INDEPENDENT, a hybrid model and temporary exhibition forum, will take place at the former X Initiative and former Dia Center for the Arts at 548 West 22nd Street in New York March 4 – 7, 2010, and will be open to the public free of charge: Thursday from 4PM to 9PM, Friday and Saturday from 11am to 8pm, and Sunday from 12pm to 4pm.

INDEPENDENT was conceived by Elizabeth Dee, New York gallerist and founder of X Initiative, and gallerist Darren Flook, from Hotel, London. Part consortium, part collective, INDEPENDENT lies somewhere between a collective exhibition and a reexamination of the art fair model, reflecting the changing attitudes and growing challenges for artists, galleries, curators and collectors. The weeklong program will host presentations and installations by highly regarded international figures and has been developed with creative advisors, Thea Westreich Art Advisory Services, New York and Matthew Higgs, Director of the nonprofit White Columns, New York.

The international list of participating galleries, independent curators, publishers, and nonprofit spaces was developed through personal invitations from the founders, the advisors and, ultimately, the participants themselves. This approach has allowed the project to evolve through conversations, collaborations and shared conceptual engagements as opposed to the application process that typically characterizes the contemporary art fair. Through this ongoing interaction, the participants have entered into a consortium rather than a transactional arrangement with a governing party. Structured as a transparent financial cooperative, each participant is aware of the project’s expenses, including rent and the support services required. The collaborative process allows for both financial efficiency and the creation of more ambitious projects.

The individual concepts for presentation are met with custom spaces that are curated in relation to other projects, allowing for a dynamic and diverse flow through the vast spaces on each of the building’s four floors. There will also be a series of performances in coordination with the exhibits, collaborations between galleries presenting works together, and lectures on the ground floor throughout the week. Additionally, INDEPENDENT will present an artist project by Claire Fontaine entitled Please God Make Tomorrow Better, 2008, a neon text work above the façade’s door which will be on view 24 hours a day during the run of the project.

The INDEPENDENT Team is led by Co-Directors Laura Mitterrand and Jayne Drost. They are joined by Exhibition Designer Ian Sullivan and Technical Coordinator David Shull.

INDEPENDENT has been sponsored in part by the exhibitors, Cumulus Studios, Artbook, Flash Art, Farmcart, The Jane Hotel, Café Gitane, and Mousse, Milan. For more information, please contact Laura Mitterrand at contact@independentnewyork.com.