259 West 39th Street, fabric, grommets, nylon filament, 2011

The Negative Space of Capitalism – Remnants 259 West 39th Street

Brenda Goldstein

A Space Windows

April 12 – May 26, 2012

In her new series Negative Space Of Capitalism, Goldstein is examining the mechanisms of late-stage capitalism, rendering visible the excess and waste that are not accounted for, yet make up the "the rest of the picture" of capital’s material manifestation. Material realities not accounted for in public consciousness, but certainly accounted for on balance sheets include the phenomena of cheap labour, undocumented workers, and precarious job security.

Fabric for these sculptures comes from the Fashion District of New York City, and is the negative space of the fashion industry. This fabric is cut by hand, by workers who are at worst, illegal, undocumented, and at best, underpaid and overworked. Goldstein collected this fabric from shop floors and dumpsters and has added an element of her own labour to these remnants through the repetitive and intensive grommeting of each piece of fabric. These sculptures are like the industry they come from: they have a campy affective quality, they are fashionable and sleek, but most of all their seductive qualities hide the dark reality of their creation.


Brenda Goldstein is a Toronto born artist currently residing in New York where she is an MFA candidate at Parsons the New School. Her new work is sculptural, investigating the point at which materiality enters into the workings of human will, intelligence, reason and desire and thus our political and economic realities. Her short films, videos and installations have been exhibited in Canada, USA, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Germany.