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Highlights from NYC's SPRING/BREAK Art Show

Exceptional installation work seen at this year's "Transaction"-themed fair

by David Graver
on 03 March 2015

Coinciding with NYC's Armory Arts Week, the fourth annual SPRING/BREAK Art Show offers an immersive world of large-scale artistic creation. Taking over floors at Manhattan's historic James A Farley Post Office, the fair delivers room after room of eccentric art—all driven by specific curators assigned to each space. This year's theme happens to be "Transaction" and an element of the word, and its interpretations, grace most of what attendees will find within. Most importantly, wonder and weirdness abound, making it a worthwhile experience for anyone looking to scope out art this week. Below are a handful of impressive highlights worth seeing in person.

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Visualpilots' Luminessenz: Space is Only Noise

Curator A. Moret, who also happens to be the Editor-in-Chief of Installation Magazine, delivers the New York debut of art collective Visualpilots. This work, "Luminessenz: Space is Only Noise," transports viewers into a world of warped spatial configurations, dictated by blasts of light and sound—often harmonious. There's an eerie sense of isolation coupled with a rather magnificent visceral sting.

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Brent Birnbaum: Untitled

Eleven running treadmills unite to form Brent Birnbaum's site-specific mountain of machines. All of them have been bolted together and activated, showcasing vibrant conveyor belt canvases of color. While there's an element of humor, and a jab at capitalism, it's also just a wonderful feat of structural construction.

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Fall On Your Sword: Greed is Good

Helmed by composer Will Bates, Fall On Your Sword is a Brooklyn-based art and commercial work collective that focuses on the interaction between moving image and sound. With "Greed is Good" (2015) they succeed in creating an otherworldly, mixed-media environment employing soundtrack, narration and visuals. It's eerie but transformative.

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Cate Giordano: After the Fire is Gone

An incredibly strange melding of performance art and set design, Giordano performs karaoke while donning a wig and addressing a series of large farm props—after emerging from a taxi. Found in Eve Sussman and Simon Lee's space, there isn't anything else quite like this.

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Grace Villamil: Door Within a Door

Upon entering a vault-like space, two large-scale foil structures, lit from the ground, greet people in Grace Villamil's installation. Attendees are encouraged to enter into each "teepee," and engage with the interaction of light, material, entrance and departure. It's an impressive and thoughtful construct that begs to be explored.

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Dirby's Various Works

Occupying a corner of one of two rooms curated by Marc Azoulay—the studio director of artist JR—the works of sculptor Dirby reflect an obsession with "rescued objects." A collector of things discarded, often from forgotten places, Dirby frames and orients all of his pieces with caution and care. The resulting environment he crafts at this fair is mesmerizing and avoids the notion of time and place, replacing both with curiosity.

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Patrick Meagher: A Plasticity

Artist and founder of NYC's Silvershed arts space, Patrick Meagher delivers a clever, comedic illuminated piece, "A Plasticity," featuring none other than inkjet printings on mylar of transactional imagery he discovered on the internet—all of which have been neatly organized atop a massive light box. Found in a room of thought provoking works curated by Teriha Yaegashi, Meagher's large piece makes a resounding statement.

SPRING/BREAK Art Show will run from 4 March through 8 March 2015 at Skylight at Moynihan Station, 307 West 31st Street, New York, NY 10001. Tickets start at $10 and are available for purchase online.

Images by David Graver

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