By now, you've probably heard about the recent act of protest that went down at former graffiti mecca 5 Pointz over the weekend. Street artists BAMN (By Any Means Necessary) and GILF! banded together to create a "Gentrification in Process" banner as their way of challenging building owner Jerry Wolkoff's plans to demolish the building to make room for two luxury condos. Now more than ever, the city's push for economic development has displaced long-time residents and destroyed cultural spots like 5 Pointz, and local artists like GILF! are not happy about it. This isn't the first time the Bushwick-based artist has turned to art to express her frustrations with gentrification, however.
Back in January, the artist created Define Progress, a performance piece for street artist Hanksy's "Surplus Candy," an illegal graffiti exhibition that took place inside an abandoned apartment building in New York's East Village. Specifically, GILF! chose to take her anger out on the building's kitchen. In the video below, the artist smashes up cabinets using a sledgehammer, throws around chairs, and shatters dishes in a painful act of destruction meant to mirror the consequences of gentrification.
“There are many of us that believe things can be done differently, that we don’t have to destroy years and years of New York culture to put up another soulless glass structure,” GILF! told New York Daily News. "If New York wants to stay a cultural hub, we’re going to have to start examining our communities differently instead of indiscriminately bulldozing everything to meet the housing demand."
Check out GILF!'s Define Progress below.