Back Yard Projects, New York: Bed, Bath, & Beyond

Installation view: Scott Keightley, Goose, 2011

In an effort to experiment with and understand current curatorial practices in contemporary art, I recently opened a seasonal and collectively organized project space in my New York City apartment and garden: Back Yard Projects. Our mission is to give artists the possibility to work site-specifically, develop new contexts for existing works, and engage with nature as a studio or platform for creation and collaboration.

Scott Keightley's jars with a collaborative print by Keightley and Juan Antonio Olivares

For our inaugural exhibition, BED, BATH, & BEYOND, we invited New York-based artists Scott Keightley, Nathaniel De Large, and Juan Antonio Olivares to build installations that address the structure, materials, and idiosyncrasies of our space. While De Large transforms the living space using the material language of interior construction, Keightley, working with organic materials and processes, reconsiders the presentation and construction of craft-like mediums to give them a new context within the domestic domain. Olivares, in his moving image vignettes, explores the activation of the spaces we inhabit by addressing our attachment to objects and daily assessments of value versus worth. The conversation developed within the living space has provoked collaboration for the garden, which features sculptural works that interact with plant and animal life.

 

Nathaniel De Large, Untitled (coat rack), 2011

In conjunction with BED, BATH, & BEYOND, artist/curator Sean Keenan programmed a performance series featuring Sarah Elliott, Andrea Merkx, and performance collective BFFA3AE. The series has allowed us to open our doors weekly to the community with the goal of sharing this otherwise private and residential space. Through the artists’ and performers’ engagement with the space and the community’s access to it, we hope to shed light on the rhythm of our quotidian interactions and spaces.

Nathaniel De Large, installation view of his kinetic sculpture Untitled (merchandise reunion), 2011
Juan Antonio Olivares, still from "Machiavelli Milkshake", 2011

 

Scott Keightley, Bird Bath, 2011

 

Hand-dyed hammock ("Two Peas in a Pod, 2011") by Nathaniel de Large & Scott Keightley

Our next installation, an investigation of New Age religion and idolatry by Los Angeles-based artist Morgan Silver-Greenberg, will open August 5 and evolve through September 3. For more information, please visit http://backyardprojectsny.tumblr.com.