Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Art in the Essex Market Building

Essex Street Market, 1939. Corner of Delancey and Essex, looking NE.

The Essex Street Market building between Delancey and Broome once held various kinds of merchants, forced indoors in the 1930s by Mayor LaGuardia's new restrictions on street vending. The Markets were never as successful as outdoor stalls, and two of the three buildings closed down. Today only the building between Delancey and Rivington is operational, a spot for local residents to pick up produce, meat, cheese, fish, chocolates, or sandwiches.

But the building between Delancey and Broome is seeing some action once again. Over the last few years, the space has been taken over by various artists and art collectives to stage performance art, theater, and installations.

A new project from the Fragmental Museum opens Friday. Their own website ( isn't terribly up to date, but you can read more here. The Museum's mission is "to provide public access to cultural projects by creating interactions between fragments of time, space, and culture."

FEED, the exhibit opening Friday, explores the market as a site of various kinds of exchange - commercial, social, and cultural. Video screenings, performance pieces, and interactive walking tours will all be on offer. Check it out.

September 18 - 26, 9am to 7pm, closed Sundays.

- Posted by Kate Stober

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