Shopping at Argo


Photos by Tojo Andrianarivo

Shopping at Argo (2022)
second-hand electonics parts, miscellaneous objects, videos

For this installation Shopping at Argo, Aki Onda collected second-hand electronics parts and miscellaneous goods – a few are still functioning, but mostly not - from Argo Electronics on Canal Street, NYC. The work evokes the enigmatic kinship between the living and the dead, the functional and the broken. Those relics spark memories and urban archaeology through the assemblage of objects.

Argo Electronics was a renowned electronics surplus store on 391 Canal Street in Lower Manhattan. The owner Zdislav "David" Lasevski bought the store for $4,000 in the late 1970s, and it was open for 37 years. The street used to be full of army surplus and electronic stores, but Argo Electronics was one of the last vestiges of those types before it closed its door in 2017. Now the owner of the store would like to sell the property for seven million dollars, and his place will go up in smoke eventually.

Shopping at Argo was initiated when Brooklyn-based artist Moko Fukuyama invited Onda to join in her project You Never Know What Idea You Might Have in 2017. After that, Onda developed the work from the materials he collected. The installation includes videos – the interior and exterior of Argo Electronics – shot by Moko Fukuyama in 2017 and 2021.

This work was commissioned by Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA), as a part of Aki Onda’s solo exhibition “A Letter from Souls of The Dead” curated by Kristan Kennedy.  

Photos by Marcus Fischer