Cameron Rowland

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Cameron Rowland

The MMK Frankfurt is the first major institution in Germany to stage a solo exhibition of the American artist Cameron Rowland (* 1988), whose works and installations address the economic and legal legacy of slavery. The MMK plans to particularly emphasise the role Germans played in the transatlantic slave trade.

Rowland’s work directs attention to the historical ballast tied to ordinary objects of daily life. For example, pearls or brass bracelets, called “manillas”, scattered upon the ground could symbolise the exploitation that occurred during the times of the slave trade. Researchers have discovered that up to a third of all slaves “purchased” in Africa were exchanged for mere trinkets such as pearls and manillas. Rowland also refers to the complex repercussions of slavery in the organisation of his exhibitions. For instance, many of his works are labelled “For rent at cost”. These objects, e.g. used hedge trimmers or a baby carriage, are rented by the exhibitor and originate from police auctions which, legally speaking, evolved from the tradition of 17th-century slave auctions. Based on the concept of reparations, Rowland will issue the MMK a bonded loan for the upcoming exhibition, with which the debt (and guilt) of the institution cannot be repaid but will only increase conceptually and legally over time.

Artistic director: Susanne Pfeffer
Artist: Cameron Rowland

Exhibition: MUSEUM MMK FÜR MODERNE KUNST, Frankfurt am Main: 11 Feb. – 10 Sep. 2023


Museum für Moderne Kunst (MMK)

Domstraße 10
60311 Frankfurt am Main
T +49 69  21230447
F +49 69 212 37882
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