As the sun set on Saturday night, sending long shafts of light east down 21st Street, everything looked fairly normal at Family Business gallery. At least by its standards. An eclectic array of ceramic sculptures was sitting on shelves lining two walls of the shoe-box-sized space. Two scruffy DJs, architecture grad students from Columbia, were manning turntables squeezed into a corner. “Tribal” bowls, as described by Daria Irincheeva, the gallery’s director, (they were either African or Native American—no one was sure) were on loan from a private collection and hanging from the ceiling. A small crowd was gathered outside watching a Kate Gilmore performance piece consisting of four women holding heavy yellow pots for three hours. The only indication of the imminent destruction was the shards of clay littering the floor.
The previous week, for the opening of the show, “In Praise of Chance and Failure,” artists and viewers alike destroyed work deemed unsuccessful by the creators. For this second smashing party, the shelves had since been replenished, and a new batch of sculptures was about to meet the same fate. Each doomed work was marked with a sad face sticker. Read More