performance and exhibition
by Tobi Möhring and Michael Philips
October 20-27, 2006

opening/performance: Friday October 20, 8pm

Le Petit Versailles Garden
346 East Houston Street < Avenues B & C >
F / V trains to Second Ave. Walk east on Houston St. or
J / M trains to Delancey. Walk northeast to Houston St.
Rain or Shine. FREE or voluntary donation.
Press contact: Peter Cramer 212-529-8815

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—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 Möhring 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.



Events are made possible by Allied Productions,Inc.,
Gardeners & Friends of LPV,Citizens for NYC, GreenThumb/ NYC Dept. of Parks,
Materials for the Arts; NYC ,Dept. of Cultural Affairs,NYC Dept. of Sanitation
& NYC Board of Education. and Manhattan Neighborhood Network. LPV Programs are
made possible with public funds the New York State Council on the Arts, a State agency

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