Lena Henke and Max Brand: looking at you (revived) again
Grand Opening: Thursday, February 26, 7-9pm
February 26 – April 4, 2015
Off Vendome New York
254 w 23rd St. #2

I wore the clothes until they fell off my body, the last saving stitches cutting through the fabric like dry leaves, bartered them in with the lumpenhändler for an exceedingly rank tunic which I soaked in vinegar over 3 days confined to my quarters and plebeian thoughts. 

My townhouse lodgings boasted a gas fireplace and a trio of windows, later re-framed with laced steel beams. Towards the backyard were two efficient bedrooms. Almost everywhere, the raw-looking floor was sealed oak in a sprue pattern. The kitchen opened into the living area, where standouts included a light side table in Koine marble and a white tufted sectional where i’d sit to smoke a slim brown cigarette.

The bank mill paper vats were situated a couple of blocks from my house, and soon as my new old garb was dry as crisp I ventured over. My once dignified attire would appear every now and then, bubbling up to the surface foaming with rot. Over the course of two weeks I would stop by on my way home from some grocery errands or other business, a kind of slow goodbye despite the fact that there was no longer any discernible distinction to be made in that steaming pool. 

Once the bleaching process started, I found myself doing detours to avoid that slight burning in the back of my throat, which lent my voice a tragic tinge. 

The Hudson breeze carried the fumes far southeast, this was old Chelsea, warm and soft air breathing from the heavy beige and reddish bricks, the late afternoon sun falling on the soft browns of the art deco highrises. I’d walk slow, two left turns, past the hotel and 99c creations, there was a seven bay wide brick building, trimmed limestone in a too late for neo-grec style fit with Doric pilasters. While the building retains its function as a tenement, the basement now holds JJ’s stone store; crystals, brimstone and tiles. I stepped over the threshold and a bunch of little bells hanging from the door announced it.

– Ellie de Verdier

  Lena Henke, Max Brand, Ellie de Verdier, Off Vendome, New York