Snow Cab catalogues an eponymous installation of works by Sean Vegezzi made between 15 and 22 November 2015. Installed within a vacated retail unit within Lower Manhattan, the works of Snow Cab actively blend and respond to the inert postconsumer space they inhabit, a space in which subsequent to their exhibition the works were left, in situ.
Vegezzi’s practise explores the blending of the individual with narratives of privacy, security and visibility within the American military-industrial complex. A departure from prior works, Snow Cab evolved as an immediate, frenzied and searching response following the Paris terror attacks of November 2015. Moving through the documentation of the exhibition we find t-shirts, sweeping compound, statues, core samples, Cold War rations, wildlife and more, repurposed and reappropriated for display amongst images and texts.
In the two accompanying texts to the exhibition, one of which was distributed to all exhibition visitors as a printed booklet, we find an interweaving of Vegezzi’s ongoing research into the security industry with personal experiences of love and terror. Many of the works we see are a series of gestures that both intervene and undermine Vegezzi’s immediate environment of Manhattan. In one work, a black plexiglass panel has been cracked along its top edge, voiding its former purpose of stopping any light from entering the retail space. It balances delicately with a pixelated image of a blue sky, taken from the empty training headquarters of a prominent insurance company. Elsewhere, the vibrant red of an industrial sweeping compound, used to eliminate dust sits within household plant pots.
These materials, used to control the flows of nature on an elementary level are reconfigured - modifying or corrupting the synthetic materiality of urban space and resembling the aftermath of some unforeseen event. As a piece of work that directly responds to the Paris Attacks, Snow Cab also traces and attempts to emulate material production as sympathetic evidence of experience in the wake of an event. This is evident in objects presented throughout the show and detailed in Vegezzi’s texts, but is most apparent in a collection of t-shirts that were hung up for display - depicting vilified terrorists, the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, a Pray for Paris slogan and hand-made shirts referencing waterboarding. In the re-framing of these items of clothing, Vegezzi highlights the notion of merchandise and profit from geopolitical terror, while also delicately articulating the human and vulnerable within our reactions and experiences of a modern, managed world.
Sean Vegezzi (b. 1990) is an artist whose work is comprised of image making, sculpture, writing and spatial intervention. His practice examines the effect that both public and private space have on the individual, blending personal experience with narratives of autonomy, privacy and security. Vegezzi’s first book of photographs, IDWGU (Fourteen-Nineteen, 2012) is a narrative of adolescence in Lower Manhattan. Vegezzi’s recent work includes large-scale exhibitions such as Snow Cab (Loose Joints, 2016), and performative interventions such as Scott and Joey (both 2015) - as well as curatorial projects 15 Warren and 170 Suffolk.