Guerilla Art Fair: Art in Odd Places Returns to 14th Street

Ghana ThinkTank, "Ghana ThinkTank Street Sign Actions"Courtesy Art in Odd Places The work of Ghana ThinkTank.

Art in Odd Places, the festival that brings public spectacles to 14th Street, has announced this year’s lineup of over 100 participants. According to the Website, which launched on Saturday, this year’s keynote performance on Oct. 6 will feature Martha Wilson, the founder of the Franklin Furnace Archive, as Barbara Bush. Other events will include panel discussions and workshops touching on this year’s theme of “Model.” Of course, it’ll be the dozens of non-permitted guerilla performances that will get the most attention.

Ed Woodham, who founded the festival in Atlanta in 1996 and brought it to New York in 2005, said those performances would once again take place on 14th Street. “It’s this incredible dividing line,” he explained. “It’s where the Manhattan grid starts; it’s always been a dividing line for many years of uptown/downtown, cool/not cool; it traverses through these hugely diverse socioeconomic communities, and Union Square has a long history of political importance.”

Piero Passacantando, "I paint you. You paint me."Courtesy Art in Odd Places Piero Passacantando will invite strangers to paint
him as he paints them.

Mr. Woodham, who is set to stage an Art in Odd Places in St. Petersburg, Russia, later this month, pointed to the recent sentencing of Pussy Riot there as evidence that the idea of public space is “sort of a misnomer.” He said, “The impetus for Art in Odd Places is to reclaim public space.”

Christine Licata, one of a half dozen curators tasked with picking finalists from among 400 entries, said she was looking forward to seeing the selected artists “reinventing the landscape and reinventing how we see the city.” Among the many projects slated, the Los Angeles-based duo of Brian and Ryan will communicate with each other via their homemade Distance Talk Helmets; Michele Brody will wrap poles in lace; a hot dog will vogue in front of a church; Ghana ThinkTank will install faux street signs.

Brian and Ryan,  "Brian and Ryan Communicate in New York with Distance Talk Helmets"Courtesy Art in Odd Places Brian and Ryan and their Talk Distance Helmets.

The festival begins with an opening reception at the Campos Plaza community center on Oct. 5 and continues, with performances day and night, through Oct. 15.

The Local’s footage from last year’s festival

Art In Odd Places 2011 from Christine Jenkins on Vimeo.