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Throughout May, the public art project MONTH2MONTH is sending eight lottery-selected participants (and some of their partners) to spend four nights in either 'affordable' or 'luxury' housing in New York for a project that deals with gentrification in the city. The homes on the 'affordable' end of the spectrum are located in the East Village and Bushwick neighbourhoods, while the 'luxury' residences are located in Gramercy, Chelsea, lower Manhattan and the Upper West Side. The project has been organised by the artists William Powhida and Jennifer Dalton, and is produced by More Art, the non-profit educational group that focuses on social justice. Powhida and Dalton first collaborated shortly after the financial crisis struck in 2008, creating a set of 'condolence cards' for the art world that addressed how the market was shaping the lives of the artists, dealers and collectors who were on the edge of an economic bubble. Every weekend, around a dozen collaborators are slated to host panels and performances that reflect on current housing policies and 'the class struggle that is gentrification', Powhida and Dalton told The Art Newspaper in a joint statement. On 14 May, for example, the artist duo Brooklyn Hi-Art Machine (Oasa DuVerney and Mildred Beltre) will host an event titled Gentrifiers Anonymous, inviting visitors to 'confess their sins' of urban displacement, large and small. On 21 May, several comedians will join forces for an improvisational work that will attempt to answer how the characters in the 1990s television sitcom Friends could afford their enormous Manhattan apartments, among other questionable living situations in pop culture. 'We find that many discussions on gentrification involve the role of the artist, described in colonial terms as a 'pioneer' of some 'undiscovered' neighbourhood, [which] elides the fact that there are already residents living in these communities who are [consequently] displaced', the artists say, adding that 'white artists moving into neighbourhoods can be seen as the enemy by existing communities who all know the formulaic nature of what happens next'the bodega gets a makeover into a 24-hour deli with kale chips and craft beer, generic condos start appearing and rents rise quickly.' 'While [gentrification] takes many stakeholders who have more power and money than the most artists will ever possess, artists are still the social canary whose cultural value is used to mark the beginning of the end of the [gentrification] process,' Powhida and Dalton say. ' To RSVP and for the full line-up of events, which will be live-streamed, visit the MONTH2MONTH website . The Big Apple has a British flavour this spring, beyond the Frieze New York banners that have sprouted on Manhattan lampposts and the launch of London-based Lisson Gallery's new space beneath the High Line. The British artists Cornelia Parker and Martin Creed have taken on the cityâs skyline with major public art commissions on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Rachel Whitereadâs concrete cast of a New England shed is due to be unveiled on Governorâs Island in July. And the Whitney Museum of American Art has devoted its fifth floor to the London-born artist Steve McQueen, who is showing the video End Credits about the African American singer and actor Paul Robeson's FBI files (until 14 May). Meanwhile, there is a throng of British artists with gallery shows in New York, including David Hockney at Pace, Antony Gormley at Sean Kelly Gallery, Tracey Emin at Lehmann Maupin (all until 18 June), Susie MacMurray at Danese/Corey (until 21 May), and Allen Jones at Michael Werner (until 4 June). At Frieze New York, Gagosian Galleryâs stand (B61) is devoted to works by Damien Hirst, the gallery and artist having reunited after their conscious uncoupling in 2012. 'If you make it here as an artist, you can make it anywhere,' says Sean Kelly (C35), who sold Gormleyâs sculpture Daze II (2014), priced at £350,000, at the fairâs VIP opening on Wednesday. "New York is still the capital of the art world. In fact, itâs still the most exciting and vital city in the world. And definitely the richest also. Antony Gormley feels that he has to put his best foot forward when he shows here, as do all great artists," Kelly says. It is no coincidence that Parker, Creed and Whiteread have made the most of the opportunity to create site-specific work for New York. Sheena Wagstaff, who leads the Modern and contemporary art department at the Met and co-curates the Met Breuer, says: 'All of them from the beginning of their careers have created work for public spaces in a very self-conscious way that are tied to the local and national culture.' Although wary of the cliché about America's can-do spirit, she says that there is a "responsiveness to new ideas and an embrace of artists who come with quite different propositions" for