Sky Couture: Jennifer and Kevin McCoy’s BROKER and the Politics of Luxury

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Jennifer and Kevin McCoy, still from BROKER, 2016, video, 28 min. (video provided by Postmasters Gallery)


“Filmed in an apartment on the seventy-seventh floor of Trump World Tower and initially exhibited at Postmasters Gallery, New York, in October and November 2016 (overlapping with the US presidential election), Jennifer and Kevin McCoy’s video BROKER examines the pathological underpinnings of “superluxury” dwelling and its place within the broader culture of capitalist achievement.1 The twenty-six-minute-long looping video centers on the activities of a high-end real estate broker, played by Gillian Chadsey, who appears trapped in a never-ending tragicomedy. Each morning she meticulously prepares for a client walk-through that will invariably leave her in a state of disarray. The first part of her daily ritual involves carefully reciting the sumptuous details of the residence and its furnishings and appliances. At one moment, she enters a trancelike state while various marketing platitudes spill from her lips to the sounds of a vexingly placid score composed by musical artist Lori Scacco. “Influencing others isn’t luck or magic, it’s a science,” her auto-tuned voice sings. “There are proven ways to help make you more successful as a marketer or politician.” Throughout the video we are provided glimpses of the apartment from the point of view of cameras embedded throughout the space—components of an elaborate security system. One of them even captures the character of the broker from inside the designer fridge, as she carefully adjusts bottles of “Pellegrino sparkling” and “Evian flat.” Nothing in this environment exists separately from the value bestowed upon it by its brand or perceived luxury.” – Read the full article here

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On 02/12/2020

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