Four-Room Apartment in Three-Story House


Location East Williamsburg

Rent $950 (market)

Square feet 900

Occupant Dean Daderko (curator; founder and director, Parlour Projects; artist’s assistant)

“Buona sera, signora, sto cercando un appartamento, e si sai qualcuno con uno a affitare sarebbe un gran piacere,” you would say. I thought it would be a good idea to look for an apartment in Italian since most people around here are Italian. People would always ask if I was Italian. I’d say no. I’m from Pennsylvania. I lived in Rome over a year because I was going to school.

What’s on that video monitor? A close-up of a man’s big tongue licking something? Daniel Bozhkov is licking a mound of salt. On the other monitor is another work: Queen Elizabeth II’s Christmas Address to the People, 2001, Simultaneously Translated Into Colloquial Bulgarian.

Your apartment is an art gallery every Sunday, well, at least the living room. Today’s exhibit, “Sour Milk,” has bright white walls, white plastic patio chairs, and three white yogurt cups. What’s on that monitor? Bozhkov is facedown in a puddle of mud, so he’s kind of eating his reflection. It’s such a treat to be able to live with the work. [His phone rings.] Hey, Klaus, how are you? [The interview resumes.] That was an artist from Berlin. When I moved here and I’d invited friends over, everybody said, “Wow, this room gets really nice light.” I decided to have a gallery. The name Parlour Projects, parlour derives from the French, meaning “to talk,” a space where people retire after dinner. I’m trying to establish a dialogue . . .

Where did you get the light strings on the ceiling? Target. I just ran them into an outlet with an extension cord, nothing fancy. I wanted to create a place for watching the videos that is a little outside of time.

This is such a visually advanced room but if you look out the window you can see women in house slippers discussing arthritis. I knew somebody who lived in this neighborhood for a while and they, well, actually it was me, and they, me, didn’t know how to cook or they, me, didn’t want to so they ate at Cono Pizzeria every night. That’s a lot of cheese. Does your landlord care that you have a gallery here? It doesn’t particularly bother him, I think. He has a butcher shop. I’ve had about 16 exhibitions since January 2000. The first was just two identical paintings by Anoka Faruqee. Each one had about 17,000 interlocking asterisks. Then Karin Campbell—she was in the Whitney Biennial—had an exhibit here. She would kneel, watching for people coming in the space. When they’d come in, she’d run in the closet and hide. People would say, “What’s the noise?” I would say, “Karin ran into the closet.” People would end up talking to her through the closed door. They would ask her lots of questions—did she have a light on inside. She’d say, “I’m not going to come out if people are in the room.” When people would talk to each other, she’d get angry and bang on the door. People would try and break in and she’d slam the door. There was one guy who got his head shut in the door. The only thing she had in there was a blue blanket. She’d often be in the closet for hours on a Sunday. [Dean has a friend Tom in the kitchen who yells: I remember she had to go to the bathroom. People said, Well leave.She said, I dont believe you.‘ “] Then Inhwan Oh did a piece called Things of Friendship. He went through my house, looking in the medicine cabinet, in drawers. Anything he found that matched something at his house, he’d set aside—Elmer’s wood glue, a gay travel guide, some Wisk. At the end, there were 25, 30 objects in common. He set up the objects in two piles, almost like mirror images. The artists tend to take advantage of the fact that this is a domestic space. [Tom in the kitchen comes out and says: “I’m going to go now.”]

You were so quiet back there. [Tom] I was writing down everything you were saying. The meta-interview.