Gabrielle Bendiner-Viani “Keep Me Nearby”


poster for Gabrielle Bendiner-Viani “Keep Me Nearby”

This event has ended.

Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space: 88 Essex St, New York, NY10002 [No. 21 inside Essex Market]

so please when I die… / don’t take me far away / keep me nearby / take my ashes and scatter them thru out / the Lower East Side
– Miguel Piñero

For forty years, as New York’s Lower East Side went from disinvested to gentrified, residents lived with a wound in the neighborhood, a series of vacant lots known as the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area (SPURA). Most of the buildings on the 14-square-block area were condemned in 1967, displacing thousands of people–mostly low-income people of color–with the promise that they would soon return to new housing, very little of which ever came. Now one of the city’s largest developments, Essex Crossing, is rising on this site. Essex Street Market, of which Cuchifritos is a part, is at its heart.

Ten years ago, artist and urbanist Gabrielle Bendiner-Viani was invited to enter this tense community to collaborate on a new approach to planning through public history and public art. Created in a multi-year collaboration with community activists GOLES and SPARC, and her students at the New School, the exhibitions and performative guided tours of Bendiner-Viani’s Layered SPURA project provided new opportunities for dialogue about the past, present and future of the neighborhood

Keep Me Nearby returns to the intersection of Essex and Delancey a decade after Layered SPURA began to help us think about what it still means to make home in this neighborhood, and how understanding the complex threads of this neighborhood’s past can help us imagine a future. The exhibition features never-before seen images by photographer Nick Lawrence of the lived-in apartments that were demolished at SPURA in the late 1960s.

Throughout the summer, Keep Me Nearby will host a series of Layered SPURA tours, letting participants use their bodies, their voices, and their capacity for dialogue to understand the contested urban past, present and future on the Lower East Side.

photographs: Nick Lawerence



from May 31, 2019 to June 21, 2019
Tours: Saturday, June 8; June 29; July 20 [all tours will meet in Cuchifritos Gallery]

Opening Reception on 2019-05-31 from 18:00 to 20:00

  • Facebook


    All content on this site is © their respective owner(s).
    New York Art Beat (2008) - About - Contact - Privacy - Terms of Use