Organized by Martha Rosler over the course of several months in 1989, If You Lived Here . . . responds to the political and economic issues of urban housing, gentrification, and houselessness in New York City, with attention to the ways in which local art networks contribute to these problems. The artist devised three installations at 77 Wooster Street and four public discussions staged as town meetings at 155 Mercer Street. If You Lived Here . . . is a continuation of the yearlong Town Meeting project sponsored by Dia Art Foundation, the first half of which, Democracy, was organized by Group Material for fall 1988.
The Town Meeting project is supported in part with public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, Washington, DC, and the New York State Council on the Arts.
77 Wooster Street, New York, New York
Home Front, February 11–March 18, 1989
Homeless: The Street and Other Venues, April 1–29, 1989
City: Visions and Revisions, May 13–June 17, 1989
The first installation in Rosler’s If You Lived Here . . . project, Home Front, focuses on housing policies, gentrification, and displacement, as well as struggles for tenants’ rights. Featuring two video viewing areas and a reading room, the installation incorporates the work of artists and community groups that take a critical look, across various media, at matters of home and neighborhood. In the second, Homeless: The Street and Other Venues, Rosler includes works by houseless artists and information on houseless advocacy groups, challenging the boundaries of institutional inclusion. Intended to foster an understanding of the causes and conditions of, and remedies for houselessness, the installation also presents projects by the Madhousers and Homeward Bound Community Services, which offer immediately useful services and housing solutions. City: Visions and Revisions, the final installation, is a prompt to re-envision the city’s housing inequities through city planning alternatives and features a video program and slide presentation with proposals by architects and planning groups.
155 Mercer Street, New York, New York
“Housing: Gentrification, Dislocation, and Fighting Back,” February 29, 1989
“Artists’ Life/Work: Housing and Community for Artists,” March 14, 1989
“Homelessness: Conditions, Causes, Cures,” April 26, 1989
“Planning: Power, Politics, People,” May 16, 1989
Martha Rosler was born in New York City in 1943, where she currently lives and works.
If You Lived Here . . . The City in Art, Theory, and Social Activism: A Project by Martha Rosler (Discussions in Contemporary Culture #6)
This book documents the crisis in American urban housing politics and portrays how artists within neighborhood organizations have fought against shortsighted housing politics and real estate speculation.