SOUTHFIRST 60 N6th Street Brooklyn, NY 11211  718.599.4884


04 JANUARY 2003




SOUTHFIRST gallery presents “NEW YORK FUCKING CITY,” a group exhibition by Simon Aldridge, Michel Auder, Sean Dack, Rainer Ganahl, Tracy Nakayama, and Matthew Thurber, from JANUARY 10-FEBRUARY 23, 2003. “New York Fucking City” explores themes including living, working, terrorism, pornography and skate-boarding in New York.  The exhibition also marks the opening of the gallery’s third site in Williamsburg.  Since September 11, 2001 New York has undergone a self-examination as intense as psychotherapy, and with equally inconclusive results.


Simon Aldridge’s “Office Manual” refers to work that he began in 2001 during a Lower Manhattan Cultural Council residency at the World Trade Center. “I saw a connection between the way I, as an artist in an office building, related to the space in the same way that skateboarders and bmx riders re-appropriate urban forms as sites of action for their sport,” says Aldridge. The title “Office Manual” refers both to corporate culture and a skateboarding trick. Aldridge’s plexi and spray-paint wall pieces redefine formalism through the lens of street culture.


Rainer Ganahl’s video “Homeland Security,” 2002-2003, depicts the artist saying the phrase “I am not a terrorist” in languages including English, German, Japanese, French, Chinese, and Arabic, against a background tapestry of popular media images from the past year.  The artist commissioned the tapestry to be sewn by Pashtun workers living at the Afghani boarder in Pakastan.  The tapestry is also on display.  The Austrian artist, whose 1999 Venice Biennale installation documented him studying several foreign languages for 500 hours each, says, “I am not afraid of terrorism but I am more and more afraid of the United States’ actions against terrorism since many actions violate the US constitution, recognized international laws, peaceful incoercible relations between nations, people and religions and human rights.”


Some of the pieces in the show speak to the lighter side of life in New York.  Hawaiian-born painter Tracy Nakayama’s watercolor portraits depict couples engaged in sex.  Nostalgic both in their warm brown palate and playful and consensual nature of the scenes, the untrimmed pubic hair of the participants refers to 1970s soft-porn, yet their miniature scale and attention to detail is reminiscent of 18th century French boudoir painting. 


Michel Auder is one of the pioneers of video art.  Part of the group around the Factory in the 1970s, he filmed “Chelsea Girls” with Andy Warhol and was married to the actress Viva.  His thousands of hours of video work documents in an almost Proustian fashion the world of glamour, ambition, drugs and gossip.  His videos “Rooftops” and “Chelsea Girls” alternate during the exhibition, contrasting interior and exterior, slices of society from New York and a voyeuristic look at the city from the vantage point of rooftop surveillance.


Matthew Thurber is a comic-book illustrator who graduated from The Cooper Union in 2000.  This is his first gallery exhibition. 


Sean Dack’s video installation “No Encore” showed at Southfirst in January, 2002, and has since shown at the Frankfurter Kunstverein and is currently on view at Cité de la Musique in Paris. His untitled photographic tryptich, taken from the World Trade Center South observation deck in 2000, captures the city from a vanished perspective: the familiar streets and avenues are partially obscured by fog.  The city looks vast, unchanging, and romantic. 


All the artists in the exhibition live and work in New York. The exhibition opens January 10 from 7-9 PM.  Gallery hours are Fri. 1-9 PM, Sat. 1-9 PM, and Sun. 1-7 PM and by appointment.  The subway is the L to Bedford Avenue. 


For more information please contact Maika Pollack, gallery director, at 718 599 4884 or

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