INHABITAT: The show is really centered on "A Working Class", your most recent piece, which is also a big departure from your other works. Can you tell us a little about that piece?
Alex White Mazzarella:
"A Working Class" is a wall installation of plastic oil, liquor nips and beverage containers excavated out of the underserved streets of Willets Point, Queens
. It speaks towards the American working class that is being held with little regard by groups and politics that use their power to transfer their wealth to the 1%. It's complicated as there are drainage issues, but fact is the city sees this as a land grab to make money for their development
. This is free enterprise - what this country is supposedly built to achieve - but being undermined by private interests and the city that is not treating this class as equals. In fact, a shop owner and friend of mine from Willets Point now tells me that India is now feeling more like “America” than the United States does. Nevermind service - he says in Willets Point, he’s constantly getting fined and harassed by city workers rather than assisted. Meanwhile high-rise luxury condominiums are getting 25-year tax abatements. Preferential treatment for the rich by the rich - income distributions continue to skew. “A Working Class” is a tribute to the shadow population of Willets Point who continue to struggle against marginalization and disregard.
Economy and society grow when they are nurtured to grow - our taxes used to nurture our own growth. Instead, income is becoming more and more disparate everyday as the mechanics of our economy have been set up to deliver more and more of the wealth to that upper % of the economy.