Storefront (corner of N 6th & Bedford Ave), Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York
Funded by NY Artists Space Independent Grant
Artists: Nicole Cohen, Arzu Arda Kosar, Melissa Photini Lohman
Privatized was an event, a street exhibition and an experimental project that questions the development Williamsburg, Brooklyn from a Polish, Italian and Puerto Rican neighborhood into a gentrified district, which appeals “hipsters” who are now occupying it. This window display exhibit took place in a vacant store, previously a pet shop. Considering the development of the neighborhood and street traffic, the show was well attended by not only an art audience but by the general public as well.
The artists in Privatized made work that pushed and questioned how culture is maintained, including traditions, how far one could take recycled materials, the expectations of how to act in designed -therefore scribed private spaces, how we are surveilled and manipulated to alter our behaviors towards a standard. All of these themes were communicated in installation format in separate windows and viewed from the street,
Melissa P Lohman created a small proportioned bed display room featuring an assortment of used yet highly fashionable retro sheets. On the window glass it read: “Would you sleep on used sheets?”, her work exploring the notion of how it is chick for the hip crowd to buy used clothes and furniture but how far exactly they would push this concept.
Arzu Arda Kosar’s installation included square cuttings of starched lace plastic zip-lock bags and hung from a clothes line with loosely woven and bundled up cotton strings hanging in the background. Kosar’s work was a direct response to the push and pull between nostalgia and progress that the neighborhood evokes.
Nicole Cohen projected two videos on acetate Xeroxes of 50’s interiors of fantasy display rooms. Cohen video projected one person per space that appeared to be moving inside a static photographic image. The moving images were an attempt to question how we exist with similar behaviors and notice these ways of acting from the street,
The overall aim of this project was accomplished that it reached a broader audience and created a dialogue among the community about discrepancy of how gaps are filled and rationalized gluing together communities and trends.