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#1 99 CANAL
99 Canal is a non profit artist run initiative that supports the exchange of ideas, opinions, and perspectives in New York’s emerging art scene, Chinatown. While providing affordable work studio spaces and a residency program to New York-based and international emerging artists, 99 Canal encourages artistic development while actualizing the possibility of being part of a new artistic community.
Collaborating with a wide range of creatives, we aim to build a public program that runs in parallel to its residencies. With a focus on screenings, exhibitions, and performances, our program supports interdisciplinary practices while providing the audience with opportunities to experience and engage through participation and reflection. We aim to strengthen our artistic community by encouraging proposals that pursue new directions and exhibit critical work.
Current Resident Artist
Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson (b. 1999, Los Angeles) is a painter who’s polymorphic practice draws references from American popular culture, modern art and African folklore. Through the use of vibrant colors, exposed canvases, and the appropriation of found imagery, he explores themes related to colonialism, archaeology and futurism. Despite the multiplicity of artistic influences, Wilson references classical painting structures while contrasting them through contemporary formal qualities and subject matter. At 99 Canal, Wilson has been developing a series of works for Derek Eller Gallery to be exhibited at the Armory Show.
Upcoming Resident Artist
Agnieszka Kurant (Poland, 1978) is a conceptual interdisciplinary artist whose practice explores how complex social, economic, and cultural systems can operate in ways that confuse distinctions between fiction and reality or nature and culture (or work in ways that blur the lines between reality and fiction). Through immaterial and imaginary entities, fictions, phantoms, and emergent processes that influence political and economic systems, Agnieszka investigates “the economy of the invisible.” At 99 Canal, Kurant will be producing works for her solo show at Kunstverein Hannover (opening in January 2023) and will be researching for her subsequent solo show at Mudam Luxembourg.
ANNYIT ÉR, MINT HALOTTNAK A CSÓK | WORTH AS MUCH AS A KISS TO A DEAD MAN
Opening: September 21, 2022 from 8 pm.
Dates: September 22 to 26, 2022.
Where: 99 Canal Street, 6fl
Hours: 6 pm to 10 pm or by appointment.
The exhibition attempts to deconstruct and reinterpret some of the complex factors that artists and non-art artists (working in the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s) dealt with in Eastern Bloc Hungary, when forced to create their own public history (self-historicizing) beyond the censorship of state institutions. By engaging with alternative mediums such as actionism, film and video, the works convey a sense of subversion through the contrast between the subtle, the humorous and the ironic.
Allow me, at the outset, to clarify what the title of this exhibition/screening stands for. The Hungarian idiom —annyit ér, mint halottnak a csók— literally translates into: worth as much as a kiss to a dead man. However, the figurative meaning conveys that something is not worth a whoop, not worth the effort, worthless…
The project is, at first glance, no more than a small appetiser addressing the practices of certain figures (artists and non-art artists) of the (so-called) Hungarian Neo-Avant-Garde. Yet, just as in the title, the symbiosis or lack thereof between a figurative and a literal interpretation of the pieces, and of the project as a whole, brings forth resources capable of de-constructing dichotomies, building, in turn, nuances.
As a result of such frictions —frictions that can expand the interpretive abilities of a viewer— this project means —once more like the title— not one thing or the other, but both, none, or a number of them.
It is a collection of images and actions against value (worthless). It is an implicit and heartfelt nod to my late father (a kiss if you will). It is not worth the effort. It is an iniciatic rite that invokes the spirit of a bygone time and space. A serious matter. A joke. A collection of pastimes "for killing boredom [...] turning away from active-constructive activity, and, thus, facilitating the politics of subversive decentralisation."  A bomb targeting the status quo. A journey through time. A Poetic gesture. A game of Kalah. A system of proportions. A conversation.
 These are some of the words written by an informant of the Hungarian secret police (codename: Mészáros) after witnessing the first happening in Hungary: The Lunch (in memoriam Batu Khan), 1966; organised by Gábor Altorjay and Tamás Szentjóby (codename: Schwitters), with the cooperation of Miklós Jankovics and István Varannai; and the help of Enikő Balla, Miklós Erdély, and Csaba Koncz.
99 Canal’s program is comprised of three long term studios for New York based artists and one short term residency program for international artists. An open call will be announced for the short term program at the end of each trimester. For more information about the program please address to email@example.com