The Real Estate Show, which opened on December 31, 1979, was an extra-legal occupation of and art show in the city-owned building at 123 Delancey Street on the Lower East Side. Organized by Collaborative Projects (Colab), a collective of artists and activists that formed in 1977 to create exhibition and funding opportunities for artists, the exhibition sought to address the growing real estate crisis in New York City, with the dissolution of lower-income neighborhoods, amassing evictions and displacement of non-wealthy residents. The exhibition, as much art show as it was collective action, was shut down on the morning of January 2, 1980 by The New York City Department of Housing, Preservation and Development, who replaced the once-broken lock and removed all of the artwork, prompting an influential press conference called by the show’s organizers. This public demonstration, attended by the New York Times, Soho Weekly News and, notably, artist Joseph Bueys, led to negotiations between the representative artists and the city resulting in the eventual founding of ABC NoRio at 156 Rivington Street.
Presented as part of LES History Month