Adverse Possessions
2022 - ongoing
Removed property plaques

The legal concept of “adverse possession” has origins in English common law of the Middle Ages and remains part of property law in the United States today. Known as “squatter’s rights,” adverse possession allows someone to gain legal title to land if they have demonstrated continuous occupation of that land for a set period of time—in New York State, ten years. This occupation must meet specific criteria, including that it is “hostile” (against the permission of the owner) and “open and notorious” (commonly known to the owner and others).

Many owners of buildings with seemingly public but privately owned spaces—such as sidewalks and plazas—install metal plaques that mark the edge of their property line. By visually declaring their ownership, they grant tacit permission to anyone who crosses their property line, thereby negating potential claims of adverse possession. The plaques in this work were used by buildings in the Financial District and Midtown Manhattan to protect against adverse possession.- Life Between Buildings exhibition text 

Adverse Possessions, 2022 - ongoing. Installation view at MoMA PS1