When the itinerant Red Bull Music Academy packs up and departs from New York later this month, the organization will leave behind a sparkling new 38,000-square foot office space with a dedicated cultural spin. At its core, the building will serve as a business hub for a multinational corporation, but along with its commercial ambitions, it will double as a venue for emerging and established artists — both musical and visual — to create and present new works.
For the first visual arts exhibition in the space, independent curator Ken Farmer selected 29 artists (mostly Brooklyn-based) to create site-specific pieces, installed throughout the lobby, lower level studios, and upper level offices of the building. A giant Agathe Snow mobile stretches two floors, hanging from the entry-level ceiling down through the center of a winding staircase, which leads to Martin Roth’s sound exhibition of terrariums, aviaries, and fish tanks. Deeper into the cavernous lower level is an immersive Conrad Ventur installation that involves Marlene Dietrich singing Pete Seeger in a darkened alcove, with a disco ball creating ethereal specks of spinning white light.
On the seventh floor, there’s a lounge dedicated to 1990s zines, and a room curated by internet-famous art group the Jogging, for which the collective made a series of unique works: Eccentric pieces of sports equipment displayed in vitrines half-full of luridly colored Red Bull Red Edition. (The product makes other cameos in the exhibition, not all of them purely flattering — like the crushed beverage cans visible in Roth’s piece.) Around the corner is a room transformed by Tamara Gonzales called “I like your room. Did a pole come with it?”; the centerpiece is an Instagram-friendly neon sculpture of a skeleton’s hand making heavy metal devil’s horns.
Details have yet to be released about upcoming visual arts exhibitions in the space, but the current show is on view until the end of the month at 218 West 18th Street in New York.
(Images courtesy the Red Bull Music Academy.)