Pierre’s Hand Car Wash
a proposal © Tim Hailey 2002-11

This piece was originally proposed for the Cynthia Broan Gallery, which for a year was located in a garage door space on the corner of Franklin Street and Greenpoint Avenue — site of the current Lulu’s Bar in Brooklyn.

Pierre’s Hand Car Wash was proposed as an operating hand car wash and detail center where one could in fact get their car washed. Passers-by would be lured in by this functional, street-level presentation.

The car wash customer would then notice the video and graphic displays inside the car wash, providing entertainment and information on the clandestine world of motorcycle grudge racing. You see, Pierre’s Hand Car Wash is actually a front for booking bets on motorcycle races. So beyond the initial facade, Pierre’s Hand Car Wash is also a neighborhood bookie. Now the car wash customer realizes he can also find out who’s who, who’s racing where, and what the odds are so he can place a bet on races held all over the country.

As the car wash customer contemplates placing a bet on this sport that he probably didn’t know existed, he notices arts administrators at their desks on the elevated platform behind the video screens and tote boards. The working car wash that is a front for a working bookie is actually an installation in a working art gallery.

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