Winter Laundry

photo (1)
Winter Laundry
Michael McKeown
Curated by Bonnie Rychlak

16 Harrison Place, Brooklyn
(1 Block from the Morgan Ave. L Train)
Jan 25 – Mar 15, 2014
Sat – Sun 12-5 PM by appointment

In Northern England during the 1960s, Monday was washday. The drab back alleys festooned with drying laundry created line after line of billowing sails. The street was transformed, charged with the smells of soap and festival of sound. Geordie Foster, the one-armed coal deliveryman, made very few drops on Mondays, the back alleys made impassable by miles of laundry. This transfiguration of the back lots and alleys became a place to play, fuel for imaginations, space for adventure. A billowing pirate ship or arctic icebergs. It was only an alley but it was ours.

– Michael McKeown

[For appointments, access, and hours, contact Wilson Duggan at]


Brian Gaman – John Monti – Jennie Nichols

16 Harrison Place, Brooklyn
(1 Block from the Morgan Ave. L Train)
Nov 15 – Dec 30, 2013
Sat – Sun 12-5 PM by appointment
contact for hours and appointments

Friday, November 15th 6-9PM

The building is gone.  There are no shadows on the ones bordering east and west but you know there was something there, now gone for some time.  Buildings come and go.  The lot’s not far from the Williamsburg Houses of the late 1930’s – first called Ten Eyck Houses – then the Bushwick Houses of the 1960’s. Blanca’s is nearby. Reservations only and no cellphones or cameras in the restaurant please.  Then walk around at night and look at the lighted spaces of art studios.  In the daytime you can pass by low-rise warehouses or cement plants on the way to galleries close by.  Welcome to the subculture of art in vacant spaces in New York, shared, linked to, blogged, Facebooked and Instagramed.

Now leave the circulation of images for a while and think about other kinds of ghosts.  Who’s been here and what’s happened here and what’s happening here now?  At 16 Harrison Place there is work by three artists that might be about what’s covered and not covered, empty or not empty, lost or not.  John Monti and Jennie Nichols install works that would be containers of sorts on this lot that is also one.  Monti’s look ancient, like something from a culture distant in time and space that we can only imagine.  Nichols’ wax cabinets seem to be from a time and place we think we know, looking as if they might have been carried out of Cripplebush — Captain Kidd’s Williamsburg long ago.  Brian Gaman’s two works look likewise sort of antique and down at what might be underneath.  Here, wherever.  Coffee from Swallow, walk around more.

[Lost or Not is presented in association with Dietl International]

Closing Festivities @ The Flower Garden

We are pleased to announce two exciting events on Saturday October 26th and Sunday October 27th to close out our Flower Garden project.

The Garden Party
Saturday, OCT 26 @ 1PM
The Flower Garden at 16 Harrison Place
Organized by Maya Meissner


   Illustration Naked Party @ 1PM
Hosted by Hazel Lee Santino

   O My, O! @ 5PM
A play directed by Heather Morowitz

The Flower Garden Symposium
Sunday, OCT 27 @ 2PM
56 Bogart Street, 3rd Floor

A panel discussion and critique of Flower Garden, featuring:

Bonnie Rychlak
Martha Wilson
Joanna Isaak
Meenakshi Thirukode
Maureen Connor
Joanne Ross
Janet Goleas
Leonora Loeb
Hazel Lee Santino

The Reflektors @ 299Meserole

ArtHelix was beyond thrilled to host Arcade Fire (aka The Reflektors) at 299Meserole this weekend in support of their new album. A huge thank you the band, all the organizers, and especially the fans who came out to party. We had a blast.

Stay tuned for exciting news about what’s next for ArtHelix and 299Meserole.

