He Zhen Snap Button Company began as a tiny store across from the Christopher Henry Gallery in 1986, the same year Amy Li was born. That was when Chinatown/LES was very quiet and comprised of primarily Chinese immigrants and Italians. Today, Amy Li has appropriated her parent’s storefront to show art. Stephanie Schroeder delves into the history of 166 Mott Street and talked to Li about her recent exhibition series.
Amy Li spent time at the button store when she wasn’t in school, taking music, art, or writing lessons. She majored in art history and studio art at Hunter College. Amy Li returned to graduate school in 2012 because she knew she wanted a career in art but felt unprepared.
An award-winning writer and photographer, Kim Yaged is passionate about…well a lot things. But, where art and activism meet is of particular interest to her and she takes dedicated action in that regard. One could classify Kim Yaged as an artivist, but that might annoy her. But, certainly she sees — and creates — art through a lens that encompasses a social justice perspective and social justice programs that incorporate art. Her work is quirky and edgy, and her artistic range is impressive.
Stephanie Schroeder asked Kim Yaged for some insight into her art and activism as well as her relationships with both New York City and Berlin.
The evocative and provocative artistry of The Bread and Puppet Theater is more than radical political statement or partisan dogma. Rather Bread and Puppet is and always has been a collaborative commentary involving local volunteers, a core theater company along with the active participation of the audience. The viewers’ gaze animates every performance and infuses it with meaning.
A highly imaginative and preternaturally creative spirit is present in the troupe’s every breath and every movement. From the second the large, old space at the West Park Presbyterian Church goes dark and Bread and Puppet’s chilling performance begins, the audience is transported, all to their own cold, dark places. Whatever agonies each person has experienced–or fears–is projected onto the performance piece as well as reflected back onto each individual.
To me it has always felt like the two cities are
connected by a subway line.
Alexander Hacke, aka Dr. Hacke, Einstürzende Neubauten
An experienced home exchanger with six apartment swaps under my belt, I was in no position, in the winter of 2009-2010, to travel abroad. So, when someone from Berlin inquired about an apartment swap, I sent back a modest proposal.
I offered my apartment as the New York City-based accommodation for the inquiring Berliner and her partner while the designated traveler would be my friend Marion, a writer, web designer, and translator.
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