Essex Street Gallery


Operating as usual

#BrennaBhandar, speaking at ICA London this Thursday!One of Four talks programmed by #CameronRowland in tandem with thei...
ICA | Brenna Bhandar: On the Separation of Interests – Legal Form and the Racial

#BrennaBhandar, speaking at ICA London this Thursday!
One of Four talks programmed by #CameronRowland in tandem with their ongoing exhibition. Link to further information and tickets... ICA

Bhandar's talk is: On the Separation of Interests: Legal Form and the Racial Materialities of Property...

In her book Saltwater Slavery: A Middle Passage from Africa to American Diaspora, Stephanie E Smallwood writes that ‘so pressing was European anxiety and effort to manage the innumerable risks that attended the business of slaving that it is easy to confuse European interest in preserving life to prevent economic loss with positive concern for the captives’ human welfare.’ The effort involved in turning human beings into commodities was so totalising as to spill over into affective and psychic domains usually considered collateral to economic interests. This illusion of concern belies a radical alienation of responsibility for human life. How did legal forms of property ownership enable those involved in the transatlantic slave trade to dissociate themselves from the atrocities in which they were complicit?

In this talk, Brenna Bhandar considers the racial materialities of property laws forged through slavery and colonisation, which condition our present, and explores how the separation of legal interests provides an alibi for the actors complicit in the commodification of human life.
Brenna Bhandar is Reader in Law and Critical Theory at SOAS University of London, where her research addresses property law, indigenous land rights, and post-colonial and feminist legal theory. She is the author of Colonial Lives of Property: Law, Land and Racial Regimes of Ownership (Duke University Press, 2018). She is co-editor with Jon Goldberg-Hiller of Plastic Materialities: Politics, Legality and Metamorphosis in the Work of Catherine Malabou (Duke University Press, 2015) and, with Rafeef Ziadah, the forthcoming Revolutionary Feminisms: Conversations on Collective Action and Radical Thought (Verso, 2020).

Essex Street Gallery

27 February 2020

NEW YORK. Opening Tomorrow Sunday 4-7PM at ESSEX STREET ! Concerning Superfluities : Shaker Material Culture and Affinit...

NEW YORK. Opening Tomorrow Sunday 4-7PM at ESSEX STREET ! Concerning Superfluities : Shaker Material Culture and Affinities. Walk thru with Shaker dealer John Keith Russell at 6PM!!! Pictured:
Shaker “Tilting” Child’s or Sister’s Ladderback Side Chair, c. 1830 #RosemarieTrockel Untitled, 2005, Shaker Laundry Basket, c. 1850 ,Shaker Blanket Chest, c. 1820 #SaraDeraedt, Samsung, 2016.
Also: #JamesBishop, #stanleybrouwn, #RobertGober, #WadeGuyton, #AgnesMartin, #HelenMirra, #LaurieParsons, #SarahRapson, #JackieWinsor

Insightful and chilling review of Cameron Rowland's D37 in today's Los Angeles Times. Thank you Christopher Knight for b...
Review: In Cameron Rowland’s ‘D37’ at MOCA, the legacy of slavery takes frightfully familiar forms

Insightful and chilling review of Cameron Rowland's D37 in today's Los Angeles Times. Thank you Christopher Knight for braving the work.

The U.S. slave economy reverberates in Cameron Rowland's 'D37,' an exhibition of contemporary found objects at MOCA. Where a leaf blower, grandfather clock or baby stroller are so much more than just a leaf blower, grandfather clock and baby stroller.

A major critical analysis on the work of #CameronRowland, in particular his #RentalContract by #EricGoloStone, in curren...

A major critical analysis on the work of #CameronRowland, in particular his #RentalContract by #EricGoloStone, in current issue of #OctoberJournal.

