Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Gentrification of Brooklyn: The Pink Elephant Speaks

On Thursday, February 4th, the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA) in Fort Greene, Brooklyn opened their newest exhibit titled "The Gentrification of Brooklyn: The Pink Elephant Speaks" to a mass of attendees. Complete with digital turntablism and free food (which I overheard was donated from local eateries and restaurants) and wine, the opening event was so crowded that it was almost difficult to see all of the 20 works of art inhabiting the walls, floor, and video screens in the museum's gallery space. I was there supporting my friend Josh Bricker, whose installation piece at the MoCADA titled "The Order of Things" can be viewed by either visiting the gallery itself (open Wed thru Sun 11 - 6) or by visiting the sculpture section of his portfolio on his website.

I mention this exhibit not just to plug my friend's piece, but also as a nod to my "Race, Class, and Ethnicity in the Media" course. (I know, it's pretty much the only course I've blogged about thus far. Trust me, posts having to do with "Sexual Personae" and "Art After Deleuze" are forthcoming.) There seemed to be a mix of anger, confusion, and critique present among the attendees and the works of art in the gallery as to what the gentrification of Brooklyn means in relation to class, to loss of a unique identity, and to the social structure of the inhabitants of the area that is in the process of gentrification. I highly recommend visiting the exhibit for yourself to witness pieces from artists from the five boroughs of New York City of diverse ethnic backgrounds (none of the artists currently reside in Brooklyn, however) whose pieces cover topics including relocation, homogenization, redefinition of the word "community," and what it means to be a neighbor.

For more on the exhibit see an article from The Daily Serving and a video from NY1 in which you can see Josh's piece with the artist himself standing by, and my bewildered-looking roommate (hilarious).

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