New York

Dora Budor, Benedick, or Else (detail), 2018, scenographic elements, script, architectural modifications, light. Installation view.

Dora Budor

80WSE Gallery, NYU Steinhardt School

New York University opened 80WSE in 1974, initially as a showcase for student work and later as a venue for practicing artists. Currently under the direction of curator Nicola Lees, the gallery’s programming is heady, multifaceted and experimental, oftentimes incorporating the expertise of NYU’s diverse faculty. 80WSE is also—sorry to say—a challenging place to mount an exhibition. Its physical dimensions are awkwardly scaled, and its floor plan faintly resembles a coiled python digesting a family of antelope.

Most artists commissioned by 80WSE learn to cope with this space; Dora Budor wanted to understand it. In the course of her research she uncovered a story as quintessential to Manhattan as Washington Square itself. Designed by McKim, Mead & Bigelow in 1879 (just before the firm replaced William Bigelow with Stanford White), 80WSE was intended as a residence for single men, a shifting

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