Photo: Christof KohlhoferPlaces Journal published the first excerpt of A Beautiful Ruin: The Generation that Transformed New York, the book I started in 2009, inspired by an interview with Kyong Park for Metropolis Magazine.
It's about a moment just after the Iranian revolution and just before Ronald Reagan was elected when New York was at a critical turning point and a group of artists broke into a city-owned building to install an activist exhibition about art and real estate. Thank you Alan W. Moore, Becky Howland, Peter Moennig, Ann Messner, Gh Hovagimyan, Coleen Fitzgibbon, Robin Winters, Lisa Kahane, Stefan Eins, Joe Lewis, Jane Dickson, Liza Bear, Michael McClard, and dozens of others for your time and help. This is only a small part of the story.
"The week before New Year’s, the artists had put their own lock on the door. Boat-sized GMs, Fords, and Chryslers sped down Delancey Street onto the Williamsburg Bridge. Tom Otterness stood on the corner of Essex Street, watching for police. Halfway down the block, Alan Moore and Peter Moennig huddled at the doorstep of a vacant furniture showroom. Moore took the firefighter boltcutters from Becky Howland’s guitar case, clasped the metal ring of the padlock, tightened his grip, and leaned forward, squeezing the long steel handles."