DMYCC by Sean Vegezzi documents the artists’ decade-long engagement with a cavernous underground area constructed beneath Lower Manhattan. From early adolescence onward, Vegezzi leveraged a piece of failed architecture into an alternate social forum, stage, club, and studio space. After a large party left the space in complete disrepair, Vegezzi planned a large-scale renovation, culminating in an exhibition of photographic works within the space. As intense preparation for the exhibition was unexpectedly discovered and halted, security measures increased and the group's engagement with the space took on the current contours of the project.
Presented as a loose chronological narrative, the images in DMYCC eventually form a comprehensive mapping of the territory; ranging from early evocative analogue photographs of youthful explorations through to video stills, receipts, and architectural floor plans; concluding with full-scale photographic surveys that challenge bureaucratic structural reports in both detail and formal composition. Through the quiet, disciplined nature of their renovation work, Vegezzi and his friends deconstruct the distinctions between sanctioned municipal overhauls and more informal ones. Vegezzi takes these gestures to their logical extremes, in which physical boundaries and barriers are strategically undone and each task forensically documented. These documents are sympathetic yet critical, positing the city as an unknowing collaborator.
We worked through 11,000 images to edit and sequence this densely woven narrative of photos, drawings, video stills, receipt, phone pictures and more, and the result is a 2.5kg leather-bound softcover containing 728 images. Mirroring the transgressions between inside and outside in the work, the layout of DMYCC shifts up and down the page to reflect the location of the photographs above and below ground, while the plain leather cover mirrors municipal logbooks discovered underground. We also organised two exhibitions of the work in New York and London.