R. H. Quaytman and Rhea Anastas
New York-based artist R. H. Quaytman and art historian Rhea Anastas recount the three-year run of Orchard, a Lower East Side gallery operated by a collective of artists, writers, and film and video makers in their presentation titled, May I Help You? A Short History of Orchard, 2005–2008 and a Spreadsheet. Quaytman and Anastas offer two perspectives on what happened when a strategic alliance of 12 artists was attempted, and when this diversity of artistic intentions, models, and values was made the basis of an exhibition, panel, and screening program. The project is discussed as one response to a complex period in art and culture in post-9/11 New York. In one of a series of articles on Orchard for the journal Grey Room, Branden W. Joseph wrote, “During that three-year period, the exhibitions, events, openings, screenings, discussions, and performances staged at the venue gradually became the locus and embodiment of a certain strain of critical artistic discourse. ...” While Quaytman and Anastas have successful, individual careers within their respective fields, this evenings presentation focuses on that “strain of critical artistic discourse” and the shared experience of Orchard.