Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Crimes Against Reality

If you get off Exit 14 of the LIE, just outside the Midtown Tunnel, you will come upon Jackson Avenue--which might simply be called Main Street a la Sinclair Lewis. This hot little crevice of Queens, once a deserted area filled with hulks of empty factory buildings, is now experiencing the Gold Rush. Rockrose Realty advertises rentals in gleaming glass high rises that offer anonymity and duplicability at increasingly premium prices. This is the story of NewYork from the days when Peter Minuit paid 24 bucks for the island of Manhattan. Newcomers outprice the indigenous populations ultimately undermining an often fragile ecology. "The World's UnFair" sits in the kind of vacant Long Island City lot which is now probably worth a ton. How did the collective New Red Order, directed by the brothers Adam and Zach Khalil and Jackson Polys, manage to stem the tide of development for this oasis of public art? "The World's UnFair" is named after the World's Fairs, in the shadow of whose grounds it exists. It's also a comment on the human condition. Extend the contraction and you have "The World is Unfair." The underlying theme is not "decolonization" (been there done that), but "rematriation" (notice not "repatriation") or the question of how lands can be given back. In one video returning land is compared to returning an item to a department store. Do you get your money back? Do you get a store credit? The World's Unfair finally begs the question, what will be the fate of the land it sits on?

read the review of Francis Levy's The Kafka Studies Department on Booklist

and listen to Francis Levy's playlist for The Kafka Studies Department on Largehearted Boy

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