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Place is the Space

Crystal Campell, Kerry Downey and Birgit Rathsmann

March 20 – April 4, 2021 

Always Fresh 127 Stanton St, New York, NY 10002

Place is the Space with Crystal Campell, Kerry Downey and Birgit Rathsmann, an exhibition about rebuilding, erasure and endurance organized by Parmer at a new art space, Always Fresh, a former pizza place at 127 Stanton (southeast corner of Essex) on the Lower East Side.

With 35mm film salvaged from a now demolished black civil rights theater in Brooklyn, Crystal Campbell's Go-Rilla Means War (2017) is a filmic relic of gentrification–––a parable weaving intersections of development, cultural preservation, and erasure. Stills from the film and words from the audio track are printed on vinyl on the front door of the exhibition.

Kerry Downey's Face Value (2021) is made up of a series of 33 mixed media drawings on paper plates. Some are layered onto one another, some are plates in parts. All the plates are masks, faces. The plates on view change each day and visitors to the show are invited to take one.

Castillo De Esperanza (2019-2020) is a series of drawings Birgit Rathsmann made that hold together experiences and reflections from the past year with their time spent in the landscape surrounding the Malpaso Reservoir in western Chiapas- a historic river valley in Chiapas, Mexico that’s now submerged beneath the waters of a reservoir behind a dam, the works reflect the historical layers of violence foisted onto this landscape as a consequence of colonialism, religion, and “progress” and some ways that they resonate beyond this landscape.


Crystal Z Campbell is a writer, multidisciplinary artist, and experimental filmmaker of African American, Filipino, and Chinese descents who hails from Oklahoma. Campbell’s hybrid essays and poems have been published in Hyperallergic, GARAGE, Monday Journal, and World Literature Today. Campbell is currently a Harvard Radcliffe Film Study Center & David and Roberta Logie Fellow (2020-2021).

Kerry Downey (b.1979, Ft. Lauderdale) is an interdisciplinary artist and educator based in New York. Downey’s work explores relationality through the many ways we inhabit our bodies and access forms of power. Downey’s practice includes video, printmaking, painting, drawing, writing, and performance. They’ve recently had solo shows at Bureau of General Services--Queer Division in New York and CAVE in Detroit. Their first major publication, We collect together in a net, was published by Wendy’s Subway in 2019. Downey holds a BA from Bard College and an MFA from Hunter College.

Birgit Rathsmann is an artist and animator. They created an exhibition from 22 artist responses to the 1977 jail death of the Baader Meinhof Group at a Chelsea Gallery. They organized a video screening at a television and electronics store in Greenpoint. “Malpaso”, an exhibition they created with Alejandro Almaza Pereda and Rick Karr investigates a submerged church in Chiapas, Mexico and was at The Clemente on New York’s Lower East Side. They created and directed animations in collaboration with a number of comedians including Lorelei Ramirez, Mary Houlihan, Tim Platt and Ikechukwu Ufomado. They directed a documentary film about women martial arts heroes and directors in films from Hong Kong. They grew up in Germany and Indonesia.

Always Fresh is an art space in a former Lower East Side pizza place that is exploring, exposing and exploiting misaligned expectations. Sun 1-4 Wed 2-7 & by appt.