Source Materials
Opening: Wednesday, December 7, 2022, 5–7 pm
Exhibition runtime: December 8, 2022–January 15, 2023, Monday–Sunday, 12–20 h

Wall map and captions

At Tiny Mutual Admiration Societies Lucie Pia presents a selection of books, documents, and works on paper that focus on the discursive aspects of Cameron Rowland’s artistic practice. Rowland’s exhibitions confront the viewer with juridical foundations and material manifestations of racial capitalism (as coined by, among others, Cedric Robinson) and their genealogy since the slave economy. They are centered around historical structures of disenfranchisement and dispossession and their contemporary appearances with a focus primarily on racially conditioned law enforcement in the United States.

Working in the tradition of institutional critique, Rowland however shifts the attention from typical concerns of Conceptual art towards concerns of Critical Race Studies. For example, operational structures of the art field and racial capitalism are adapted to analyze and detour legal structures of expropriation and privatization. On the one hand the status of the work of art—its commodity form, as private property, or the possibility of making it the subject of a legal contract—is used to reflect on the abstraction and nominal power of law and its protective mechanisms legalizing racial inequality. On the other hand, to exemplify various forms of resistance that work antagonistically to the legal-economic regime of property. Within the art market Rowland is resisting conventional practices by not only selling but sometimes exclusively renting the works – with the rental contracts they “attempt to use the exchange of the artwork to produce meaning, like another material.”[1]

Since the discursive approach is an essential part of Rowland's work, they is also concerned with other forms of dissemination of their work and its documentation. Their exhibitions are based on extensive research and always accompanied by multipage pamphlets written by the artist including footnotes and elaborate captions for each work. As a component of the works, all text elements contained in the pamphlets serve as an introduction to the respective themes of an exhibition or the specific contextualizations of individual works. When reproductions of the works are published in magazines or online, they are always accompanied by these captions.

Displayed at Tiny Mutual Admiration Societies is a selection of source materials: printed matter, referenced or generated by Rowland through different forms of disseminating their work and based on collaborations with others. The selected material serves as an exploration of how theories of Black Study are applied and materialized in Rowlands artistic practice.

Following the title “source materials”, additional literature and links will be accessible online. All reference books will subsequently be available at the university library.

With many thanks to Cameron Rowland, Maxwell Graham, Brendan Stephan, Daniel Herleth, Stefanie Kitzberger, Jenni Tischer and Hannes Loichinger as well as Demian Kern, the Vienna Printing Cooperative, and the staff of the University Library and Collection and Archive.

Text: Lucie Pia

“Source Materials” is a satellite of the group exhibition “Backyard Economy” (November 5–December 23, 2022) at the University Gallery, Sala Terrena, Heiligenkreuzerhof, EG, Stiege 7, Schönlaterngasse 5, 1010 Wien. More information: click here
By invitation of Stefanie Kitzberger and Jenni Tischer

[1] Cameron Rowland in Richard Birkett with Cameron Rowland, “Rotate the Pass-Thru,” Parse Journal, no. 2 (Autumn 2015): 55–70, here 66.

Photo: Demian Kern