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SiTE:LAB: Nothing Is Destroyed
Jul 9, 2016 @ 7:00 pm
SiTE:LAB presents “Nothing is Destroyed,” a site-specific project for Open Source Gallery.
“Nothing is Destroyed” is part of a larger conversation that began in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This exhibit contains objects extracted from and related to previous projects surrounding the church that trace the trajectory of interventions at and with the desanctified Rumsey Street Church. Nothing is Destroyed includes architectural artifacts and work by Paul Amenta, Lora Robertson and Nick Kline. The title of the exhibition, taken from Lorenzo Fusi’s essay on the work of Gordon Matta-Clark “nothing is created, nothing is destroyed, everything is transformed,” references Matta-Clark’s idea of “anarchitecture,” which described his interest in voids, gaps and leftover spaces related to architecture. “Nothing is Destroyed” focuses on these concepts, creating, like Matta-Clark, an expanded vision of space and its representation over time. Each recontextualization of the Rumsey Street Church adds a new history, creating new collaborations and connections which contribute to the project through both additions and subtractions.
“Nothing is Destroyed” is a kind of love letter to a space and its reincarnations. The Rumsey Street Church originally functioned as a Catholic church, but was abandoned by its congregation when they outgrew the structure. In July 2015, pieces of the church were brought to Upstate New York by Paul Amenta, who reconstructed the pipe organ into a motorized venting system at CR10. In August 2015, Nick Kline, Lynn Cazabon and Monika Wuhrer transformed the church where it stood in Grand Rapids, Michigan. During ArtPrize, the church received stripes and hosted performances by local artists, musicians, poets, writers and residents. In June 2016, the steeple of the church traveled to New York to be presented at 92Y by the Satellite Collective and SiTE:LAB. In the last stop on the tour, the artifacts are presented during “Nothing is Destroyed” before returning to the Grand Rapids to be reconstructed for ArtPrize 2016. The facade of the building will be rehabilitated to its original appearance, landscaped with trees and welcomed back with a film by Lora Robertson of the Satellite Collective.
SiTE:LAB is a nomadic all-volunteer arts organization that has organized dozens of temporary site-specific art projects, usually in underutilized downtown buildings in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Previous projects have used locations as diverse as an abandoned natural history museum, a nature preserve, vacant commercial buildings, and most recently, a once-grand downtown hotel. The Rumsey Street Project was created in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity of Kent County in 2015. The property consists of nearly three acres of unoccupied structures, including a body shop, vacant lots, residencies and the former Catholic church whose steeple is included in “Nothing is Destroyed.” The Rumsey Street Project is functioning as an art center until Habitat begins its redevelopment of the property in 2017. In this space, SiTE:LAB focuses on presenting large-scale, site-specific work by both local and international artists.