May 13–May 26, 2023

Not For Sale

104b Forsyth Street, New York City 10009
Thu-Sat 1-5 pm

In solidarity with decades of community activism in Lower Manhattan, Art Against Displacement presents Not For Sale: Material Traces of Protest in Chinatown & LES, 2002–Present at Citygroup. The exhibition will be on view through Friday, May 26th, with an opening reception on Saturday, May 13th, and related programming throughout the month.

Not For Sale resurfaces protest signs and other ephemera associated with the organizing efforts of the Coalition to Protect Chinatown and LES, spanning from the immediate aftermath of 9/11 to the present day. As an active Coalition member, Art Against Displacement has participated in the production, dissemination, and deployment of protest ephemera since its inception in 2016. Not For Sale surveys the visual character and ingenuity of ad hoc, DIY signage in several defining campaigns of the past two decades: Beyond Ground Zero, the Chinatown Working Group Plan, and actions against luxury development in Two Bridges, the construction of a new jail on the site of the Manhattan Detention Complex (known as the Tombs), and the Museum of Chinese in America’s complicity in local displacement. As creative practitioners, Art Against Displacement recognizes the indispensability of mark-making to collective protest: accordingly, Not For Sale aims to lift up, assemble, and archive the material creations of anonymous artists, activists, and community members.

Not For Sale will be accompanied by an offsite screening featuring the work of Sihan Cui, Zishun Ning, Lily Jue Sheng, Alvin Tsang, and Siyan Wong, as well as a teach-in about the Chinatown Working Group Plan. More details will be announced soon.

Based in Manhattan’s Chinatown and Lower East Side on unceded Lenape land, Art Against Displacement (AAD) is a coalition of artists and art workers that seeks to amplify the demands of those whose livelihoods are threatened by predatory development, and to work in solidarity with grassroots organizations toward community-led rezoning. Gentrification is not an inevitable result of urban development; we reject the instrumentalization of cultural workers towards the displacement of long-term residents and businesses.