LISA KIRK | Revolution! (SmartSpaces)


LISA KIRK | Revolution (SmartSpaces)

May 1 – June 15, 2010

Friday, May 7: 6-8pm

SmartSpaces is pleased to present Revolution!, a storefront installation by Lisa Kirk in the windows of 1133 Broadway, between 25th and 26th streets, New York.

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Conceived as the end result of several years of research and related works, Lisa Kirk’s new installation Revolution! was inspired by her 2008 P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center exhibition of the same name. Opening on May Day (May 1), Revolution! addresses the marketing of transgressive political and social practices and marks International Workers’ Day, a day traditionally defined by political demonstrations and celebrations.

The installation will feature an upside-down fragrance lab in one window, and a ransacked store display in the other. This exhibition activates an empty storefront and seeks to energize the local NoMad neighborhood. Signage and free cell phone audio guides provide passersby instant access to information about the work and the space, generously donated by Kew Management.

Through interviews with anonymous journalists, activists, and political radicals, Lisa Kirk developed the Revolution! fragrance based on their olfactory memories of revolution. The final solution contains the odor of smoke, gasoline, tear gas, burnt rubber and decaying flesh, packaged in limited edition as a precious metal pipe bomb created in collaboration with Jelena Behrend and produced by PARTICIPANT INC. Kirk’s upcoming fragrance, Timebomb, will be a continuation of her scent-based work made in collaboration with Sara Meltzer Gallery. (A retail version of Revolution! is on sale at No. 8a at the Ace Hotel for $50.)

In February of 2009, Lisa Kirk mounted a solo-exhibition, House of Cards, at INVISIBLE-EXPORTS. The exhibition included an underground installation of this project where she premiered Revolution! (the commercial) made in collaboration with Gabriel Jeffrey. This video will also be available on demand in each room at the Ace Hotel for the duration of the installation.

Lisa Kirk’s work explores the contradictions of consumerism and the aestheticization of formerly radical political signifiers. Informed by contemporary reality television culture, her projects are intentionally infused with an overflow of symbols that imply something “real” is happening. Kirk deploys strategies designed to draw in an audience stretching beyond the parameters of the “art world,” and seeks to challenge what art can be in the 21st century.

Lisa Kirk received her BFA from the School of Visual Arts and her MFA from the University of California. She has had solo exhibitions and projects at Invisible-Exports, NY; PS 1 MOMA; Galeria Comercial, PR; Participant Inc, NY; and MOT International, London. She has also contributed projects North Drive Press, NYC, Creative Time, NYC, and Charlie, NYC. Kirk’s work has been featured in Artforum, L’Uomo Vogue, Plan B, The Guardian, Time Out London and New York, The New York Times, Flash Art, Frieze, Art in America, The New Yorker, New York Magazine, and Art Review. She is represented by INVISIBLE-EXPORTS.

SmartSpaces presents contemporary art in the windows of vacant spaces with a mission to make art—and information about art—accessible to everyone while energizing local communities. SmartSpaces operates as a non-profit organization through fiscal sponsorship from Fractured Atlas, Inc. For more information:

Kew Management Corporation is a third-generation, family company that owns and manages buildings specializing in small office space, primarily in Manhattan. With headquarters in its landmark buildings at historic Madison Square, the company regularly partners with the community on arts events. For information, visit

Special thanks to: The Ace Hotel; Build it Green; Tom Powel Imaging, INVISIBLE-EXPORTS; Look Solutions; PARTICIPANT, INC; Sara Meltzer Gallery; No. 8a; Patricia Choux for Takasago; and Ulrich Lang, NY.