“MY COUNTRY,” Nona Faustine’s 2016–17 solo exhibition at the small Chinatown gallery Baxter Street at the Camera Club of New York, enjoyed a special, terrible relevance, when, in that postelection, preinauguration hell, sunnier shows hardly registered. For a new series of untitled photographs exhibited there, Faustine shot monuments such as the Statue of Liberty and the Lincoln Memorial through railings or fences, partially obscuring them with dark, blurred bars. The images speak to a history marred by exclusion, imprisonment, and violence, especially when hung alongside her performance-based series “White Shoes,” 2012–, in which she appears at public sites whose connections to slavery are continually obfuscated. In Over My Dead Body, 2013, we see her from the back. Wearing nothing but white pumps and holding a shackle in one hand, she mounts the steps of the Tweed Courthouse in Manhattan, a storied edifice that overlooks the graves of the adjacent African Burial Ground, where both enslaved and free black people were interred in the eighteenth century. Faustine appears as a time traveler, an indictment, a raced and sexed body exposing a fundamental truth about our country and its vaunted landmarks. ARTFORUM.
November 2, 2017 – December 16, 2017
“There’s this common assumption that aesthetics or beauty are a cover-up for a disturbing reality. That’s why sometimes we struggle with theseduction of video, of moving image, of shiny materials. But it’s not just escapism to have beautiful ephemeral experiences. It’s knowing that this is what we need to make in this present reality. We need to feel those moments of connection. And maybe that’s what the work is about, so it’s not just feminine and pretty.” Painting Is Dead.
August 17, 2017 – September 8, 2017
Qian Zhao photographs odd bits of city and suburban life, focusing on the blurred lines between real and fictional landscape. He writes in a statement, “These images ask viewers to look again, to step closer, to investigate what mightbe there in that other dimension.” Working with his own body, Keith O. Anderson references African traditions of body painting, placing felt pads usually used under furniture on his bare skin, and documenting the “performance-like ritual” he enacts. Repurposing pads that are designed to prevent marks and scratches on the floor “enables me to conceptually transfer this idea in application to my bare skin,” Anderson writes in a statement. Res presents images of family and the transformations that come with age. Res’s father worked in construction and his identity was liked to a macho version of masculinity. As his physical strength has diminished with time, Res’s father “is now in search of a new identity—I am not sure if he will find one,” Res writes. Res’s mother worked for Donald Trump in the 1990s and managed the construction of Trump Tower; she now speaks out against him. Res writes, the stories we construct about identity “can empower us, and they can trap us, and over time they expire, and then what do we do? We try to make new ones.” PDN Photo of the Day.
June 16, 2017 – June 18, 2017
The fair’s curators, Elliott Jerome Brown Jr. and Devin N. Morris, have given it a cryptic if intriguing title: “Rock Paper Scissors and a Three-Armed Shovel.” Brown Jr. explains, “The fair’s title alone references rudimentary tools used for making —the paper and scissor being more comprehensive, traditional tools in this sense, and the rock being a symbol for a breakthrough, ingenuity, or disruption.” The second half of the title honors James “Son Ford” Thomas and his one-armed stepfather, who helped the artist dig graves to financially support his family and art. “Ultimately, we were interested in works that operate as an extension of living,” Brown Jr. says. Hyperallergic.
Entitled Rock Paper Scissors and a Three-Armed Shovel, The Baxter Street Zine Fair will hold its seventh edition at the New York Camera Club on Baxter Street. The opening takes place tomorrow, Friday 16 June until 18 June. Designed and curated by Eliott Jerome Brown and Devin N. Morris, this fair is devoted entirely to self-published photographic books.
This year, the fair seeks to expose the social, individual and community context of works combining photographs and images. With this in mind, the Free Black Women’s Library will present a selection of texts by black-American writers, while Kalen Na’il Roach and Kearrea Amaya Gopee will respectively show an installation playing on the stand concept and a window vinyles.
Among the publishing houses exhibited, the fair retains BlkGrlsWurld Zine, Open Projects Press, Papersafe, RafiaSantana, Endless Editions or Laurent Chevalier. L’oeil de la Photographie.
