Comprising of an installation of photographic prints and a video work, Sean Vegezzi's exhibition at roaming projects showcases work from a more than decade long project by the artist.

at roaming projects

DMYCC began in Manhattan in 2005, when Vegezzi and his friends gained access to a vast underground space in Chinatown. Built in the 1970s by the New York City Transit Authority, the publicly inaccessible space lay derelict and unused for decades until its discovery by the artist. After using it as a quiet refuge from the city and a place to party and socialise, Vegezzi and a community of collaborators began renovating the space in preparation for an exhibition. Over time, the group painted over graffiti, created a working drainage system, repaired electricity lines, built storage areas, installed lighting and improved the air quality with dust control chemicals. However, after municipal workers discovered their presence, the access points to the space were closed off.

After locating alternative routes of access, the project’s focus centered on documentation and maintenance of the space. Vegezzi photographed and recorded video throughout his visits, whilst archiving materials accumulated during the project, from old log books to hardware store receipts for various building materials. Vegezzi also kept personal logbooks of his group’s visits, alongside his own extensive cartographic index of the underground area. In 2016, the project culminated in a site-specific installation, after which the group relinquished their informal ownership of the space.

DMYCC offers an alternative model of living in the city, with the underground area both facilitating the creation of a community and providing a space for its development. Vegezzi’s project examines the relationship between the urban environment and the adolescent psyche, exploring the developmental potential of play and experimentation within a forbidden, self-governed space. Through the continued use and improvement of the space, DMYCC may also be viewed as a form of performance or social art practice. Vegezzi and his friends carried out many of the operations of a city council: maintenance and renovation, providing recreational spaces, classification and cartography. Their enactment of these services outside of municipal sanctions highlight the limitations of bureaucratization in New York City and the all-encompassing damage caused by its overdevelopment.

roaming projects

Opening Times
Preview: Saturday 9 December, 6-9pm

10 December 2017 - 7 January 2018
Wednesday to Sunday, 12-6pm

roaming projects
11 Bohemia Place
E8 1DU