Work No. 851 (2008) 51 East Pender Street (Wing Sang Building) Martin Creed
This work of neon text, commissioned by real estate salesman Bob Rennie and attached to his Chinatown palais, will be forever wedded to the year it was made. For it was in 2008 that the world experienced what is softly called a "downturn," an event whose consequences are dependent on who you talk to: if it is a single-parent mom working as a paralegal in Chicago, it was the year the bank foreclosed on her one bedroom condo; if it is a man who made his fortune selling condos, it was the year the public had to be convinced not to lose confidence in the market as an arbiter of what is good and right, and that sooner than later you will get your condo back, perhaps with a second bedroom this time. If the informational content of this British artist's text is not enough to allay our fears, consider the formality of the declaration: not EVERYTHING'S GONNA BE ALRIGHT, like the pop song says, but EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALRIGHT, as if spoken into a camera by a tele-prompted politician.