public art in New York. Wagstaff credits non-profit organisations that commission international artists, such as Creative Time and the Public Art Fund. "They have become adept at moving around the bureaucracy of the city, just like Artangel in Britain,' she says. On Tuesday, the Public Art Fund unveiled Creed's largest public work so far: Work No. 2630'Understanding, a 25ft-tall rotating red neon sign in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Nicholas Baume, the fund's director and chief curator, stresses that it is a tall order to 'pull off a major work in an iconic New York location. It will be seen by millions of people, and by many more via social media; the exposure is exponential.' London's Frith Street Gallery (C54), which represents Cornelia Parker, has brought the British coastline to Randalls Island. A Side of England (1999) is a 30ft section of Beachy Head that the artist has turned into a 'suspended drawing'. It sold to a major US collector. Parker says that, for artists, 'a museum show is important [in New York]; so are curators and collectors. It is all a bit chicken and egg.' It is not just foreign artists who are making statements in New Yorkâs public spaces. A big, yellow, monosyllabic sculpture by Brooklyn-based Deborah Kass, who is represented by Paul Kasmin Gallery (C16), will remain on view under the Manhattan Bridge in Brooklyn throughout the summer. Sheena Wagstaff says: 'Kassâs OY/YO is important. Like Martinâs Understanding, it can be seen from a distance. They put the seed of a question in the minds of people who see them, once or every day." Amy Sedaris sells 'high' art Fans of kitsch swarmed a pop-up gallery on the Lower East Side on Wednesday night for the chance to take home some 'super' motel art. In a promotional stunt for the recent redesign of its guest rooms and common areas, the budget motel chain Super 8 hired the comedienne Amy Sedaris to give away art that formerly decorated its hotels around the US. As part of her welcome speech, Sedaris thanked the company for its promised donation to the New York-based non-profit Center for Arts Education and assured collectors that the works were free of bedbugs and sperm. Later, she signed certificates of authenticity for paintings with titles such as Monet Knock-Knock Off. Who's There' and It's More About the Frame than the Flower. 'I got really high and named them all,' she told us before the event started. Her own art collection leans towards naive art'her brother David recently bought her three works by Gregory Jacobsen'although she also owns two pieces by Tony Matelli. Bobby flays Soylent The celebrity chef Bobby Flay is not too keen on Sean Raspet's project on Société's stand at Frieze New York, where the Berlin-based gallery is dishing out a beverage called Soylent'a calorie-rich meal supplement'in a futuristic, cafeteria-style setting. 'I'm all about sitting down and eating, actually taking the time,' Flay said, while perusing the fair. Had he given any thought to what he would do if he were asked to cater Frieze' 'Here on Randalls Island'' he said. 'I'd do a lobster shack situation, for sure. Lobster, clams, that kind of stuff.' Our mouths are watering already. Felipe Ehrenberg, Baró Galeria (C49) To keep in touch with his family, the Mexican artist Felipe Ehrenberg sent postcards from England, after emigrating there in 1968. Examples of the resulting work'early instances of mail art'are at Baró Galeria. Muro de Lamentos (1969) includes not only a view of the Western Wall in Jerusalem (Ehrenberg, who had Jewish roots, wrote how good it felt to 'come back to the country of our old, old ancestors'), but also a collaged picture of England. Works are priced from $6,000 to $44,000. Robert Filliou, Richard Saltoun (D29) The French Fluxus artist Robert Filliou photographed the hands of artists, including Jasper Johns and John Cage, for this work, Hand Show (1967). His friend Andy Warhol, whose palm is also depicted, knew a window dresser at Tiffany's on Fifth Avenue in New York, and arranged to have the piece presented there. Works of art, Filliou later wrote, 'should be displayed in the street and in shop windows, so that we can do without museums and galleries'. The piece is priced at $20,000. The size of the loss may be the biggest commercial issue for a film about art, but there is no shortage of supply. The Tribeca Film Festival showed a number of films about art or artists in April, and more are due to open soon at the Film Forum and other cinemas in Woman in Gold, a film about the recovery of paintings by Gustav Klimt on behalf of the Jewish family who lost them during the Nazi era, brought in $33m at the box office last year. It affirmed an unwritten rule: if the art in question is stolen or valuable, or has a dramatic backstory, then the film will find an audience. It also helped that Woman in Gold starred A-list actors in Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds. 