The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Kiosk Opens at the Institute of Contemporary Arts
KIOSK at the Institute of Contemporary Arts.

LONDON.- The Institute of Contemporary Arts offers a new home to KIOSK – a unique, long-term creative project and object-driven shop, launched in New York in 2005 as a response to the growing dominance of mainstream chains. KIOSK presents independently produced items, individually selected from all over the world.

Handpicked for the ICA from the objects they have documented during the past 12 years, an initial collection of thirty five products is currently being displayed and sold within an installation inside the entrance to the ICA, adjacent to the newly opened ICA Bookshop. Featured among the selection are an ergonomically satisfying Metal Tape Dispenser from Italy; the diminutive yet perfectly formed Portuguese Beer Glass; the Handyaid from the US that ‘lends a hand to your hand’ and the Rainbow Prism from Germany that enables you to ‘be the guy with the rainbow, that girl with the planet’.

KIOSK’s journey began in New York ten years ago, when Alisa Grifo started the project on Spring Street, before being joined by her husband and business partner Marco ter Haar Romeny. The concept was simple: to visit a country, hunt for common, low-cost, independently produced objects, bring them back and present them in an exhibition format. In the duos opinion, a place of commerce is a great place to begin conversations; to look at and show the world to others. To them, although they are often asked which, KIOSK is neither art nor a shop, it’s just ‘KIOSK’, a forum for what they do. During the ten years they went from strength-to-strength, traveling, finding and selling items ranging from strangely beautiful drain pipe screens from the Netherlands to confectionary from Iceland, presented in collections determined by the most recent country visited. Each object is accompanied by informative yet often humorous descriptions that reveal each object’s backstory whilst attesting to its beauty, usefulness and authenticity.

After eight years, the Spring Street location was forced to close when the site was sold to developers for a record sum and transformed into a major retail outlet. Since then, KIOSK has existed nomadically, with a vast archive displayed via its website In 2015, the first 10 years of the project culminated with KIOSK being invited to present their archive at MoMA PS1 in New York, where 1,276 objects from their collection, created by almost as many makers, were presented in a site specific installation.

Alisa Grifo / Marco ter Haar Romeny, Founders of KIOSK: ‘Since leaving New York in 2016 after our archive show we have been looking for a home. We are honored to be a part of the Institute of Contemporary Arts, which is so influential to London and ourselves. With this support we can keep doing what we do. As many artists question and have questioned the art in the everyday, we do the same. Hopefully what we share encourages people to go out and meet and talk and learn and see and show, to experience the world around them.’

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