by Red Cell
Wednesday, December 29
7:00pm – 11:00pm
Location – Monospace
1037 Manhattan Avenue
The first collaboration between media performance artist Aryn Zev and sculptor/designer Melissa J. Frost takes their spontaneous, late night photo shoot in an abandoned loft on Greenpoint Avenue as a starting point. Responding to a disruptive but transformative experience in living situation, the two rely on their different backgrounds to form a therapeutic and artistic release. Aryn’s approach focuses on aestheticizing fiberglass as inhumanly uncomfortable material for dressing the body. Melissa’s obsession with abandoned spaces is combined with her urge to organize the random belongings in the building according to color. The title “Pink and Yellow” refers to the two protagonists as well as the colors of the building’s insulation material so prominent in the photos. Using photos, sound, light, and projection, Monospace will be transformed into a pink and yellow environment that recreates the atmosphere of the abandoned loft. Since the shoot, Aryn and Melissa are building a new loft together in Greenpoint.
Read the first question below:
Karin: We are actually talking a couple of weeks before your opening and so far I have heard the story of your spontaneous action in Aryn’s old loft on Greenpoint Avenue and seen the photos. The story of the home being destroyed very quickly after losing the lease has unintentionally been the story of Aryn’s first months in New York and consequently forms the backdrop for the show. Could you tell it from the beginning?
Melissa: Sure. Aryn had told me the story of her friend Gina who had lived there for 12 years. I, for one, really identified with that cause I built a house in Philadelphia that I can’t live in anymore and I am doing it now with you (to Aryn). Investing yourself in the space like that is a really big emotional investment. I saw it a few times together with people sitting at the kitchen table, very home-like. And I was just there one day picking up a door, waiting for Aryn outside and she came and said, “you have to come see this.” It had been only one day since everybody had left and all of the walls were ripped out,
insulation was everywhere, and piles of people’s stuff… You could still see what the floorplan had looked like; you could go through all the roommates’ rooms and see their colors, people’s belongings – their food, their kitchens, their toothbrushes still in the toothbrush holders.
Aryn: It was like home, particularly for me, arriving in New York and spending a lot of time there with Gina. I hadn’t been there very long, only a couple of months – from August to mid-October. As soon as it started to feel like my space, it was taken away. I talked to Gina and she said that the space had only come together a year before, so it was a long process. It was not just the physical space, but all the ideas and plans we made there, the people felt like my family here. Now I am part of building a new space with Melissa.