'One Day It Will Please Us To Remember Even This'

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Among the things New York City does exceedingly well is erase its own past, even the more durable parts, like the old Pennsylvania Station or the Third Avenue El. So when it comes to a more fleeting kind of history, a lot of imagination is necessary to pay homage.

Standing in front of an expensive-looking apartment loft building in TriBeCa the other day, Ethan Andrews, who works for the public-art organization Creative Time, was trying to conjure up the late 1970s, when the building housed the Mudd Club, the art world dance hall that served as a second home for luminaries like Jean-Michel Basquiat and Julian Schnabel...

The reason for this rummaging through the city’s artistic past was not exactly nostalgia. It was part of a plan by Creative Time to celebrate its own history...

To commemorate its 33rd year of helping realize large and sometimes unwieldy projects, the nonprofit organization has chosen 32 sites around the city...where famous, infamous and sometimes almost secret yet significant art has been made.

And the sites, chosen with the help of artists and art world denizens like the director John Waters, are being memorialized with a kind of art project unto itself. Called “One Day It Will Please Us To Remember Even This,” it involves the installation of acrylic plaques at all 33 places.

Creative Time says the plaques, which will be in place by Tuesday, are intended to remain for “infinity (or until they fall off),” in keeping with the ephemeral nature of much of the artwork itself.

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