Set in post-9/11 New York City, Reena Spaulings was written by a large collective of writers and artists that bills itself as The Bernadette Corporation. Like most contemporary fiction, Reena Spaulings is about a female twenty-something. Reena is discovered while working as a museum guard and becomes a rich international supermodel. Meanwhile, a bout of terrible weather seizes New York, leaving in its wake a strange form of civil disobedience that stirs its citizens to mount a musical song-and-dance riot called “Battle on Broadway.” Fashioned in the old Hollywood manner by a legion of professional and amateur writers striving to achieve the ultimate blockbuster, the musical ends up being about a nobody who could be anybody becoming a somebody for everybody. The result is generic and perfect—not unlike Reena Spaulings itself, whose many authors create a story in which New York itself strives to become the ultimate collective experiment in which the only thing shared is the lack of uniquenes.
The artist-collective Bernadette Corporation was founded in a night club in 1994. In the beginning the group organized spontaneous, purposeless events in public space. In 1995 they morphed into a fashion label, then a self-publishing company that from 1999 to 2001 published an art magazine called Made in USA. Bernadette Corporation has also produced films, including Hell Frozen Over (2000), and Get Rid of Yourself (2003), as well as exhibits at art galleries and museums throughout the world.