Deep Shade, Lisa Fairstein
May 4, 2017 – June 3, 2017
In her new photography exhibition “Deep Shade,” on view at Baxter Street at the Camera Club of New York, artist Lisa Fairstein examines the digital imagery we see on Instagram and Tumblr. She drew inspiration from photos stored on her own phone and online to restage the scenes as formal shoots: Models taking a mirror selfies, a pool of yellow paintdripping onto the asphalt, and shadows moving through pink curtains in a luminous window. New York Magazine’s The Cut.
The exhibition currently on view at Baxter Street at the Camera Club of New York (CCNY), titled “Deep Shade,” is the result of what happens when you take images made for fast consumption (think speeding by a roadside billboard or flipping through instagram) and remake them within the conventions of more considered viewing. The work, by photographer Lisa Fairstein, is the culmination of her three-month residency with Baxter Street at CCNY, an institution that she says, “does an incredible job supporting lens-based artists” through their financially supported residency program that offers space, material, and facility access to the International Center of Photography labs to four photographers annually. Coming off back-to-back residencies — first at Pioneer Works and then Baxter St — Fairstein is now looking forward to retreating to her own space for a while, playing with the ideas that her time at Baxter Street brought forth. She spoke to Artinfo about this new body of work, and ways of looking — fast and slow. Blouinartinfo.
February 23, 2017 – March 25, 2017
Scozzaro’s Digital Deli emboldens an environment of jovial incandescence. Seemingly straightforward formats open a circus of intent and layering. By his own admission Scozzaro professes that the images are, “Something you can recognize but become something else because of form.” Ambient elements innovate materials and realities inside the worlds he feeds. Desires and creations, communicators articulated in robust constructions. Atmospheric jungles in space and leeway, colors playful as they are distinct and particular. Identities of photography utilize ways in which values are personal reflections. Epiphany, epoch, echo enticing elements that allow for contemplative insecurities. The photography here is vast in distinction. L’oeil De La Photographie.
Formerly trained as a fashion photographer, the artist works with film photography and then digitally manipulates it to create surreal and strange visual landscape. In an interview with Qiana Mestrich the artist noted that his “work is an exploration of the current visual vernacular and I wanted to take different elements from the visual landscape and digest and work with them to create multilayered photographs and sculptures.” Scozzaro just celebrated his first solo exhibition, “Digital Deli,” at Baxter St, in New York earlier this year. Artnet News.
Oakland-based artist Sadie Barnette’s work explores the covert government tactics used to “neutralize” the Black Panther Party, and offers up a very personal father-daughter conversation. Two years after spending time in the Studio Museum’s artist residency program in Harlem, Barnette has now returned to New York with her installation Do Not Destroy. The exhibition is an extension of her current work showing in the Oakland Museum exhibition All Power to the People: Black Panthers at 50. It features the 500-page FBI surveillance file on Sadie’s father, Rodney Barnette, who founded the Compton chapter of the Panthers. In Sadie’s first solo New York show, she breaks up the severity of these documents with unabashed “girldom.” Pink spray paint, glitter, and other girlish details juxtapose officious markings and eerie intelligence notes. i-D.
The exhibit has been cathartic for both her and her father. “I think he feels a new sense of freedom by exposing these files that were meant to suppress him,” she said. “While we’re celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Black Panthers, I think it’s really important to remember that there are a lot of people who are still imprisoned because of their activism. It’s always important to question the government, because the government works for the people — not the other way around.” NY Magazine’s The Cut.
“We requested recently his FBI file through the Freedom of Information Act,” Sadie tells me. Her show, her first solo in New York, coincides with commemorative events to honor the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Black Panther Party. “It took four years to get the files, and now I’m reclaiming them, and repurposing them, to tell my dad’s story, and to tell the story of the government surveillance, and how they really dismantled the Black Panther Party.” Artsy.