“Rowland’s overarching critical project destabilizes expectations of ownership rather than simply reflecting on the implicit inequalities and exclusion created by property ownership. The artist actualizes—in day-to-day lived relations—a practiced methodology of continually challenging, complicating, and refusing the expectation of ownership and the assumption that artworks are bought and sold property. The consciously adopted obligations Rowland lives by, of course, obligate others as well. The contingent relations that the artist’s rental contract anticipates include any individual’s or institution’s engaging directly in the acquisition or rental of his artistic work, as well as those individuals subsequently engaged in the maintenance of the terms and conditions stated in the contract. It is through these relations that the rental contract’s regulatory demands and potential penalties exert pressures—outlining the settled expectations of the right to property that typically governs the art field, and self-locating economic subjectivities within the political life of artistic works.
While Rowland’s rental contract is a mechanism for critical introspection into the comparative anxieties and damaging lack of basic necessities created by property relations in the art field, by operating on the actual legal-economic terms of property transaction, the rental contract is far-reaching: realizing how art is wrested from the expectations of property, while also evidencing how inextricably bound property is to the pervasive legacy of racial capitalism.” Thank you to #CherylHarris #AndreaFraser @thomaslax @stuartcomer @artistsspace @themuseumofmodernart #BalthazarLovay @fri_art_kunsthalle and so much #EricGoloStone. And see Rowland’s next solo exhibition #D37 at #MOCA Los Angeles in October! @mocalosangeles


Jason Loebs . Opening Tonight. Ludlow 38. 6-8PM. Free German Beer.

FRED LONIDIERTWO WORKS FROM THE 1980sMarch 18 - April 22, 2018 OPENING RECEPTIONSunday March 18Public Talks from 5-7PMBy...
Essex Street

March 18 - April 22, 2018

Sunday March 18
Public Talks from 5-7PM
Professor, Department of History
Yale University
PhD Candidate, History of Art and Architecture
Harvard University

Jennifer Klein is Professor of History at Yale University. Klein’s book Caring For America: Home Health Workers in the Shadow of the Welfare State (Oxford University Press), co-authored with Eileen Boris, was awarded the Sarah Whaley Prize from the National Women’s Studies Association. Her previ...

Today on double exhibition post of Cameron Rowland. His exhibitions at Etablissement d'en f...

Today on double exhibition post of Cameron Rowland. His exhibitions at Etablissement d'en face in Brussels and Galerie Buchholz in Cologne.
Pictured here:
Cameron Rowland
The Hold, 2017
Container foundations, twistlocks, Lloyd’s Register certificates
605.8 x 262 x 22.86cm (238.5 x 103.15 x 9 in)
Lloyd’s of London monopolized the marine insurance of the slave trade by the early 18th century. Lloyd’s Register was established in 1760 as the first classification society in order to provide insurance underwriters information on the quality of vessels. The classification of the ship allows for a more accurate assessment of its risk. Lloyd’s Register and other classification societies continue to survey and certify shipping vessels and their equipment. Twistlocks physically secure goods in the hold, locking them to the hull and to each other. The certification of lashing equipment is established to insure the value of the goods regardless of their potential loss.

11/15/2016 - Find Your Member of Congress by Zip Code

Please call your congress people TODAY.
This takes five minutes and can have an effect.
When I called and spoke to mine, they told me that a number of their colleagues are currently considering drafting a letter to be read tomorrow.
This action matters. Your calls can encourage your elected representatives to make a difference.

Please take five minutes now, while you can.

Read this script over the phone:

"Hi, My name is _____, and I'm a constituent from_____. I'm calling to ask that Rep/Sen _____ refuse to work with the Trump transition team until Stephen Bannon is removed from his staff. Bannon is a white supremacist and an anti-Semite. I hope Rep/Sen ____ will address this issue. Thank you for sharing my message."

Find your Congress persons here:


Find out who your representation in Congress is by ZIP code

SARA DERAEDT.Opening Tonight. 6-8PM

Opening Tonight.

