NOW ON DIS.ART
Refurbishing is a chance to make it right, and as Ilana Harris-Babou proposes in Reparation Hardware, it’s an opportunity to recognize the condition of failure that is America so we might imagine a place that hasn’t happened yet. Like the “restored” furniture that dots the home with signs of success, the American Dream is suspended between romantic past and idealized future. Its seeming inevitability makes sleek and new a violent, fractured reality that is undone by reparations of lost wealth. Reparations take the worked over and sanded down myth of the American Dream and make it rusty and worn. Built on oppression and exploitation, the reality of the United States cannot continue to be smoothed and stained over; its legacy bears marks into the present that must be repaired and repaid to be reclaimed.