Just Cause : Bad Faith - Art Workers' Activism and Organizing in NYC and Beyond *


December 3 – December 31, 2015


Art Handlers Alliance of New York and Interference Archive are delighted to present an exhibition of ephemera, articles, and artworks that collectively address a history of cultural workers’ organizing efforts and demonstrations as well as the recent investigations and concerns of artists and individuals working within the culture industry.

In looking at a history of cultural workers’ movements, AHA and IA are less focused on creating a tally of victories and losses, but more concerned with establishing a ‘how-to’ for present day cultural workers. The majority of artists do not have self-sustaining practices and must find alternative means to support themselves and their art. And despite a history of poor labor practices, many artists seek employment within the culture industry. The proximity to art, flexible scheduling, opportunities for behind-the-scenes experiences, and networking compliment their skills and education while supplementing their practices.

However, with these attractions comes an equal opportunity for exploitation through underpayment, discrimination, lack of transparency, and instability. The point at which these concerns outweigh the benefits is the point at which individuals find themselves acting as a collective to protect themselves and their livelihood. Rather than focusing on the accomplishments of specific organizers or artists, we have chosen to emphasize the moments when collective action has been taken, and when artists have recognized their jobs as not just a way of supporting their art practices, but as a subject to be critically examined and possibly improved by their art.


* Co-curated with Art Handlers Alliance of New York and Interference Archive





Press Release

Complete List of Exhibited Works

Timeline of Art Workers' Activism (Incomplete)

Podcast: Employees of Terry Dowd, Inc. Chicago, IL discuss unionizing their workplace



Installation View 1 of 3. Interference Archive. Brooklyn, New York


















Art Front Magazine. 1934-1937



W.A.G.E. Survey Poster. 2012



Custom Moving Blanket Jacket. 2013. Clynton Lowry

Art Handler Magazine Pre-Issue. 2015

New York City Freelance Art Handlers Calendar. 2014


Sotheby's Lockout Materials and Videos. 2011-2012


‘The Equality Rule’. 2015. Neal Vandenbergh


Job Titles by Rank and Alphabetical Order. Version 2. 2015

Jo-Anne Balcaen


Art Handlers Alliance of New York Bill of Rights. 2015


Documents of Resistance: Timelines [1960-69 & 1970-79] Artist of Color Protest Series. 2015. Antonio Serna