Created specially for the Armory Show, American artist Christine Hill’s The Volksboutique Armory Apothecary is the continuation of a series of large-scale projects, categorized by the artist as “organizational ventures,” that blur the boundaries between art and commerce. These projects have included the production of a TV talk show, the establishment of a second-hand clothing store, and a fully operable tour guide agency.
For The Volksboutique Armory Apothecary, Christine Hill turns the booth of the gallery Ronald Feldman Fine Arts into a functioning apothecary at the 2009 Armory Show. Visitors are invited to interact with the artist who is present to dispense remedies for a variety of contemporary ailments. In one-on-one consultation, visitors have the opportunity to describe their individual maladies in detail and will be advised accordingly as to which path to travel, which salve to apply, and which wisdom to seek.
This video shows how it works. Go there yourself! Christine Hill’s The Volksboutique Armory Apothecary is at Pier 94 – Booth 951.
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The installation assumes the guise of a traditional European apothecary with furniture, business accoutrements, vintage apothecary items, old photographs, and canisters whose contents have been “formulated” by the artist. The installation also includes watercolor drawings and posters of general inspirational value that relate to the artist’s product label, “Volksboutique,” an entrepreneurial context which combines cottage-industry with an American can-do pragmaticism. There will be a reference library for perusal.
Individualized prescriptions and apothecary packets that have been signed and stamped by the artist will be available for sale.
Christine Hill, an American artist living in Berlin and maintaining a base in Brooklyn, has exhibited in museums and galleries internationally, including documenta X (1997) and the Venice Biennale (2007).
Monographs include Inventory: The Work of Christine Hill and Volksboutique (Hatje/Cantz 2003) and Minutes: Work by Christine Hill (Hatje/Cantz 2007). She is Professor and Chair of Media, Trend and Public Appearance at Bauhaus University in Weimar, Germany. More information about her work is available at www.volksboutique.org.