Fantasies of the Junk Shop

In March 2017 I was writer in residence at Recess (41 Grand Street). My essay responded to Motoko Fukuyama’s exhibition, You Never Know What Idea You You Might Have.


…Perhaps subversion lies in bargain pricing. This is not Shaker furniture, or Mid century Danish. It’s not Dieter Rams, it’s not Ettore Sottsass, Charles and Ray Eames. It’s not Northern Soul 45s or Pre-War Blues 78s. It’s not even vintage Casio (ok, maybe it’s vintage Casio). Every item has a backstory, sure, but the provenance of this stock is noteworthy because it’s so unspecific. In these boxes is the vast chaff of globalism, the gravel of a place, the loam of a place. Dusty electronics had to accumulate dust from somewhere, even if it’s just the shipping container or the storage unit. So, backstory is a dead end. It is where junk goes after it leaves the shop that has made the biggest cultural impact on this city…

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