Bed Stuy/ Bushwick

Bushwick mall debuts haunting black-and-white rendering, but what does it mean?

bushwick mall
Yes, see, the black-and-white suggests themes of a simpler time, before we saw the world in color. via Wyckoff Heights

Despite our occasional appreciation of it, we here at Brokelyn are by no means art experts. Unless you’re counting Cowboy Bebop, some of us have seen every episode something like three times. Otherwise, stick us in front of an abstract painting or some experimental photograph and the best we’ll come up with is, “Yep, that’s a thing.” Still, even we were struck by the haunting new renderings of the long-dreaded Bushwick mall, delivered to the world in black-and-white instead of the usual splashes of color that developers try to show off with. What does it all mean?

Wyckoff Heights had the renderings for the mall, along with a potential name: Morgantown Center. Leaving aside the sad, sad mall food that will be inside this seven-story building, let’s focus on the rendering itself.

Why black-and-white? Are the developer and architect so contemptuous of us at this point in Brooklyn’s gentrification game that they aren’t even going to pretend to try to impress us? So we get no color, no life, because they know there’s no stopping this project? Unlike other project renderings that show awkward computer-rendered humans “enjoying” whatever project is being previewed, there’s a stunning dearth of life around the mall, yet all of the area’s infrastructure is still standing. These factors, combined with the gray, drab colors, is suggestive of a neutron bomb having gone off in Bushwick. This is a project that won’t be completed for at least a couple of years, so are Syndicate Corps, the architects behind the project, trying to predict or warn of a nuclear war soon? With who? Russia? China? Canada? A nuclear-armed Iran?

The lifelessness, the color-free palette of the renderings suggest a nightmare in progress, the kind in which you’re chased through empty, yawning canyons with no place to hide from your pursuer. But whose nightmare is this, who’s being chased? Could this rendering be representative of Bushwick’s collective nightmare, residents’ realization that after years of just hoping they wouldn’t just follow Williamsburg’s descent into yuppie Hell that they’re doing just that, and are now being chased out by the soul-swallowing, cash waving hordes of dumb money that are screaming “MORGANTOWN! SO HOT RIGHT NOW!” at ear-splitting volumes?

The wold may never know

Follow Dave for more art analysis at @DaveCoIon


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