Filling a Void

I got to Bullet Space just as the door opened for the closing reception of Land Valuations, an exhibition about the ever-growing archive of New York’s housing crisis. Organizer Ali Jaffery was still busy setting up the projector for the two work-in-progress films to be screened. I turned my attention to the displays, pausing to read Matthew Lee’s reportage in the Inner City Press about a 1990 mass police raid to evict people living in a long-abandoned building in the South Bronx and skim through flyers made by the artist Seth Tobocman that depicted Bedouin people refusing to leave their land in Negev even in the face of settler colonialism.

The room quickly filled up, and the lights went out. In Lucas Kane’s Jacob’s House (2024), the eponymous tenant of a Clinton Hills apartment is harassed by the building’s new owner, who hopes to evict him through a war of attrition. Heating and power to the unit are cut, a collapsed ceiling is left unaddressed. As the situation deteriorates, Jacob, a Rastafarian painter, takes to spiritual practices such as rubbing limes around t…

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