project image
Lawrence Schwartzwald

first performed on May 3, 2013
CAGE, New York, NY
performed three times in 2013


CAGE, MoMA and the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Los Angeles, CA / New York, NY / Paris, France


In 2013, Vanessa Place, conceptual artist, writer and attorney, launched VanessaPlace Inc. with a sequence of three events taking place on May 3, June 5 and July 26. The company—a trans-national corporation whose mission is to design and manufacture objects to meet the poetic needs of the human heart, face and form—counts among its mantras “Poetry is a kind of money” and “It’s not the point, it’s the platform.”

In May, at the press conference for its initial launch, CEO Place introduced the corporation’s management team: Joseph A. W. Quintela, Director of Finance (New York); Ana Bozicevic, Director of Marketing (New York); and Steve Giasson, Director of Production (Montreal). After the introductions, Place spoke to the “press”—all those assembled were called on to document their attendance on social media in exchange for a press pass (free drinks)—and debuted the first object-product of VanessaPlace Inc.: a book entitled $20, priced at $50, the limited edition of which sold out at the launch. The event also featured several video pieces, including ads for VanessaPlace Inc. and the video performance “Steve Giasson eats a hamburger,” as well as looped projections of the Empire State Building’s livecam and Andy Warhol’s “Empire.”

In June, Place “re-installed” a Broodthaers signage exhibition at the MoMA through a reading of each instance of text in the gallery (including wall text and exit signs). While Place read, VanessaPlace Inc. management (Andrew Durbin and Ana Bozicevic) handed out circular cards to reading attendees and passing museum goers. On these jetons, the event’s mission was spelled out in an update on Duchamp’s spiral: “Since the birth of abstraction, art has relied on language to convey its message. No longer content to be art’s puppet, language now proclaims itself art’s ventriloquist. No art without language.” The museum’s recording of Place’s reinstallation displaced the Ellsworth Kelly abstractions on view.

Finally, in July, VanessaPlace Inc. held a groundbreaking event for The Museum of Language. Flanked by directors Ben Fama and Andrew Durbin, Place broke ground on the new structure, an extrusion on the iconic Metropolitan Museum of Art. In a speech spliced from other aesthetic and ethical groundbreaking ceremonies, Place promised that the new museum would keep poetry “at the very center of artistic activity in New York and the nation as a whole,” a poetry related to the self-conscious “I” which stands in the field of inner freedom.