When 103 urban artists descended into the dark underground tunnels of New York City to create a hidden and totally illegal art gallery in an abandoned subway station, they didn’t expect many people would ever see it in person.
Huffington Post: How To Bury An Art Gallery – And Get Away With It – “The gallery’s location was a guarded secret throughout its 18-month birth between 2008 and 2010, the handful of journalists invited to visit (who did not include this reporter) did not give up how to get there and the few accounts that emerged described slipping between active train lines, traversing dirty and dangerous platforms and enduring hours in a maze of pitch-dark tunnels.
But the project was never intended to be a mass-market draw. It was intended to become folklore. The dramatic and beautiful pictures they released of the gallery certainly did the trick – millions saw the pictures, and follow-up galleries drew large crowds.
So when curators Pac and Workhose (pseudonyms, naturally) came to discuss the possibility to do it again, it was basically a no-brainer. The only question was where.
Paris is a buried metropolis. There more than 170 miles of mines, catacombs and galleries are cut out of layers of sedimentary rock, forming a bubbling honeycomb beneath the streets. The grand reseau sud, a network of tunnels hollowed-out under the Ve, VIe, XIVe and XVe arrondissements, is the largest, followed by several other smaller complexes. The famous catacombs, which hold the organised bones of more than 6m people, have been on public show for more than 140 years.
Others are more well-hidden. An electrically powered restaurant complete with bar, cinema and kitchen, was discovered under the city in 2004. When police returned a day later, they found little left except a note reading, simply: “do not try to find us”.
That doesn’t even include its metro system, its sewers and other modern service ways.
What we’re saying is that if you’re looking for a city in which to bury an art gallery, Paris is a pretty good choice. So that’s just what Pac and Workhorse did, setting about planning a complex, risky but unique gallery to carve out beneath the city.”
Read on at the Huffington Post.
Underbelly also seems to pop up in Miami this week. Vandalog has an UPDATE and more information – LOCATION CHANGE: The Underbelly Show has moved to 78 NW 25th Street in Wynwood, Miami to accommodate the large scale of the artwork in this show. The space will be open to the general public December 2nd-5th, with a general opening on the 2nd from 8-10pm.