Spencer Sweeny’s newest party incarnation at Santos Party House, “Somebody Arted In Here,” brings together artists Peter Doig, Rita Ackermann and Lizzi Bougatos (also the lead singer of Gang Gang Dance). Their in-situ renderings took place at 96 Lafayette Street on Saturday, reviving the history of arty parties in New York’s Area and the Mudd Club.
Co-presented with White Columns and Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, the artists had a week to install the exhibition. “I’ve always thought that Santos was such a huge achievement for artists [namely,co-proprietor and Gavin Brown artist Spencer Sweeney] to have created—with no real agenda,” explains the Scottish Doig. He and a team of assistants contributed Bacchanal Basement, a reinterpretation of a 2004 work, in the basement of the club, just in time for “Fete Week” (Carnivval) next weekend.
Doig, who spent part of his childhood in Trinidad and returned there part-time, based his installation on colorful Caribbean wall treatment and building facades. “We wanted to try to create a non-basement feel, the feeling of instead being in an enclosed yard with bricks that have been painted over and over again,” he said. “The window openings create vistas and ‘pictures’—picture windows!” The work creates a trompe l’oeil effect that gives sweaty dancers the illusion of escape and refreshment.
It’s not clear yet whether or not Doig’s piece will be a permanent installation. The artist has high hopes. As he explained, “I would like it to evolve, be abused, added to, written on, and become part of the place.”