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Kai Matsumiya is pleased to announce its inauguration with an exhibition of Rainer Ganahl’s El Mundo.  

The original project, an ad hoc, classical music performance, staged at the now-defunct El Mundo discount store, encapsulates the history of an East Harlem building as it passes through diverse incarnations that trace economic, demographic, and cultural shifts on both the local and global scene. Reflecting on the event, Ganahl writes: “Many opera pieces bring us back to politics, to emerging working-class cultures in which slaves and exploited people play a role, mirroring the industrialization of Europe in the 19th century with the rather under-privileged context in which El Mundo was built and functioned in Spanish Harlem.” 

The exhibition reenacts the event through photographs and film and runs from, Saturday, April 19th through May 24th. The space at 153 1⁄2 Stanton Street retains the left-over remains of the former tenant, Rocksmith, which sold merchandise from the Wu-tang clan among the other hip-hop retail items. The back space is graced with a genuine graffiti tag by “Mathematics”, the producer at Wu-Tang, and other remnants.

Ganahl’s El Mundo piece at Kai Matsumiya will include a film projection of the live performance, and photographs of El Mundo.  Ganahl’s El Mundo was picked as one of the top ten art works of 2013 by Artforum. El Mundo follows previous exhibitions at Nicolaus Schaffhausen's inaugural exhibition at the Vienna Kunsthalle (2013) and the Triennial at Villa Merkel, Esslingen, Stuttgart (2013). A special publication with a vinyl LP by Mousse Publishing was produced for these two prominent presentations in Europe. 

Rainer Ganahl is a New York based artist who has been shown internationally including the Venice Biennial (1999, 2007, 2009) the Shanghai Biennial (2008) and the Athens Biennial (2013). His most previous solo exhibitions held in New York took place at Alex Zachary (2010 “Language of Emigration”) and White Columns (2013 – Commes Des Marxists). Additionally, Ganahl recently opened a solo exhibition at Hacienda, Zurich, at BCP, Shanghai, and at Cabaret Voltaire, Zurich. Ganahl is currently preparing a larger exhibition at the renowned Dutch space De Vleeshal, Middelburg and De Apple, Amsterdam.

We thank the many outstanding individuals and institutions involved in the El Mundo work, including but not limited to White Columns, the musicians (Rachel Koblyakov, Jay Dref, Siyi Fang, Ok-Ja Lim, Ken Okiishi), HDFC of the Lower East Side, EL MUNDO-ALL BRAND NAMES.