'Artists tend to have interesting lives,' says Karen Cooper, the executive director of Film Forum, which has movies about Eva Hesse, Robert Frank and the collagist Rosamond Purcell in its programme. Cooper adds that she turns down far more films about art and artists than she shows. 'Art is beauty, and making a film about art or an artist is an opportunity to explore beauty'and, if you're lucky, to make some of it yourself,' says Chris Teerink, the Dutch director of a documentary on Sol LeWitt. A new kind of catalogue Demand is stronger than ever, according to the collector Larry Warsh, who produced the documentary Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry. 'Viewing art has always been a mass activity, but collecting on today's scale'we've never seen that before. We've never seen a wider public aspire to buy art,' he says. Warsh sees the development of films about artists as a natural progression. 'You could equate it to publishing a big, fancy catalogue,' he says. Some artists see it the same way. Jeff Koons marketed a French documentary about himself at the exhibition that closed New York's Whitney Museum of American Art in 2014 by offering the DVD in a gleaming case, in an edition of 2,000, in the museum's bookshop'priced at $3,800. At the more modest end of the spectrum, films about artists as rebels can connect with younger audiences, says Richard Abramowitz, who distributed Exit Through the Gift Shop, Banksy's ode to his own street art pranks. The artist did not appear at publicity events, yet the movies took $3.3m at the US box office. 'The mystery helped to promote the film,' Abramowitz says. The Banksy Job, which premiered at Tribeca in April, had neither the graffiti artist nor the film's art-stealing protagonist, Andy Link, on hand (see box, overleaf), but it still drew a crowd. 'Banksy is closer to the audience for a Michael Moore documentary than a serious biopic,' says Richard Lorber, a major US distributor of art films. Lorber's releases include films about Gerhard Richter and Anselm Kiefer, and The Mill and the Cross (2011), Lech Majewski's dramatisation of the painting The Procession to Calvary, by Pieter Brueghel the Elder. All made money, Lorber says, 'with New York accounting for as much as 50% of national box office [receipts]'. Lorber has acquired the rights to Hieronymous Bosch: Touched by the Devil, a documentary that is due to open at Film Forum in July. He is also considering taking on The Seasons in Quincy: Four Portraits of John Berger, which follows the actress Tilda Swinton on a visit to the critic and painter's house in the French Alps. Using a wider lens Film-makers are also expanding the frame of art documentaries. Chad Gracia's widely praised study of conspiracy theories, The Russian Woodpecker (2015), followed a Ukrainian artist's family from Stalin's purges to protests in Kiev's Maidan Square. 'Like many great visionaries, Fedor Alexandrovich is colourful and hyper-sensitive, and finds connections where others see chance,' Gracia says. Or where some see innovation. As Teerink, who is working on a 3D film about the 19th-century photographer Eadweard Muybridge, puts it: 'If you're asking people to pay for a ticket, you've got to give them more than they can see on a small screen at home.' Let's roll: the art films you need to see Burden Directed by Richard Dewey and Timothy Marrinan Chris Burden (1946-2015) broke the mould in 1971 with wild performance art. He had himself shot and electrocuted, and was crucified on the back of a VW Beetle. Before his early death, Burden created dreamy kinetic machines and installations in Los Angeles. In his signature deadpan delivery, the artist takes us through 40 years of his work. The First Monday in May Directed by Andrew Rossi This glittering chronicle follows the standard expositional template of tracking the plans of New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art for its exhibition China Through the Looking Glass at the Costume Institute. Viewers observe the show's logistical challenges, listen to debates about whether fashion is art and witness a lavish celebration. Art Bastard Directed by Viktor Kanevsky Robert Cenedella, an Art Students League teacher, is not a household name, but he wants to be. He had his 15 minutes of fame in the early Pop Art years, and another 15 when he painted murals for the restaurant Le Cirque in New York that show the influence of his mentor Georg Grosz and of James Ensor. The film is a j'accuse from the art world's 99%. Everybody Knows' Elizabeth Murray Directed by Kristi Zea This documentary debut by a long-time studio production designer revisits the life of the painter Elizabeth Murray, examining her work and the challenges of making art and raising children in a field ruled by men. Zea says she got behind the camera 'to explore the challenges of combining motherhood, wifehood and a successful