List Projects: Rose Salane

Installation view of a book shelf with beige shelves and books on their sides by Rose Salane.

Installation view: List Projects: Rose Salane at MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, MA, 2019. © Charles Mayer Photography

Bakalar Gallery
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Rose Salane
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Rose Salane (b. 1992, United States; lives and works in New York) studies significant social and cultural moments, uncovering and magnifying intimate, personal stories that are often lost in the larger historical narrative.

For her first institutional solo exhibition, Salane continues a line of inquiry into New York’s former World Trade Center that chronicles the building as a hub of social activity, a community of workers, and a prism through which to view broader culture.

 List Projects: Rose Salane features a series of framed works and a large-scale sculpture that engage the lost collection of the Port Authority Library of New York & New Jersey. Once located on the 55th floor of the former World Trade Center, the transit library was shuttered as a result of budget cuts in 1995. In April of 2001, a record of its inventory was copied onto six floppy disks and sent to six different libraries in New York and New Jersey in the hopes of preserving the collection. In preparation for their distribution, the library’s holdings were stored in sub-basement level 4 of Tower 1 and were destroyed in the September 11 attacks.

 In 2018, Salane became acquainted with Carol Paszamant, a former librarian who received one of the original floppy disks. Paszamant shared the archive in its entirety with the artist and has provided much insight into the Port Authority meetings that determined its fate. In this exhibition, Salane incorporates publications pulled from the inventory of over 23,000 items, her selections pointing to the ethos of a unique junction in history between the Cold War period and the onset of the information age. In doing so, Salane frames a conversation around the relationship between the past and an unsettling future, the shelf life of technology and assumed stability of the archive, and how memory functions within and beyond institutional systems.

List Projects: Rose Salane is organized by Yuri Stone, Assistant Curator, MIT List Visual Arts Center.


Exhibitions at the List Center are made possible with the support of Fotene Demoulas & Tom Coté, Audrey & James Foster, Idee German-Schoenheimer, Joyce Linde, Jane & Neil Pappalardo, Cynthia & John Reed, and Terry & Rick Stone. In-kind media sponsorship provided by 90.9 WBUR. Additional funding for List Projects was  provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. List Projects: Rose Salane is also supported, in part, by a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant.

General operating support is provided by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; the Council for the Arts at MIT; Philip S. Khoury, Associate Provost at MIT; the MIT School of Architecture + Planning; the Mass Cultural Council; and many generous individual donors. The Advisory Committee Members of the List Visual Arts Center are gratefully acknowledged.