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New York has its fair share of bizarre stores, the most recent of which include one that's devoted entirely to pencils. But a store that sells literally nothing? That's new.
Bowery Boogie reports that photographer Adrian Wilson will open The Inutilious Retailer, which Wilson says means "useless" (a Google search for the word reveals no results) at 151 Ludlow Street. When the store ("store"?) opens September 1st, he'll give away certain items of clothing in the store to people who he believes "have good intentions."
Wilson, who has given away his art for free for a decade, says the project is devoted to themes of "art, commerce, value, consumerism, manufacturing, and expectations." Inside, there'll be items of clothing from stores with a history of copying other designers' work, on which WIlson will have created "one-off" art.
He explains how it'll work to Print Magazine:
There is a front and back portion to the store, divided by a wall with a door in it. The front is monochrome except for a dozen umbrellas which are poking through the wall. Hung on the umbrella handles are items of clothing that have been purchased at stores which have a history of copying fashion designer's work. I will have bought mass-market clothes and created one-off art on them, taking ideas from the big retailers and making them unique. Each garment will have a label stating the original store and will have a price.
There will be no sales assistant but a mirror in the dividing wall enables the potential customer to see in the rear workshop. If they can attract my attention and after a chat through a hatch in the door, I believe they have good intentions, they will be given the garment free on condition that they enter the workshop and create a new piece (from clothing I have bought from the Salvation Army) to replace it. Their piece then goes on sale and the cycle repeats.
Your next question is probably something like, "Why?" When asked if The Inutillious Retailer is a performance piece, Wilson responded, "Life is a performance piece," adding, "I am opening it with no expectations and no agenda except maybe that someone at my funeral might remember me as the type of guy who once opened a shop in New York that didn't sell anything, just for the sake of it."