Reparation Tower, Harlem, 2004 is a full-scale sales office for a 40-story luxury apartment tower in the shape of an upturned fist. It was shown in the Harlemworld: Metropolis as Metaphor exhibition at the Studio Museum in Harlem in 2004. With its motto of, "History, Destiny, Luxury" and segregated "Whites only" and "colored" entrances, it challenges participants to examine the intersecting issues of gentrification, class, and race.
this ad was among marketing material created for the project
exterior and model apartment views
pseudo federal and corporate entities were created to lend verisimilitude
An except from Take the A (rt) Train, by Celia McGee, New York Daily News, January 30, 2004:
"The come-on is seductive. 'The lushly landscaped grounds of Reparation Tower Harlem traverse a full city block.... Among the sumptuous features are...
a monumental lobby... high-speed elevators... year-round ornamental cotton gardens....
"Say, what? By the time the glossy litany gets to a "24-hour militia-trained security force," it's clear this isn't Trump territory anymore. The scene is from architect Ronald Norsworthy's installation in "harlemworld: Metropolis as Metaphor," the new show at the Studio Museum in Harlem designed to provoke, outrage, inspire and make people think both about the meaning of Harlem and its built-up environment."
This detail photo captures the view from the Colored Entrance area of the sales office. Once inside, viewers found themselves inside of a plexiglas enclosure/cage unable to access the rest of the installation.
If patrons entered the White Only entrance they were given the opportunity to complete an anonymous homeowner profile. After completion, they had the option to submit for review or shred. Above is a collection of questions and answers from actual profiles.