From February through July 2013, the exhibition space P! will conduct an extended inquiry into the nature and means of copying. Remakes vs knockoffs, transcription vs plagiarism, mimesis vs mimicry — the status of the copied act shifts from positive to negative and back again, depending on context and culture. Multiples of a religious or political icon extend their reach and efficacy, whereas a duplicated file, painting, handbag, or cityscape violates legal and ethical strictures. Questions of capital and power lie at the core: who owns the original vs who is producing the copy.
Offering counterpoints from disparate cultural positions, P! explores the copy through a cycle of events and exhibitions. The space’s location in Chinatown — only blocks from the daily trade of counterfeit luxury goods — informs and shapes these ongoing programs. For February 2013, P! reopens as a reading room: a series of book clubs and reading groups discuss topics ranging from Ancient Athens to Chongqing to Canal Street. Beginning in March 2013, P! presents a changing sequence of exhibitions touching on historical and contemporary aspects of copying. Key in this constellation is the cross-pollination of works from different contexts of cultural production that resonate with and reference each other in unexpected ways. Activated by works and strategies that rupture the neutral space of display, the exhibitions perform the concerns of multiplicity and replication at hand.
Participants in the six-month cycle include Åbäke, Judith Barry, Thomas Brinkmann, Katarina Burin, Marc Handelman, Ruba Katrib, Arthur Ou, Sara Greenberger Rafferty, Rich Brilliant Willing, Peter Rostovsky, Sarah Schulman, Amie Siegel, Ben Smith, Société Réaliste, Superscript, Herb Tam, Niels Van Tomme, Nader Vossoughian, Xin Wang, and others.
For more information, download a full press release and program of events here.