Text By Cameron Rowland Amendment to the U.S. ConstitutionPassed ...
Cameron Rowland: 91020000

Text By Cameron Rowland

13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
Passed by Congress January 31, 1865. Ratified December 6, 1865.

Section 1.
Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Section 2.
Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Property is preserved through inheritance. Legal and economic adaptations have maintained and reconfigured the property interests established by the economy of slavery in the United States. The 13th constitutional amendment outlawed private chattel slavery; however, its exception clause legalized slavery and involuntary servitude when administered "as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted." Immediately following the passage of the 13th amendment the advent of laws designed to criminalize black life, known as Black Codes, aligned the status of the ex-slave and the pre-criminal:
Using the 13th amendment, Southern state governments effectively enmeshed themselves within the antebellum cycle of accumulation. The system of convict leasing financialized prisoners by leasing their labor to private industry. Many former slaves were leased back to former slave owners, now as a fully fungible labor force.² Although no longer designated as private property, ex-slaves functioned as a kind of public property whose discounted labor benefited both the governments that leased them and the corporations that received them.³
U.S. steel, coal and railroad industries grew as a result of extensive convict lease programs in the South.⁴ Corporate production was limited, however, by insubstantial Southern roads. In the early 20th century, the majority of roadways in the rural south were unpaved dirt roads. Due to rain, sections frequently became impassable. In 1904 less than three percent of Georgia's 57,000 miles of roads were paved with gravel, stone, or sand clay, and none with bituminous macadam.⁵ The U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Public Roads, established in 1905, and local, non-governmental "good roads" associations influenced Southern Progressive politicians in prioritizing road development. Up to this point, most Southern states had employed the largely ineffective statute labor system, which conscripted all citizens of a state to work on the roads a few days per year. As a more reliable alternative, politicians turned to convict labor: "In North Carolina and elsewhere in the South where enthusiasm for good roads reigned, convict leasing was attacked, and the state was urged to put convicts to work on the roads; the good roads movement became 'identified with the movement to take the prisoner out of the cell, the prison factory and the mine to work him in the fresh air and sunshine.'"⁶ The Progressive rhetoric of penal reform emphasized mutual benefit—William L. Spoon, a civil engineer and good roads advocate in North Carolina stated in 1910: "The convict is forced to do regular work...and that regular work results in the upbuilding of the convict, the upbuilding of the public roads, and the upbuilding of the state."⁷
Unlike convict leasing, which facilitated private corporations use of prisoners' labor, the chain gang system restricted the labor of the incarcerated to "state-use."⁸ Organized labor championed this restriction as convict leasing competed with "free market" labor.⁹ Progressive politicians rationalized the alternative chain gang system via a procedural legal framework that continues to characterize liberal reforms today: "the punishment [of convicts] ought not to be at the hands of a private party who may be tempted by the exigencies of business ... to make punishment either more or less."¹⁰ More contemporary liberal reforms to reduce judicial discretion include the establishment of mandatory minimum sentences. As Naomi Murakawa describes, while this kind of proceduralism reduces the variance of punishment, it also contributes to the "pursuit of administrative perfection" and effectively strengthens U.S. carceral machinery.¹¹ By 1928, every U.S. state's convict lease laws had been repealed in favor of laws that restrict prison labor to state-use. In this way:
The interwoven economy of road improvement and prison labor expanded on previous stages of industrialization. The development of transport infrastructure and logistics was a precondition for the shipping of slaves across the Atlantic, and was the primary purpose of the slave and convict leased labor used to build U.S. railroads. The transition to chain gang labor extended this genealogy, adapting it to the development of publicly owned infrastructure.
