Queens Museum, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, New York. Photo credit: Pema Domingo-Barker.
 

After the Plaster Foundation, or, “Where can we live?” is an exhibition of twelve artists and artist groups with roots in New York City asking critical questions about home and property, and who has access to these things under capitalism.

Originally scheduled for April 5–August 16, 2020, the show finally opened September 16, 2020. Please introduce yourself to the participating artists and a Bibliography of suggested readings that reveal the passions and research behind it all. Scroll down for installation shots of the exhibition.

“Where can we live?” is a question that features in all our lives, but is experienced unevenly. In 1972, underground performance legend Jack Smith was evicted from his home, a Soho loft he called “The Plaster Foundation.” In the years that followed, New York’s economy shifted decisively from manufacturing to finance and real estate, and a new era of “predatory inclusion” that further undermined urban Black communities got underway in cities across the U.S. Pointing to documented histories of racial exclusion as well as the contradictions of the enduring myth of artistic bohemia, the works in the exhibition—whether satirical, speculative or grounded in the work of organizing—suggest ways of resisting the reach of capital into our homes, and innermost lives.

To engage audiences with these profound political and philosophical issues, many artists focus on our city as a crucible of activity, point in a global network, or documentary subject. Some celebrate the resilience of long-time residents, recent immigrants, and artists—many of whom combine these identities in various ways. Other artists reach back and forward in time, place, and space, touching on broader questions of possession and use of land, ideas of hospitality, self-reliance and debt, helping connect the show overall to systemic inequities painfully exacerbated today.

Heather Hart, *Oracle of the Twelve Tenses*, 2020.
Heather Hart, interior view, *Oracle of the Twelve Tenses*, 2020.
Introduction for *After the Plaster Foundation, or, “Where can we live?”,* Queens Museum (September 16, 2020–January 17, 2021).
Jack Smith, envelope prop addressed to The Lobster, n.d.; flier for *Horror of the Rented World* at the Collective for Living Cinema, October 31–November 2, 1975; and flier for *The Secret of Rented Island* at the Collation Center, October 31, 1976.
Foreground: Shawn Maximo, *Pyre*, 2020. Background: Heather Hart, *Oracle of the Twelve Tenses*, 2020.
Shawn Maximo, *Pyre*, 2020.
Ilana Harris-Babou, detail, *Fine Lines*, 2020.
Ilana Harris-Babou, *Fine Lines*, 2020.
Sondra Perry, *Eclogue for [in]HABITABILITY*, 2017–20.
Foreground: Sondra Perry, detail, *Eclogue for [in]HABITABILITY*, 2017–20. Background: Douglas Ross, detail,*abstraxi*, 2014/2020.
Douglas Ross, *abstraxi*, 2014/2020.
Douglas Ross, detail, *abstraxi*, 2014/2020.
Left: Krzysztof Wodiczko. Center: Peter Scott. Right: Douglas Ross.
Peter Scott, *Untitled (Highline)*, 2016, and *Untitled (The Golden Years are Over)*, 2019.
Foreground: Krzysztof Wodiczko, *Poliscar*, 1991/2017. Background, at left:  *Drawings for Poliscar*, 1991. Background, at right: *Poliscar in New York*, 1991/2017 and  *Poliscar in New York*, 1991.
Krzysztof Wodiczko, *Drawings for Poliscar*, 1991.
Simon Leung, *POE*, 2007/2010/2020.
Simon Leung, detail, *POE*, 2007/2010/2020.
Jennifer Bolande, works from the series *Globe Sightings*, 2000–01. Center: Jennifer Bolande,*Topology House*, 2002.
Jennifer Bolande, Globe Sightings: West 37th Street, NYC*, 2000, and *Globe Sightings: Ste. Catherine Street, Montreal*, 2000.
Simon Leung, *WAW*, 2020.
Simon Leung, *War After War*, 2011.
Caroline Woolard, *Studio/Home*, 2014 (reconstructed 2020).
Betty Yu, detail, *Resistance in Progress,* 2020.
Caroline Woolard, detail, *Studio/Home*, 2014 (reconstructed 2020).\n\n
Betty Yu, detail, *Resistance in Progress,* 2020.
Peter Scott, detail, *Arcadias*, 2020.   \n
Peter Scott, *Arcadias*, 2020.
 

Exhibition photography by Hai Zhang.

 

After the Plaster Foundation, or, “Where can we live?” is an exhibition of twelve artists and artist groups with roots in New York City asking critical questions about home and property, and who has access to these things under capitalism.

Originally scheduled for April 5–August 16, 2020, the show finally opened September 16, 2020. Please introduce yourself to the participating artists and a Bibliography of suggested readings that reveal the passions and research behind it all. Scroll down for installation shots of the exhibition.

“Where can we live?” is a question that features in all our lives, but is experienced unevenly. In 1972, underground performance legend Jack Smith was evicted from his home, a Soho loft he called “The Plaster Foundation.” In the years that followed, New York’s economy shifted decisively from manufacturing to finance and real estate, and a new era of “predatory inclusion” that further undermined urban Black communities got underway in cities across the U.S. Pointing to documented histories of racial exclusion as well as the contradictions of the enduring myth of artistic bohemia, the works in the exhibition—whether satirical, speculative or grounded in the work of organizing—suggest ways of resisting the reach of capital into our homes, and innermost lives.

To engage audiences with these profound political and philosophical issues, many artists focus on our city as a crucible of activity, point in a global network, or documentary subject. Some celebrate the resilience of long-time residents, recent immigrants, and artists—many of whom combine these identities in various ways. Other artists reach back and forward in time, place, and space, touching on broader questions of possession and use of land, ideas of hospitality, self-reliance and debt, helping connect the show overall to systemic inequities painfully exacerbated today.

 

Exhibition photography by Hai Zhang.