The Vanderbilt Republic is an agency known for producing creative and immersive experiences in New York City. VR has previously produced experiences inside the Gowanus Loft and this month debuted a new space in Midtown called The Bellewether. Over the weekend, Untapped Cities Insiders were the first audience to experience FLOW, the venue’s inaugural exhibit. The premiere of FLOW lined up with the 1-year anniversary of the Insiders program, a membership program through which Insiders gain access to free behind-the-scenes tours of off-limits places in New York City and access to events from various cultural institutions. FLOW is comprised of multiple immersive art installations and performances created in partnership with Circular City Week New York. Work from artists like Cynthia Alberto, Philippe Halaburda and Irene Mamiye completely transformed the raw space and led to an exciting evening of song, dance, and art.
The evening began with drinks and socializing inside The Bellewether’s storefront art gallery, a large space adjacent to venue’s new cafe which opens this week. Creative Director and Executive Producer George Del Barrio welcomed us to the space, which used to be an electrical repair company, and gave us some background on the show we were about to experience. FLOW is a showcase that demonstrates “how a circular economy can be a source of artistic inspiration.” The pieces in the exhibit were selected from applications to an open call which sought work that touched on the ideals of circular economics and contained a form of human expression.
Paternoster by Claudia Sohrens
I Hear You by Irene Mamiye and Claudia Sohrens
The first pieces in the exhibit were video installations projected inside The Bellewether’s courtyard, a now covered space that was formerly outdoors, and the narthex. The courtyard piece, Paternoster by Claudia Sohrens, features a loop of constantly moving elevator views. The second piece, a two channel projection work, is a collaboration between Sohrens and Irene Mamiye. Walking into the main exhibit area, or the cathedral, the rest of the works from artist like Alexis Mena/Universe City Food Hub, Klaus Pinter, Philippe Halaburda and Sanem Odabaşı were revealed.
Tape on plexiglass, Installation by Philippe Halaburda
Hanging textile works by Sanem Odabasi
In addition to the art work, Insiders also got to preview the two performances which will run throughout Circular City Week. The first was an interactive performance from Inkyoung Bae and Chanan Ben Simone which included puppetry, video art, lighting, music and sculpture and got Insiders participating by singing along and working together to light up the figure of a dinosaur made of candles.
A sculpture made of radiators and televisions by Inkyoung Bae and Chanan Ben Simone
Next was an engaging dance performance from Cynthia Alberto in which performers were clad in “techno cocoons” and moved to the original music of a live DJ. Alberto’s Techno Love Series was inspired by the “euphoric feeling of connecting with a community through music.” The cocoons feature neon ropes that were re-purposed from an exhibition at MoMA PS1 called “Weaving the Courtyard” by Estudio Escobedo Soliz. This incorporation of the recycled ropes addresses the amount of waste produced by the art world. Alberto explained that the weight added by the ropes provides a sense of protection, an effect similar to Sensory Pressure Vests which are used to calm over stimulated children. After the performance, Insiders got to try the cocoons on for themselves and interact with the performers.
FLOW will run through the entirety of Circular City week which ends on March 10th. The exhibit will be open to the public from 9:00AM until 6:00PM on weekdays and 11:00AM until 7:00PM over the weekend. Untapped Cities is The Bellewether’s main media sponsor, so stay tuned for news on the venue’s new upcoming experiences. Check out more photos from some of our Insiders who attended the event below and join our next Insiders event by becoming a member today!