career as an artist'. Ai Weiwei, the Chinese artist-activist who was detained by the Chinese government in 2011, is coming back to the US for the first time since his travel ban was lifted. His visit is timed to coincide with the show Andy Warhol-Ai Weiwei, which is due to travel from Australia to the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh (4 June-28 August). Ai was given back his Chinese passport in July 2015 and has travelled widely since. He is likely to come to New York, where he lived in the 1980s. Ai never met Warhol, but in 1987, the year the Pop artist died, he took a photograph of himself in front of Warhol's self-portrait, entitling it At the Museum of Modern Art. At the fair, Ai's porcelain Cube (2009) is on sale at Lisson Gallery (B62, '220,000). The Venice Biennale often gives artists a market boost, and although its next edition does not open until 13 May 2017, some of the artists for the national pavilions have already been chosen'and their galleries have wasted no time in bringing their work to Frieze New York. Lehmann Maupin gallery (C13) has a number of pieces by Erwin Wurm, who is representing Austria alongside Brigitte Kowanz. Four photographs from Wurm's One Minute Sculptures series (1997), which show individuals striking a pose for 60 seconds each, sold to the same collector during the fair's VIP opening on Wednesday. The gallery is also showing Obedience (2016)'quirky cloth sculptures in an edition of five, three of which sold during the VIP opening. Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac (C42) has also brought pieces by Wurm, including his pink polyester sculpture Fat Bus (2016). Meanwhile, Paris's Galerie Perrotin (C24) has brought a mobile by Xavier Veilhan, who will represent France at Venice. Mobile N°35 (2015), which sold at the opening, is a take on his previous work for Versailles. There are a few notable absences, however. Mark Bradford, who will represent the US, and the British pavilion's artist, Phyllida Barlow, are both missing from Hauser & Wirth's stand. 'We planned our booth before the [Biennale] announcements were made,' says Timo Kappeller, the director of the gallery's space in Chelsea, New York. Frankfurt-based Fabian Schöneich and Chicago-based Jacob Proctor have juggled their day jobs as curators with advising Frieze on which young galleries (founded in the past six years) to include in Frame, the fair's section for the up-and-coming and newly emerged. Schöneich, the curator at Frankfurt's Portikus institution for contemporary art, and Proctor, the curator at the University of Chicago's Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society, have also lent an expert hand and eye to help pull together the nearby 32-strong Focus section, which is just as international. 'Young galleries are not what they were. They now start really well connected and are professional,' Schöneich says. Ahead of a hectic week of leading tours for patrons and collectors, he gave us an insight into six of the 18 solo artists' shows in Frame. Daniel Dewar and Grégory Gicquel (Truth and Consequences, B32) The British and French artists Daniel Dewar and Grégory Gicquel work collaboratively but might realise works individually, Schöneich says. For Frame, their Geneva-based gallery has brought together two benches, an oversized anthropomorphic pitcher and a wall piece titled Stoneware Mural with Pipes n°4 (2016). 'The works are based on the idea and the clichés of craftsmanship. They use traditional materials'clay, wood, metal and fabric'to create forms and ideas that you could almost use,' Schöneich says. The pipes, based on traditional Breton designs, are at head height (suitable for smoking), and the benches look as if visitors could sit on them but they are too fragile, the curator points out. The artists were awarded the 2012 Prix Marcel Duchamp. Cooper Jacoby (Mathew Gallery, B19) 'It's a great installation that is site-specific. He has these fibreglass sculptures cast from street drains, so it is a trace image,' Schöneich says of Los Angeles-based artist Cooper Jacoby's new series Stagnants (2016). On the guttering, there are markings based on acupuncturists' charts of the body. The traditional Chinese therapy is all about unblocking the 'sewer system of the body', the artist says. The pieces are strikingly installed on a raised floor, Schöneich says, as if elevated from below the city street. Nick Bastis (Regards, B29) The Chicago-based gallery has installed works by Nick Bastis that together form a home from home for a team of snails. The Helix pomatia snails, which can be found on cardboard boxes used to transport refrigerators, are hibernating unless they are disturbed on their temporary tower blocks. The artist has previously employed the obliging creatures in other sculptural pieces. Works with snails on the gallery's stand include When You Don't Find What You're Looking for, Sleep (2014-16).