Flower Garden


Sept 6 – Oct 30, 2013
16 Harrison Place, Bushwick
[at the Morgan Ave L Train]

Head Gardener: Amy Anthony
Symposium Curator: Bonnie Rychlak
Project Manager: Maya Meissner

Flower Garden begins as a playful re-imagining of the iconic work, Seed Bed, created and first performed by Vito Acconci at Sonnabend Gallery in New York City in January 1972.  Seed Bed was at once groundbreaking and notorious, as Acconci constructed a shallow wooden ramp inside the gallery and then lay hidden beneath it, masturbating for eight hours a day over a three week period to the sounds of gallery viewers walking above him, all the while accompanied by a low murmur of spoken sexual statements, declarations, and commands to the imagined “subjects” above. The performance and later video produced for the work represent a historical moment in performative “body art” and sexual theatre.

Flower Garden is constructed not as a critique (although it may contain “critiques”), but rather as a sculptural installation/digital video interface/symposium by a multi-generational group of female curators, artists, writers, and viewers, coming together as participants to reinterpret Acconci’s performance through a contemporary lens. Where Acconci represented the “seed” in his performance, the counterpoint here is the motif of the “garden,” the public or communal space where the “seeds” are made visible. Where Seed Bed was imagined as dark, hidden, and vaguely threatening, the Flower Garden is a shared space in the open sun, with a private component.

Over a three-week period from September 6th through October 30th, a walkable garden will be constructed that allows for the viewer to sit and relax in an open setting in Bushwick, the newest edge for the contemporary art scene. This installation/sculpture will also have another facet, its own “secret garden,” a private cabin designed for one woman at a time to recreate the masturbatory element of the original Seed Bed. The resulting coda is that this “private” moment thenproduces a flower to be planted by the participant, adding to the overall complexity of the shared space.

This is the discursive component that we envision can make the secret garden project a fully realized social event. The users of the cabin are pre-interviewed for a live link up to various social media sites to inquire (if desired) what thoughts or desires motivated them to seek out inclusion in this event. A second “post” interview follows (if desired), thus allowing the participant to reflect on their experience and to comment on their preconceptions. This video diary, as well as a guest book for participants’ signatures and comments, will serve as a permanent record for each flower planted in theFlower Garden.

Finally, a one-day symposium, organized by ArtHelix curator, Bonnie Rychlak, will be held on the last date of the event, engaging a group of the curators, artists and participants, thus completing the event with a critical discussion of the project.

Flower Garden is imagined as a deeply playful model for communal art engagement; public and private, open and closed, “sunny” and “dark” all at once.


VCU’s Recent MFA Alumni


Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts
Department of Sculpture and Extended Media presents…

Recent MFA Alumni

Hosted by ArtHelix at 299Meserole

MAY 24 – JUNE 2
12 – 6 PM

Friday, May 24
6 – 9 PM


Jon Bobby Benjamin
Ryan Crowley
Sacha Ingber
Jessica Kain
Carl Marin
Melanie McLain
Lior Modan
Jesse Potts
Leslie Rogers
Tom Simon
Rotem Tamir
Alina Tenser

Announcing VCU’s Recent MFA Alumni and Update on Flower Garden

Dear Friends,

We deeply regret having to announce to you that our upcoming projects at 299Meserole have hit a setback. Due to unforeseen circumstances, namely flooding in the main space of the building, our plans to stage Flower Garden this month are officially and indefinitely postponed, as are our efforts to bring along with us the partners we were so excited to be working with, galleries, curators, and artists that represent some of the best that Bushwick, and the world have to offer.

Yet still we push ahead. One of our main exhibitors, Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts, is still on board with ArtHelix to stage their Recent MFA Alumni exhibition in one of 299Meserole’s partitioned annexes, which have thankfully been unaffected by the flooding. Our schedule remains unchanged, and we hope to see you starting this Saturday, May 18th, and Thursdays – Sundays thereafter through Bushwick Open Studios. There won’t be quite as much for you to see as we had hoped, but it will be a great show nonetheless

We hope to have an updated schedule for you soon once we can identify new dates for the Flower Garden and the rest of our partnered exhibition program. If anything, it will only be bigger and better once it finally launches. In the end, the idea for this event, connecting Bushwick, universities, and the international art world in one large open space, is the right one. We are ready for the building, but the building is not yet ready for us. We will be moving forward with plans to regroup as soon as possible, and we thank you for your patience and support.

For more information as it becomes available, please visit []


The ArtHelix Team