This Red Door is a collaborative multidisciplinary project that I founded, along with artists Jomar Statkun and Christopher Stackhouse, in August of 2011. We have taken it through four iterations in three years, and have involved well over 100 artists working in every conceivable medium.
(Click on the image above to watch a Vimeo video of highlights from This Red Door over the past three years; click here to visit the project website.)

It began when we were awarded a residency at Painting Space 122, the former gallery at PS 122, near the corner of 1st Avenue and E. 9th Street. We decided that, rather than use it as a studio in which to make art, we would make the room itself the artwork. We would bring in furniture, books, some rudimentary cooking equipment, get WiFi, hang our and our friends’ art on the wall, make the place inhabitable and inviting, and then throw open the doors as often and for as long as we could. The public was invited in, and whatever happened inside the space constituted the content of the piece.

We opened slowly and people started dropping in – a fascinating blend of friends and strangers from all walks of life. Some remembered the gallery and, seeing the art on the walls, thought it was back in business; others were just curious as to what a door was doing open at one in the morning. We were blessed by the prime location and warm weather that fall, and managed to have something interesting happen nearly every time we opened up.

Soon people began to ask if they could participate. Our friend Zefrey Throwell had just finished editing a film of a recent art provocation called “Ocularpation” (fifty people stripping naked on Wall Street at 7 o’clock on a Monday morning, about a month before the beginning of Occupy Wall Street) and wanted to give it a world premiere, and could he show it at This Red Door? We said sure, cleared off a wall and bought a mess of beer for the spectators.

That event went so well that we began to do more. A gallery where Chris and Jomar had been planning to exhibit a group show closed unexpectedly, so we invited the artists to present their work at TRD, which began a series called “Work and Discussion.” We invited singers to give concerts, and poets to give readings. We staged a 12-hour, midnight-to-noon performance art event involving more than twenty artists. We built a pirate radio station (broadcast range: 1 city block). Kara Walker came and gave a talk about what she was working on, which packed the place out, purely by word of mouth.

And all the while, we would ask the people coming to present or participate to leave a piece of work with us for the duration of the residency, which we hung and rehung as our wall space needs demanded. By the end of our three-month residency, the room we had entered empty was full from floor to ceiling with amazing work of every kind from artists of every kind.

Since then, we’ve been lucky enough to be asked to do it again several times – twice at Kunsthalle Galapagos in DUMBO in the winters of 2012/13 and 2014, and at REH Kunst in Berlin in the summer of 2013. The challenges and opportunities each time are different, but we keep getting to work with amazing artists of all inclinations and at all stages of their careers. Our next iteration is scheduled for summer 2015, at Westwerk in Hamburg, Germany.