Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s

Feb 11Jun 3, 2012

In Found Dope: Part II Candy Jernigan constructed a grid—one of the crucial compositional devices of twentieth-century art—using 308 crack cocaine vials, which the artist found near her apartment in Lower Manhattan. Presented in the matter-of-fact spirit of objective reporting, Jernigan’s urban archive reveals a collector’s impulse to gather, organize, and preserve the discarded fragments of everyday existence. Offering physical evidence of New York’s crack epidemic, Jernigan also sought to address the impact of gentrification on the changing demographics of New York City. The grid comically repeats in the drawing Ten Cans of Beans, an oblique reference to the historically working-class Latino neighborhoods of the Lower East Side, which were rapidly changing due to the influx of young artists and new galleries during the 1980s.