No Longer Empty, an organization that creates site-specific installations in abandoned urban spaces, opened a new exhibit, How Much Do I Owe You?, in the Clock Tower Building off Queens Plaza. This corner of LIC, ordinarily rather empty, was buzzing with energy, so mobbed that I headed out into the chill night and vowed to return later, when fewer people were around. I looked back and saw shadow figures dancing behind the clock’s illuminated face, a playful touch that makes the three-month show, "a personal and conversational exploration into the new iterations of currency, value and exchange at this time of financial flux, growing debt and job insecurity," a rather visible presence in the neighborhood.
It seems worth it to go sooner rather than later; perhaps tonight's chaos is par for the course, but we saw an older gentleman crouch down beside one work -- a display of white plates arranged just so, with dollar bills and loose change dispersed among them -- only to then grab several bills and cram them into his pocket. “What? They owe me,” he grumbled, and griped about the cost of admission. (Which was free.) I suppose in today's economy, we all have to make do.
How Much Do I Owe You? | December 12 through March 13, 2013, Thursdays through Mondays, 1-7 p.m. | The Clock Tower, 29-27 41st Avenue, Long Island City, Queens