"Private Dealer - EIDIA Is their current environment an installation, an antique shop, or what? Private Dealer--a one-year work in progress that confounds the categories, is a maverick materialization of an eccentric concept. The duo know as EIDIA, whose projects deal with forms of authorship other than art..." - Kim Levin, the Village Voice April 18, 1995
Private Dealer was situated at 80 East 11 Street in Room 223, New York City, from September 1994 until September 1996. From 1966 to 1968 Marcel Duchamp had a secret studio in 80 East 11th Street. There he completed Etant donnés: 1o la chute d’eau 2o Le gaz d’ éclaireage—his last artwork.
EIDIA acted in the capacity of proprietors/archivists of an ‘antique shop.’ Private Dealer illustrated the conceptual ideal of ‘heimat’ (home), an outward manifestation of the inner attitude toward the place where you are living or the place where you were born and, for one reason or another, you have left or had to leave. Issues of domestic life, habitat and the rituals of daily routine continue to be the focus of their installations. The artists employ the ‘antique shop’ framework as a metaphorical multimedia installation, wherein the multiplicity of the “objets d’art” on display parody and signify the post-modern aesthetic preoccupation with multiples and appropriation of the past. Private Dealer is a place in which there is no separation between the past and present and its artifice. Salons were hosted weekly on Friday evenings during the run of the show. (See also Dog Log, a conversation with the whippet B-Boy, December 14,1994, Eidia House Archive.)
Sadly the building at 80 East 11 St & Broadway is no longer. It once was the famous St Denis Hotel and Abe Lincoln slept there. It’s demo prompted us to share our installation “PRIVATE DEALER” with you as we were quite fond of this art work and “the building” itself. And we love hotels, recall I lived at the Chelsea Hotel in the early 80s. In the St Denis, down the hall from PRIVATE DEALER was: Flash Art Magazine, Independent Curators International, and the office of the “Abraham Lincoln Brigade.”
“It was designed by James Renwick Jr., the architect who built Grace Church…” quoting Jeremiah Moss who had his office in the St Denis and is author of “Vanishing New York: How a great city lost its soul.”
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