Project description

DeliGrocery Project 2000 is a six-month continuous art installation located in downtown Manhattan, planned in the East Village or Chelsea. The installation will be accessible to the public, with plans for the DeliGrocery Project to remain open as a permanent installation.

The realization of DeliGrocery is momentarily put on hold. The decision for the future start will be announced.

DeliGrocery is an artistic simulation of the American notion of a deli with its wide range of essential products. More than one thousand Product Sculptures will be placed in the glass and chrome equipment (including coolers and counter tops). The walls of DeliGrocery will be painted blue, the floor will be black and white tile and neon signs of the products will also be displayed.

Product Sculptures
Product Sculptures are everyday products (cereal containers, drink bottles, magazines, etc...), including their contents, that are encapsulated in bleached beeswax. Through the artistic transformation the product remains recognizable, but the semi-transparency creates a distancing effect, turning the product into a sculpture.

The first Product Sculpture was developed in New York in 1991. Grocery No.1, also dating back to 1991, is the prototype for the DeliGrocery Project because it is the first combination of a Product Sculpture with the functional chrome/glass store fixture. The Berlin installation Kiosk from 1996 highlights the hidden connotations of consumer goods and habits, and socialization patterns in the context of the neighborhood and the city's architectural structure. Kiosk is both a milestone and a precursor in the development of the DeliGrocery Project.

The purpose of DeliGrocery is to make the public aware of a generally overlooked, common facility which defines the New York microstructure in terms of inner-city architecture and socialization. It creates the possibility to reflect on consumer goods, consumer habits and the various ways in which industry creates awareness of its products.
DeliGrocery juxtaposes nature and man-made reality. The bleached beeswax, a semi-natural product, presents the natural world while the glass and chrome fixtures (refrigeration and storage units) symbolize the man-made world of technology, function, efficiency and hygiene.
The Product Sculpture emphasizes the individuality and importance of an anonymous mass product. The bleached beeswax, due to the clearing process, is white and implies purity and timelessness. This "sealing" technique confers eternity through conservation of the temporal product.
DeliGrocery is a site-specific installation in a New York neighborhood, such as the East Village. DeliGrocery represents, while it simultaneously alienates itself from, the typical New York bodega store which is its model.

DeliGrocery in progress
The physical layout of the DeliGrocery space will consist of the studio and project office in the rear and the installation in the front. DeliGrocery in progress will openly transmit its ongoing process through the Internet to a wide audience range. This will facilitate constant accessibility to the press as well as sponsors. The project office will house the New York project team who will facilitate the art project, work on the funding process, stay in touch with the media and coordinate with the Berlin project team.

Multi-media aspect
The multi-media project communication is an important aspect of DeliGrocery. Simultaneous with the New York opening on September 16, 2000 a series of multi-medial opening events is planned to take place in Berlin, Mexico City, London, Copenhagen and Sydney. A larger audience will participate with the opening via the Internet as a virtual experience. Several cameras will deliver images from the site during the period of time DeliGrocery is open for the public.
At the opening a multilingual moderator based in New York will be connected via internet-transmission-lines and large picture screens with the different locations, and will guide the opening events. A few original Product Sculptures, photographs and a video of the creation process will accompany the associated exhibition/event sites.

In April 1999 a Berlin based project team was founded to create an infrastructure. Since then the project team produced the project portfolio as well as the foldout-brochure and the DeliGrocery homepage (
The Countdown DeliGrocery Project 2000 (funded by the Gruner & Jahr Publishing group) was held on September 9, 1999 at the Sculptors Foyer of the Berlin Constanze Pressehaus, shortly before the artist's relocation to New York. The purpose of this event was to introduce this project to the Berlin public through a slideshow, video, original Product Sculptures and DeliGrocery Multiples.

Intended audience
DeliGrocery will be a destination for many different people. It will become a neighborhood landmark attracting not only people from the immediate vicinity, but from all areas of Manhattan and the outer boroughs. DeliGrocery's audience will also include members of the New York art community as well as tourists who visit New York for its cultural attractions. Publicity from print media (art, fashion and lifestyle magazines) and local news sources will attract mainstream groups. Through the internet a worldwide audience will be cultivated. A dedicated Internet site (, as well as links from cultural information services and search engines will further extend the spectrum of the audience. Simultaneous openings web-cast live in Berlin, London, Copenhagen, Sydney and Mexico City will create international publicity to further increase audience reach.