222 Bowery

Julia Heyward
Derek McCormack
Adjua Gargi Nzinga Greaves
Michael Stipe


Reading Documentation
June 2017

222 Bowery

Michael Stipe

Adjua Gargi Nzinga Greaves

Julia Heyward

Derek McCormack

Videography:
Iki Nakagawa
Jason Hirata

"A vision of Montparnasse replacing Skid Row," reported The New York Times in April 1965, "glimmered Thursday night around 222 Bowery when Wynn Chamberlain, the painter of conventional people unadorned by clothes, had 130 friends up (six flights) to hear William Burroughs and Mack Thomas read." Infused with mythology, 222 Bowery, the site of New York City's first YMCA in 1885, has been a hub for artists and poets for at least a half-century. Burroughs resided here from 1974 to his death in 1997, in a windowless room known as "The Bunker." John Giorno moved into the building in 1962, seeing it become a co-op in the 1980s, and in 1998 gain landmark status. He still lives and works at the address today.

As part of a series of programs organized to accompany the multi-venue exhibition Ugo Rondinone: I ♥ John Giorno, Artists Space invited Adjua Gargi Nzinga Greaves, Michael Stipe, Julia Heyward, and Derek McCormack to produce intimate salon-style poetry videos across two floors of Giorno's storied studio and loft. These recordings play homage to Giorno's own experiments with the distribution of poetry, and feature artworks by Giorno and Keith Haring, as well as Burrough's bedroom, which remains as the author left it.