Beginning in summer of 2013, Jon Rubin and I began working toward a project that would be located in the Historic 9th Street Market (aka Italian Market). By the fall of 2016, the "9th Street Stock Exchange" took form. Jon as artist, myself as curator, project manager and community liaison. The project was quite literally a stock exchange in which 8 very different types of stores sold each other's goods, for one week at a time, over the course of 7 weeks.
The 9th Street Stock Exchange created a new system of economic and material exchange, which connects neighboring businesses in the market that are often separated by cultural and socioeconomic differences. The participating stores displayed and sold selected products from each other’s businesses on a weekly rotation, facilitating new social connections by experimentally incorporating an aspect of each other’s identity into their own.
A circle of trust was constructed through the project as each participant business became familiar and invested, in a small way, in the commercial welfare of the others. Products that are culturally specific and expected by a regular customer in one business became strangely incongruous and newly present through this weekly act of dislocation.
This project was funded by Mural Arts Philadelphia, City of Philadelphia and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation