“Let me out! Let me out!” That’s the imagined (and I’ll admit, slightly ridiculous) cry of contemporary art as it languishes in packing crates. As New York gallery The Hole points out, contemporary art spends much of its existence stuck in boxes, being shipped to galleries for touring exhibitions, being stored by artists, and then owners, and generally waiting around for those often brief periods in the spotlight. Sad but true. It surely can’t be long before someone sets up a benevolent charity and starts holding fundraisers in aid of the poor things.
The Hole and Eric Firestone Gallery are putting on a group show that plays with this idea of confinement and obscurity in contemporary art. At the latter’s East Hampton venue, crate upon birch crate of unseen and therefore unappreciated art is stacked just waiting for its chance to shine, with selected lids prised open to reveal the contents to gallery visitors. The organisers liken the experience to a private tour through their storage areas armed with just a crowbar and a sense of pot luck anticipation. Artists featured across the two galleries include Sanford Biggers, Eric Freeman, Max Snow, Eric White, Misaki Kawai, Jaimie Warren, Evan Robarts, Greg Bogin and Holton Rower among many others. The lids are nailed shut again on 7 September.