REAL ESTATE GOLDMINE

An ART installation on america's foreclosure crisiS

GOVERNORS ISLAND ART FAIR

Sept 2 - oct 1, 2017

Real Estate Goldmine, a collaborative work by Joshua Starcher and Melissa Estro, was initially conceived as part of, Rooms To Let: CLE, a program that invites artists to create work in vacant, foreclosed homes slated for demolition in Cleveland’s Slavic Village. [1] The previously inhabited quarters of Colonels Row lent itself to being the ideal location for the retelling of this work at Governors Island Art Fair.

The installation examines the relationship between the foreclosure crisis that gripped the nation in 2008 [2] and a 2007 Trump University seminar titled Real Estate Goldmine: How to Get Rich Investing in Pre-Foreclosures[3]  In it, aspiring real estate investors and house flippers are instructed to target homeowners in compromised positions, headed toward foreclosure, and convince them to sell their homes at a discounted rate. The seminar describes the ideal homeowner as a “borrower, … out of work, … has $50,000 in unpaid medical claims, … is completely disabled, … had an extraordinarily messy divorce where everything has been squandered." [4]

To illustrate this we have recreated a domestic environment, filing the walls with gold-framed photographs that, at first glance, are of people in front of or inside homes. Upon closer inspection, it is revealed that the people have been cut out and replaced by student loan and medical bills, child support papers, divorce, and foreclosure filings representing the traits that real estate investors and house flippers were taught were desirable qualities in homeowners.

Hung alongside the photos are cross-stich pieces based on quotes from Donald Trump, directly from the seminar, such as ”one person's misfortune is someone else's opportunity.” This is in contrast to the more familiar “home sweet home”, speaking to the values of the predatory business practices advocated by the person now elected to the highest office in our country.

Cross-stitch quote. Quote by Donald Trump from the Real Estate Goldmine seminar. Cross-stitch by Melissa Estro. Framing by Kat Starcher.

Cross-stitch quote. Quote by Donald Trump from the Real Estate Goldmine seminar. Cross-stitch by Melissa Estro. Framing by Kat Starcher.

Complimenting the visual elements, a compilation of audio excerpts from the Real Estate Goldmine seminar play intermittently as a second piece of audio consisting of phones ringing and debt collector’s calls play on a loop.

 

TOUR THE ROOM

 

SOURCES

1 ) Next City: Cleveland’s Pain Was Donald Trump’s Gain

2 ) New York Times: All Boarded Up – How Cleveland is Dealing With Mass Foreclosures

3 ) New Yorker: Trump University: It’s Worse Than You Think

4 ) Mother Jones: Trump University Taught Students How To Exploit Disabled Homeowners

 

PRESS

The Art Newspaper - Trump University's Lesson in Heartless Capitalism Comes Home To New York

ArtNet News - The Island of Emerging Art: Governors Island Nourishes Rising Talents with its Latest Art Fair

Artists Magazine - Dynamic Duos

 

AUDIO

Engineered by Tyler Derryberry

The following three tracks play intermittently throughout the course of the exhibit. Each track consists of samples from the Trump University seminar Real Estate Goldmine: How to Get Rich Investing in Pre-Foreclosures dictated by Donald Trump.

On the other side of the room a phone rings as debt collector's calls play on a loop.

 

PROCESS SHOTS

 
 

CLEVELAND

See the first iteration of Real Estate Goldmine as shown in Cleveland as part of a community renewal project called Rooms To Let.