ONGOING EXHIBITIONS @ Le Petit Versaillles
Exhibition by Tobi Möhring and Michael Philips
November 2006 – April 2007
Viewing hours of sculptures by appointment 212 529 8815
346 East Houston Street
The community garden movement in New York City has been an important step towards the transformation of a city into a more humane place, by the people and for the people. All the time, community gardens have been endangered by the gentrification process in the inner city areas. But even though the people who created them had a different idea, they were also part of this process: With all those nice green spaces instead of wastelands full of garbage, the neighborhoods were becoming nicer and more attractive and unfortunately also for an affluent clientele, who are invading these neighborhoods and turning them into yuppie areas. Inspired by this situation, the Berlin-based artists Tobi Mohring and Michael Philips had the idea to do a performance and art installation in Le Petit Versailles community garden.
The conflict between system-conforming mainstream people, and people and cultures that don’t fit into the real estate market is the theme of their performance. It revolves around the questions: – Does communication between these parallel worlds make sense? – Or have these two worlds so irreconcilable interests, function in such different systems, that either of them will always be a threat for the other and the only option is a permanent struggle? – And: What would be the price for assimilating into the system?
For the performance, the artists created big metal sculptures which represent characters from these parallel worlds.
The performers interact with the sculpture ensemble as additional, living sculptures. Based on original quotes by town planners and politicians about the task of “cleaning up the cities”, they create scenes around the conflict between these parallel worlds. In these more abstract scenes, they try to find images that symbolize some of the above questions. Both artists are part of the queer movement and work about gender issues. They’re also activists in the struggle against gentrification.
ONLINE GALLERY: http://orangegecko.de/parallelworlds