With the influx of retail giants into Soho and the nearly complete exodus of galleries and museums (the former Gugg is now Prada, and the New Museum has relocated), it’s a wonder there’s anything to do down there besides shop and eat, if you can afford either option. But I discovered happenings are still happening below Houston Street. Last week, In the Sky by Brooklynite twins Leesa and Nicole Abahuni opened at Location One, and the space was packed with a diverse crowd of all ages for the experience of walking though an installation of 12,000 strands of ball chain, and the special dance by Glen Rumsey and performance of a musical composition by Elliott Sharp with percussionists Danny Tunick and Christine Bard.
Founded in 1997 by Claire Montgomery, Location One has an involved and lengthy mission statement/manifesto, and my personal favorite item is Number 5, which begins with “Location One is creating a new environment for contemporary art, one that is rich in interdisciplinary context.” Regardless of all the words devoted to what they say they are trying to do, what they are inarguably successful in doing is supporting, encouraging and disseminating the work of new artists in new media, and in engaging the public.
A few days later, just around the corner at The Drawing Center (still in Soho for the time being, where we wish they’d stay put), artist Eleanore Mikus drew a large crowd (no pun intended) for a lecture on her show From Shell to Skin, discussing the methods, materials, influences, and activities of her long career. (A full review of that show is here.)
Worth the visit, there are still a handful of galleries to be found downtown, like Ronald Feldman, June Kelly (okay, I’m not neutral about this one), Nancy Hoffman, and Artists Space, to name a few. And a secret I’ll share with you: When you need to refuel or to get away from the throngs on the streets, duck into Palacinka on Grand St near 6th Ave for great food and atmo at prices atypical for Soho.