Jordan Kantor / Artforum / 0|7|2002
Lampposts doubling as kiosks, milk crates serving as seats, folding card tables transformed into mobile vending spaces: These are some of the opportunistic and impromptu urban appropriations documented by Florian Böhm, Luca Pizzaroni, and Wolfgang Scheppe in their ongoing photographic project “Endcommercial.” Previously seen this summer in Berlin at Kunst-Werke, “Endcommercial” adopts the spirit of an architectural case study, archiving guerrilla uses of the city and its detritus. The work on view here, culled from more than 60,000 images that constitute the project as a whole, focuses on New York. Self-styled as a semantic analysis of the city’s “inner grammar,”
“Endcommercial” tests the quintessential modernist strategy of reading city-as-text in the postmodern urban environment. What emerges is a kind of logic of resistance, which, though operating on an almost subliminal level, appears surprisingly vital. The way many New Yorkers create makeshift slivers of space “beyond” commerce is encouraging and underscores the sentiment of the project’s title.