Courtesy Katy Albert and Sophia Hamilton
Searching for a shopping experience that's both low cost and high concept? This Sunday in Logan Square, two local artists are hosting the Pretend Garage Sale, an event that challenges the way we treat currency but still lets shoppers walk away with something new.
Katy Albert and Sophia Hamilton, who've created art together under the name Mothergirl
for the last several years, are behind the sale, which features things typically found at yard sales like books, clothes, art, and electronics. Upon selecting an item or items, shoppers will be directed to a check-out point where they'll pretend to hand over a given dollar amount—or haggle over the price of their "purchase"—before they can leave with the goods. No actual money is exchanged, and that's the point.
Albert and Hamilton say their mission is to look more closely at how we buy into the concept of commerce. "It is important to deconstruct and question what the norm of buying, selling, and engaging with each other in the marketplace is," Albert says. "This concept is taking value and fooling with it."
According to the artists, it's easy to accept the way commerce functions without even thinking about it. An experience like this forces shoppers to contemplate how we treat currency as a social custom and gives them the chance to reflect on something most people take for granted on a daily basis.
"Our labels at this garage sale say things like, 'Pretend that this item costs $5,' which is funny in the immediate context," Hamilton says. "But also, in a sense, this is exactly what we do every time we buy something retail."
Pretend Garage Sale, Sun 7/19, 9 AM-3 PM, Comfort Station, 2579 N. Milwaukee, free.