The rate of incarceration in the U.S. remained at approximately 110 people per 100,000 from 1925 to 1973.¹³ Following the passage of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 signed by President Johnson and the Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 signed by President Nixon, the scale of prison development and the rate of incarceration increased dramatically. By 2014 the rate of incarceration had risen to 612 people per 100,000.¹⁴ Despite the rhetoric of colorblindness, the administration of racialized law has effectively maintained racial order. In 2014, an estimated 539,500 black people made up the racial majority of the 1,561,500 people sentenced in federal and state prisons in the United States, and were incarcerated at over five times the rate of whites.¹⁵ Ruth Wilson Gilmore writes that the development of prisons in California beginning in the 1970s served to utilize the state's nonproductive surpluses of "finance capital, land, labor, and state capacity."¹⁶ As inert overaccumulation, the stasis of these surpluses constituted an impending crisis. The "prison fix," as Gilmore terms it, financed prison construction through government issued bonds. California avoided crisis by developing "public markets for private capital" that would use its surplus to fuel the expansion of its prison system.¹⁷
Through an increasing set of capitalizations, people in prison have become part of a nexus of government economic interests. While inmates serve as captive consumers to various private suppliers, many jails and state prisons also impose pay-to-stay fees. These daily fees incurred for residing at the institution can range from $1 to $142.¹⁸ These fees often outweigh the wages of typical work programs, forming a debt that is immediately up for collection upon release.¹⁹ Outside of prison, formerly incarcerated drug felons are denied welfare benefits and food stamps. In 2013, 37 states imposed some form of restrictions on access to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) welfare benefits for drug felons, and 34 states imposed some form of restrictions on access to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food stamps for drug felons.²⁰
State-use laws still prescribe U.S. federal and state prison institutions as the primary conduits of inmate labor.²¹ In 2005, the Bureau of Justice Statistics recorded that 775,469 of the 1,321,685 people in public prisons (not including jails) worked in prison industries, institutional support services, public works, farming or other forms of labor.²² Many state codes have work requirements or options for requirement.²³ New York correctional code states: "The commissioner and the superintendents and officials of all penitentiaries in the state may cause inmates in the state correctional facilities and such penitentiaries who are physically capable thereof to be employed for not to exceed eight hours of each day other than Sundays and public holidays."²⁴
The state-use of prisoner labor does not result in publicly traded profit, but rather in savings. The savings function of the neoliberal state is a reflection of governance modeled after business. In New York, inmates provide savings on the basis that they are paid $0.16 to $1.25 an hour.²⁵ This reduced labor cost does not appear as an increased profit margin, but is dispersed as savings on the cost of the products and services rendered to the state and as revenue intended to offset the operating budget of the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. The savings provided by the state-use of inmate labor describes a discrete dependence between the state's correctional and economic systems. Without profits or direct comparison to market rates, it is difficult to quantify the total savings that inmate labor provides the state.²⁶
In the early 1990s, many states began to expand the savings function of inmate labor by offering commodities made in state prison industry facilities to private nonprofit organizations within the same state. New York added this provision to its correctional code in 1991.²⁷ Nonprofit partnerships often serve a savings function themselves, allowing the state to carry out operations through grants or contracts without having to maintain full-time or unionized staff. The savings function is a form of austerity that may be more efficacious than profit. These savings, as absences of costs and information, operate as financial and rhetorical instruments of governmental opacity.

91020000 is the customer number assigned to Artists Space upon registering with Corcraft; the market name for the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, Division of Industries. Corcraft's mission is: "to employ inmates in real work situations producing quality goods and services at competitive prices, delivered on time as required by the State of New York and its subsidiaries at no cost to the taxpayer."²⁸ By law, Corcraft can only sell to government agencies (including other states) at the state and local levels, schools and universities, courts and police departments, and certain nonprofit organizations.

– Cameron Rowland

January 17 - March 13, 2016Opening Saturday, January 16, 6-8pmArtists Space Exhibitions38 Greene Street, 3rd FloorNew YorkNY 10013


55 Hester Street
New York, NY

Opening Hours

Wednesday 9am - 5pm
Thursday 12am - 5pm
Friday 12:30pm - 5pm
Saturday 12:30pm - 5pm
Sunday 12:30pm - 5pm


(917) 675-6681


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