Photos by Julia Vassallo
Fritz Kühn, Ospace, and 393 Broadway
“The goal is to give people an alternative to the gallery world and the nightlife world.”
By Julia Vassallo
As the elevator door opened to the second floor on 393 Broadway, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. Perspiring from a long walk downtown to the gallery after an already-long workday, all I really desired was to be transported to a different place.
My experience with Fritz Kühn’s exhibit was akin to transportation. I enjoyed the methods of audio/visual synesthesia as well as the concept of a room for relaxation and mingling, to go back and forth between the art and the conversation.
A native of California and Switzerland with roots in China, Fritz Kühn is an emerging artist who lives and works in New York. He delved into experimentalism and abstraction early on, and these styles remain his primary means of expression across physical and digital media.
His art bridges the gap between human sensation and techno-logic, informed by a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics. The loss of his father at a young age spurred him toward the broad themes of life, death, and spirit, and he believes that these are best apprehended indirectly.
Fritz’s exhibit showcased videos and looped images strung together into an abstract storyline where there is a clear progression, though you couldn’t put into words where you’re going or where you’ve been.
For me, it created a hypnosis; coupled with electronic/experimental music, my senses were overwhelmed in a good way.
I told Fritz that I was specifically drawn to the music, and asked a bit about his relationship to that medium. He said, “Music is my favorite art medium. If I can make it accessible, it’s a retrospective of the past year or two of my life, or my life up to this point. That music is what affects me the most. Somewhat spiritual, emotive, electronic music.”
After about 10 minutes of viewing the projected material, I traveled into the other room of the gallery, which Fritz explained was the space for communication with others, fostering the ability to have social interaction while simultaneously interacting with art. The “social room” was akin to the feeling of a cocktail hour, with red lighting, a lounge couch, and a drink booth, where both champagne and beer were served.
Ospace New York is an arts organization hosting immersive shows in the digital and performance space across Manhattan and Brooklyn. They provide a platform for the frontrunners of experimentalism in time-based media, circumventing the viewer’s cognition in favor of a subconscious state.
When I asked Fritz about his vision for Ospace, he told me:
“The goal is to give people an alternative to the gallery world and the nightlife world, it’s somewhere in between where if you want to be stimulated artistically and chat with people, it’s a permanent location where you can do that every weekend.”
The exhibit at 393 Broadway was the first in a series of pop-up galleries that Ospace will put on until they find a permanent location. Fritz added, “We’re going to repeat the event on June 2nd, and after that, the hope is that there will be more collaboration.”
To stay updated with upcoming events, follow @ospacenyc on Instagram.