In, Of, and Crossing Essex

Sonia Louise Davis, Dillon de Give, and Hatuey Ramos-Fermín
Curated by Anna Harsanyi

See schedule below for programming dates
On View: April 27-June 10, 2018
Gallery Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 12-6p

By Fall of 2018, Essex Market will prepare for its relocation as part of the Essex Crossing development. At this time of transition, In, Of, and Crossing Essex will present three artist projects by Sonia Louise Davis, Dillon de Give, and Hatuey Ramos-Fermín. From April 27-June 10 visitors to the Market will have opportunities to explore the public and private histories of the Market through the stories, perspectives, and lived experiences of the people who work and shop there every day. Within the Market space, a project hub will be located at Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space, which will serve as a meeting space for public programs and events, and will feature installations by the artists.

Sonia Louise Davis’ Become Together Freedom School is an experimental platform to cultivate critical improvisation and a container for collective study. This first iteration of the project will feature workshops and a printed guide that will stimulate site-specific interrogations through abstract and ephemeral actions. The artist will open up her own methodology by facilitating score-making and authentic movement in a number of public sessions, using participants’ inherent improvisational skill sets and imaginative strategies as starting points. In addition, a printed zine will offer text-based prompts and activities for market visitors to respond to on their own as they explore the market and its surroundings. The artist will lead workshops on May 29 and June 2, which are free with RSVP.

In Dillon de Give’s project Go Between, the artist will work with a group of trained facilitators to collect and deliver messages from Essex Market. Facilitators will be stationed inside Cuchifritos, where they will meet visitors and accompany them on a stroll through the Market, and help them formulate a message they wish to send to anyone within the Lower East Side and, on special circumstances, New York City. Facilitators will memorize and attempt to physically deliver the messages by reciting them to their intended recipients, creating an inter-personal telegraph service sending spoken postcards from Essex Market around the city. To send a message for free, schedule an appointment with a facilitator on Thursdays-Sundays between April 27-May 13 at calendly.com/go-between or call 917-300-9521

For Messages to go, Hatuey Ramos-Fermín interviewed Essex Market’s vendors, learning about their experiences as business owners and documenting their unique perspectives on the role of the market within its neighborhood, the Lower East Side. Quotes from these interviews, featured on reusable shopping bags designed by Ramos-Fermín in consultation with vendors, will be available to customers who purchase items at participating businesses throughout the market. As a result, the bags will become part of a larger network of visitors outside of the Market, amplifying the stories and anecdotes featured in their designs.

Two public programs on May 14 and June 10, presented in partnership with Artists Alliance Inc, and The People’s LES/FABnyc, will bring together artists, organizers, small business owners, and city residents to explore how artists work together with neighborhood residents to support small businesses. Both programs and are free and open to the public with RSVP.

At this time of transition, In, Of and Crossing Essex aims to visualize moments from the day-to-day life of Essex Market as it prepares to move. By engaging the market’s vendors, shoppers, Lower East Side and city residents, this project seeks to share with a larger public what transition looks like for different people, making visible the often unseen or under-appreciated aspects of Essex Market in the present.

Related Events

Friday, April 27-May 13 from 2-6p
Send a message from Essex Market
Work with a facilitator to construct and send immaterial “postcards” from Essex Market before its historic relocation. Schedule a conversation with a facilitator at calendly.com/go-between or call 917-300-9521

Monday, May 14 from 6:30-8p
PANEL: Small Businesses as Cultural Contributors
As much as artists and cultural establishments hold importance in shaping New York City, small businesses are equally as vital to the cultural lifeblood that defines New York City. This discussion will bring together artists, business owners, and city organizers to discuss the contributions of small businesses to the Lower East Side’s cultural fabric. Panelists will consider how artists and cultural organizations in the neighborhood have aligned with small businesses, and consider ways to strengthen the foundation of how cultural vibrancy is represented in a city-wide context.

The public programs are organized by Artists Alliance Inc/Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space in partnership with The People’s LES/FABnyc and made possible, in part, through a Humanities New York Action Grant.

Tuesday, May 29 from 6:30-8:30p
WORKSHOP: After-Hours Performance Workshop with Sonia Louise Davis
Explore Essex Street Market in a unique movement/sound-based experience led by Sonia Louise Davis. Participants will improvise in the empty market while it is closed to shoppers and create scores to guide their private performances. RSVP at goo.gl/XBTkYh.

Saturday, June 2 from 2-6p
WORKSHOP: Drop-in Score Making with Sonia Louise Davis
Stop in for an afternoon of hands-on score making. Informed by a wide range of artists’ graphic notations, participants can practice drawing or invent their own marks and symbols.

Sunday, June 10 from 3:30-5p (closing reception to follow)
Roundtable discussion: what steps can artists take to support small businesses?
What steps can artists take to support small businesses? Looking at the ways artists and organizers in Lower East Side have worked together to support small businesses, this roundtable discussion will question how artists and cultural institutions can engage as active community members by supporting small businesses – and what this kind of support looks like in concrete, day-to-day actions.

The public programs are organized by Artists Alliance Inc/Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space in partnership with The People’s LES/FABnyc

In, Of, and Crossing Essex is an independent project organized by Anna Harsanyi, in partnership with Artists Alliance Inc, Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space, and Essex Street Market. In, Of, and Crossing Essex is made possible in part with public funds from Creative Engagement, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.