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No Longer Empty at Hotel Chelsea


Empty storefronts go both ways. On the one hand they seem to foreshadow an onrushing urban dystopia born of an extended economic downturn, while, on the other, hinting at the return of that great god Authenticity which i have been taught to worship by my elders. A rare enough sighting in New York already, they are about to become even scarcer as No Longer Empty comes online. NLE is 'a group of curators and artists who present thought provoking exhibits in empty store fronts.' Created in direct response to the recent economic unpleasantness, NLE is committed to finding opportunities amongst the gloom, plannig future shows in vacated offices as well as said storefronts.Their first show, Ship of Fools opens tomorrow at the Hotel Chelsea. Artists include Guido Albi-Marin, Joseph Aloi, Rita Barros, Sam Bassett, Michael Bevilacqua, Alina and Jeff Bliumis, Scott Campbell, Jo Darbyshire, Tara de la Garza, Kate Gilmore, Noel Hennessy, Michael Mandiberg, Cheonwook Park, Diana Puntar, Bruce Richards, Raimundo Rubio, Linda and Lothar Troeller, Dani Tull and Marnie Weber.

Update: So Ed Hamilton over at the Hotel Chelsea Blog takes a rather dim view of No Longer Empty's efforts discussed above. He details how the the storefronts in question were emptied due to rent increases levied against former tenants by the Hotel Owners and not, as it were, by the economic downturn. Its a good point, but it does beg the question of the hard and fast distinction between the 'greed' of the Hotel's owners and the root causes of the economic downturn, as though one was a personal failing and the other an act of God.