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Performance Art Set to Enliven Vacant Storefronts Throughout the City

By Danielle Schlanger | June 3, 2014 9:45am
 "Where Are We Now?" is just one of 50 expected performances in Chashama's Summer Performance Series, kicking off next week.
"Where Are We Now?" is just one of 50 expected performances in Chashama's Summer Performance Series, kicking off next week.
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(chashama/Courtesy of McFeely Sam Goodman and Marina McClure)

HARLEM — What do David Bowie, Bjork, goldfish, basset hounds and a mannequin have in common?

They're all part of the 15-minute art installation "Where Are We Now?" set to go on display on West 126th Street later this month as part of a citywide summer arts program that seeks to fill empty storefronts with vibrant art, music and videos.

The musical collage, which integrates a sculpture installation, live music video and a singing robot narrator to guide the audience through the experience, is part of this summer's lineup through the annual Summer Performance Series put on by Chashama, a nonprofit group that transforms unused space into studios, galleries, and stages for artists.

The series will launch June 9 and will run through August. "Where Are We Now?" which was created by McFeely Sam Goodman and Marina McClure, will run from June 14-15 at 461 W. 126th St.

Chashama expects to put on 50 performances through the end of the season — all of which will be free to the public. The goal was to give local artists a venue to perform this summer using underutilized spaces throughout the city, with the assistance of an arts organization.

Detritus,” a 25-minute performance created by Racoco Productions, in conjunction with Stephanie Beck and Lynn Wright, begins with an empty gallery that is gradually filled up with unraveled rolls of photographic paper. The show runs from June 21-23 at 1351 Amsterdam Ave.

Chashama will host an annual gala next week at Anita’s Way in Midtown to kick off the series. Funds raised will assist the organization in supporting 180 public events each year and providing more than $2 million in space grants to artists and youth, according to the group.

Founder and artistic director Anita Durst said donors “have the deep satisfaction of knowing that their participation makes Chashama’s unique programs possible.”

“They give artists what they need most — space to create," Durst said.