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TOMPKINS SQUARE PARK POLICE RIOTS

1988 to 1998 — THEN 'TIL NOW SHOW

Curated by Chris Kelley and Alfredo Martinez

161 Essex Street btwn Houston & Stanton | New York | opening  August 7, 1998

PARTICIPATING ARTISTS: Boris Lurie + Clayton Patterson + Jerry Peddler + Don Yippie + Dietmar Kirves + Mark Enger + Cyril Mazard + Jaime Perelman + Matilda Wolf + Stan Mack + Gabriel Orozco + WK + Elsa Rensaa + Kyu Sakamaki + Rajan Mehta + Taylor Mead + Seth Tobocman + Eric Drooker + Fran Luck + Daniel Jackson + Aaron Fineman + Individual Electric + Christa Toole + David Seucher + Radek Szczesny + Kevin Lasting + Eric Miller + John The Communist + Joel Myer + Jim Power + Anton Van Dalen + Val Kotsza

PRESS RELEASE: Recently Clayton Patterson was rearrested and charged with three felonies and three misdemeanors in the process of police actions orchestrated to prevent his videotaping of the sale of public gardens at One Police Plaza. In September, Mr. Patterson faces not only the possibility of hard time but the grim re-enactment of events that transpired exactly ten years ago: the Tompkins Square Park Police Riots.

Occurring on August 6th and the morning of August 7th, 1998 Mr. Patterson was also arrested for videotaping but later released. The tapes, which he refused to release to the authorities, led to two million dollars in settlements to civilians, bike messengers, restaurant diners, and bystanders who was mercilessly beaten by belligerent thugs acting above the law but collectively identifying themselves as the New York City Police Department. Although unprotect able, since these riots their actions have consisted of the murders of children, the rape of prisoners (the Haitian incident), the rape of an innocent women who was watching her boyfriend finish a modeling shoot on an NYC rooftop during the 1992 riots when the police barged onto the roof, beat even one, and inserted a police baton into her genitalia not even to mention the relatively innocent operation of a brothel by the Midtown South Police Precinct … only last month and was widely reported as a mere “scandal”.

Alfredo Martinez and I chose to curate this show afraid that our future and the citizens of our city will continue to be terrorized by these demonic institutions. Clayton Patterson has the courage and nobility of spirit to stand up to these abuses, and the screening of his videotape along with the solicitation of the work of artists both young and old enough to remember these disparate events will hopefully create a political will to end the permissibility and criminality of our civic institutions. Jami Perelman's constructivist crime scenes and Radek Szczesny’s bloodied glove painting focus on the corrupt nature of the criminal investigation as essentially in the eye of the beholder: followed by Clayton Patterson’s documentary footage and other clear demonstrations of the brutal egotism of that eye, such as Kyu Sakamaki’s  photographs, a clear picture forms of the cancer that has deteriorated our city’s ethnical   spirit. We can only hope that the new vision offered by the art in this show, will be true to a better future, or at least its possibility.

©  http://patterson.no-art.info/gallery/1998-08-07_tompkins.html