As a contemporary form of commercialized nostalgia, souvenirs are the ultimate cliche in the representation of a city. Pocket-sized, acritical, and cheap, they populate tourist sites all over the world with a patina of innocence.
Producing collective imaginaries made up of lines that follow the profiles of superlative sculptures, buildings, and stories, souvenirs have become the reference points that anchor a particular culture in time, representing (consciously or not) political, cultural, and social values.
Souvenirs: New New York Icons, the second iteration of Storefront’s model show, commissions 59+ objects that redefine New York’s iconic imagery. Inspired by each of the City’s Community Districts, more than 59 artists, architects, and designers have reimagined the referential images that constitute the global perception of the city, proposing new understandings of the urban experience.
Challenging the symbols that have permeated the gift shop, Souvenirs presents critical approaches to the shifting and complex iconography of the city. The exhibition introduces new objects and, with them, new ways to relate to form, matter, affect, representation, and agency.