In the guise of a pop-up store, artist Michal Wisniowski created WHITE WASH using retail industry tropes to mirror the effects of gentrification. By sourcing discarded clothing articles from the streets of San Francisco, Berkeley, and Oakland, the faux boutique confronts us with privilege and race as integral to the displacement occurring in our communities
Visitors of WHITE WASH are greeted with a bright storefront—replete with shipping pallet display tables gently uplifting soft-colored garments with excessively high price tags—but the back of the space sheds a dim light, literally a pair of hanging bulbs, on the less-considered production side of the equation. There collected clothes soak in bleach water, their original color fading.
The production and consumption sides of the installation are accompanied by lines of text on the walls with an authoritarian tone reminding that those worlds are merely two sides of the same capitalist coin. Every phrase hanging in bold black text is in fact taken from employee handbooks of Bay Area tech companies which have themselves become symbols of gentrification. Directives such as "don’t wear clothing with text or images that represents or expresses views and opinions," are deployed alongside groupthink lines like "it is a privilege to be part of the team."
Grand Opening // Sunday, November 9th, 12 - 3 pm
Frenemies & Family // Sunday, November 16th, 12 - 3 pm
Going out of Business // Sunday, November 23rd, 12 - 3pm
Photography courtesy of Mido Lee Productions.