50. “If You Lived Here” Billboard
Image Courtesy of Anthea Behm and Avi Alpert
“If You Lived Here” by artists Anthea Benhm and Avi Alpert is a billboard that mimics the real estate advertising slogan, “If you lived here, you’d be home by now.” In Benhm and Alpert’s work, viewers are inspired to pause and reflect on what it means to be “home” in a city of massive and ongoing gentrification and displacement. The piece aims to pierce through the cruel irrationality of the market to provoke new, more moral bases for housing. Her work prompts the questions, how can we, collectively, act to make sure that our own well-being is not caused by another’s suffering? What justice is due to those who have been forced from their homes or who can’t afford a home?
The billboard can be seen at Spring Street and Hudson Street. This project is accompanied by a digital pamphlet with more information on the project and how to get involved in fighting gentrification. Benhm has also produced a series of fake Craigslist ads which covertly guide readers to websites with information on housing justice.