new-york

Tom Burr

American Fine Arts

Tom Burr would like us to consider how the beginnings of urban renewal in Times Square have produced a corresponding ideological realignment. His recent installation 42nd Street Structures, 1995, suggests that there is a rather complex yet often overlooked historical/formal connection between the sex industry and the architectural structures designed to house it. Burr plays texts—loaded with detailed descriptions of various edifices (including their condensed histories)—off of variously scaled, quasi-architectural models of existing buildings and public spaces. All the information is there, broken down into manageable, digestible units. Here’s one of Burr’s own descriptions. “Outside, the buildings are covered with facades of neon and various mirrored and reflective surfaces. Inside the storefronts, basements, back rooms, and upper levels . . . a network of windowless spaces unfolds.”

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