Community, Event Organizers

Community Spotlight: Ida Schmid

Ida Schmid is an enigmatic Russian Jew and onetime curator of the Tsar’s private art collection who immigrated to New York City in 1910. In America, she first worked as an art conservator, a born seer, she then traveled briefly with Bill Cody’s Wild West show in 1917 as a bare back trick rider and tarot reader. Post Black Mountain College, she focused on her fluxus sensibilities, an active participant in movement research at Judson Church, honing her skills as a self-made Orlando, she continues to make her home amongst artist and intellectuals, socialites and heads of state, driven by her desire to cultivate the language of art. IDA SCHMID is also an experimental platform for curators to mount exhibitions and performances. Ida’s primary interest is cultivating an evolving dialog between curators and artists, nurturing ideas and theories, which provoke new intersections of art. Ida is also a space provider here at Splacer. We met with Ida yesterday at her exhibition “Beware of a Holy Whore” that we helped find the perfect site for.


SPLACER: Tell me about your exhibition, what is the idea behind it, tell me more about the concept.

IDA SCHMID: In the 1971 film Beware of a Holy Whore; Rainer Werner Fassbinder bottled the anarchic atmosphere in which his art was created with the construct of a film within a film. Ida Schmid becomes a character much like Fassbinder’s director in the role of curator, placing the artists at odds, reaching in desperation, searching for the other, channeling a conversation, the recognition and overlapping aesthetic of the other. This is a exhibition within an exhibition, an artist within a curator grappling with chaos and desire.



SPLACER: Tell me a little bit about the curation process, specifically to this event.

IDA SCHMID: In choosing the artists I was interested in work that would punctuate the space as an intervention not merely wall art, but to create an experience through moving image, sound, painted, drawn and constructed.


SPLACER: What type of space were you looking for? What factors were important to you when booking this space and what set you on it?

IDA SCHMID: I wanted a raw sensibility with charming neutrality, this space has both. The front glass facade allows the space to breathe and has beautiful diffused light throughout the day, it’s not some generic over produced space, this space has a sense of history – you are definitely in NYC here. I was also set on the location, Henry Street is my favorite part of the Lower East Side.


SPLACER: What is your favorite building in NYC?

IDA SCHMID: That’s a tough one. I love so many! I will go with the Metropolitan Museum of Art because I have visited it over and over again my whole life, traversing its labyrinth with constant inspiration with it’s treasures.


Photo by MTA


SPLACER: What was the last space you were happy in? 

IDA SCHMID: The Williamsburg Bridge – I love walking over the bridge day or night, it’s a liminal in between place of architecture and meditation, my feet float, I don’t walk but fly with my favorite city in the world sparkling like a diamond.



Photo by Ida Schmid


SPLACER: What is home to you? 


Ida Schmid in Williamsburg Brooklyn dancing with a Tomm El-Saieh painting from the exhibition F0THE0R curated by Diego Singh


SPLACER: What place would like to visit?
IDA SCHMID: My upstate retreat with the most beautiful pond in the world, I always imagine Kris from Solaris right before he goes up walking around his pond, looking into the reflections, and trees, water moving.



SPLACER: Favorite exhibition you’ve been to in the past 3 months?

IDA SCHMID: Hello Boys at the Julia Stoschek Collection Dusseldorf, an exhibition of pioneering feminist video artists from the 1970’s to contemporary artists now.


Hello Boys at Julia Stoschek Collection Dusseldorf