Sarah Rose Sharp at Hyperallergic:
The show represents curatorial practice at its worst, and Hoffmann’s flawed conceits here are many. First, one senses, in talking to him, that prior to the moment he conceived of the exhibition, he had never before entered a dollar store. It seems to him to be a place of novelty and marvelous tackiness, of cheap manufacturing and purposelessness best viewed with ironic detachment. He described the scene to me as though I too had never been to a dollar store — let alone shopped at one — during a brief interview at MOCAD.
“[The show] was inspired by me going to a 99-cent shop in Brooklyn after doing a studio visit,” said Hoffmann, who is the senior curator at large at MOCAD, in addition to being the director of exhibitions and public programs at the Jewish Museum in New York. He was in search of a garment steamer, which of course the store didn’t have. “It was interesting, because they had so many things that were ethnically specific — I think it was a Vietnamese neighborhood — and then I started talking to other people that told me, in fact, most of the 99-cent shops are really geared toward the ethnic community that is around them.”
No kidding! It’s almost like dollar stores spring up in low-income communities, capitalizing on consumers who employ them not as ironic source material for art projects, but as the few places they can afford to shop for items that allow them to eke out a largely unsupported existence!