Based on a piece of graffiti from the Moganshan Road district in Shanghai, the Ersatz tag is rendered on a gallery wall in gingerbread and icing instead of spray paint. Graffiti is both a sign of urban decay and, more recently, a symbol of gentrification having acquired cultural value. In its use of gingerbread, the work draws on the well-known fairytale “Hansel and Gretel”, lured into the home of a hungry witch. The carefully chosen tag of “Ersatz” – meaning substitute or imitation – plays through the work both materially and metaphorically, as a critique of the forces of rampant urban development.
“whether the graffiti is evidence of a bright future or a delectable decoy used to seduce and trick, remains a lingering question.”
Excerpt from the text Beautiful because it is brief by Maya Kramer