Available at bookstores, the shop at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt and online at Spector Books.
An artist’s book that juxtaposes the photographic and the epistolary, race and class, and gentrification and displacement in the Brooklyn neighbourhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant. Amie Siegel is an artist based in New York. Her works range from photography, film, and video to performance, often tracing the undercurrents of economic and political cycles.
Love Letters consists of a collection of scanned letters written by families, couples, realtors, and developers to the mainly African-American owners of brownstones in Bedford-Stuyvesant, a Brooklyn neighborhood now experiencing a rapid rate of gentrification. These letters are portraits in persuasion, enumerating on reasons why the owner should sell their home, and attempting to distinguish the author in the event of a bidding war. The book’s corresponding pages consist of scanned family photographs of the original owners in their homes. In their juxtaposition, Amie Siegel’s collecting and arranging of two bodies of material—presented without editorial comment by the artist—create a double portrait revelatory of the particular economic, racial-political moment in New York’s frenetic real estate market, providing a unique window into its sociological gestalt and presenting a stark picture of the rapid social transformations that have accompanied it.