starting in the 1970s when the city was experiencing a serious financial crisis. This happened at the same time as artists were attempting to consider venues for their work outside of the studio/gallery/museum. At some points in time, these histories intertwined. Artists produced work in dialogue with, and occasionally actively assisted, community initiatives to rethink the cityscape. And recovering space for artistic, social, and ecological purposes. These organizations challenge us to reconsider how life can develop in a city where space has grown increasingly limited. And nature has become steadily more in danger. They do this by repurposing liminal and ignored locations.


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