December 8, 2016 – January 14, 2017
Faustine’s photos serve to mark the places that belong to a history too often hidden from view, whether by design, or neglect, or the ever-frenetic pace of change inherent to life in New York. In one, she stands in the bright sunlight at what looks to be an unremarkable M.T.A. bus depot in Harlem. Only the picture’s title, “Negro Burial Ground,” hints at the whole truth of the depot’s past. In another, she holds a placard printed with Sojourner Truth’s famous refrain, “Ar’n’t I a Woman,” on a narrow stretch of Canal Street. There’s no plaque to mark the spot where Truth used to live, at number seventy-four. In her most recent set of pictures, Faustine approaches American history from the opposite angle, photographing iconic national monuments like the Statue of Liberty and the Lincoln Memorial. The images are gorgeous, postcard-perfect, save for the black bars that partially obscure the frame. The New Yorker
A society immortalizes its history, achievements, and people by erecting monuments. In the United States, the Statue of Liberty, the National Air and Space Museum, and the statues dedicated to great men and the wars they fought—George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King, Jr.—all stand for freedom. In a new solo exhibition of performance and photography titled My Country, the artist Nona Faustine turns her own body into a monument to be examined in relationship to America’s celebrated and memorialized triumphs. The Curator’s Project
When she peered through her camera’s lens, Faustine was taken aback by a thick, black streak bifurcating the frame. A bar on the ferry’s window cut through her view, obstructing the scenery and overlaying the iconic American symbol with a dark stain. The artist was convinced its imposition wasn’t wholly accidental. The Huffinton Post
In early December, on a marrow-chilling Friday morning, I was on the phone with the thirty something photographer Nona Faustine when my mind began to deviate somewhere else entirely. Midway through our conversation, I’d asked Faustine to characterize the position of the contemporary black woman in America. “Where does she sit in history?” I asked. What followed was a response so exceptional, a sentiment so achingly true and familiar, it never ceases to shock. I instantly began to think of the black women who orbit my life. “It’s been such a sad journey,” she said, “I’m very proud of us because we’re survivors and we’re achievers. I don’t think that the landscape of America would look the way it does without black women in it.” Fader
November 2 – December 3, 2016
Ivy Nicholson has been on the cover of ‘Vogue,’ starred in Andy Warhol’s Factory films, had her portrait painted by Salvador Dalí, and lived on the streets of Los Angeles. Photographer Conrad Ventur celebrates her stranger-than-fiction life with ‘Ivy,’ a new exhibition of images. i-d.vice.com
For Warhol’s aging Superstars, underground-legend status doesn’t pay the bills. Ivy Nicholson—the gorgeous, angular, eccentric Brooklyn-born fashion model and actress of the 1950s who became a Factory regular in the ’60s—has spent her golden years in poverty. Conrad Ventur’s seductive and unsettling color photographs (all works cited, 2010–14) show her still glamorous, with winged black eyeliner and a henna-red fringed hairstyle, uncannily photogenic even in difficult circumstances. ArtForum’s Critics’ Pick
Lico invited five artists,Ofri Cnaani, Eric Corriel, Zachary Fabri, Mario Navarro, and Igor Revelis, from disparate backgrounds to examine their relationships both experienced and witnessed, to their political communities. By bringing together these voices, Lico aims to provoke a larger conversation about the social engineering of inequity. Each artist’s work reveals these charged relationships as either indiscreet or discreet, but in all scenarios, ever present. Musée Art Out
August 17 – September 3, 2016
Of the three artists selected by this year’s juror, Mickalene Thomas, Marc Ohrem-Leclef makes the strongest impression, with photographs and a video about residents of fourteen favelas in Rio de Janeiro who were displaced by the Olympic Games. (In lieu of Olympic torches, they hold emergency flares.) Travis Brown’s photographs of West Tennessee—portraits, still-lifes, a vine-strangled landscape—owe a debt to Alec Soth’s similarly scattered and soulful takes on rural America. Danielle Eliska Lyle’s portraits of actresses are stylish but not as trenchant as her video of the same subjects, in which the women riff on insecurity, sexism, and the importance of being true to yourself in a sometimes hostile world. The New Yorker Goings On About Town
Founded in 1884, the Camera Club of New York (CCNY) is one of the oldest arts institutions in the city, and in the past couple of years it is enjoying a kind of revival under a new name,BAXTER ST at CCNY. The organization’s new leadership has transformed this once staid group it into a 21st-century arts organization. Hyperallergic Articles
June 11 – June 12, 2016
Every year, BAXTER ST at CCNY hosts a zine and self-published book fair that give artists an opportunity to showcase work that doesn’t usually get much in the way of distribution. It’s a unique opportunity to flip through products that challenge and push the boundaries of traditional book-making. This year the fair is curated by artist Anouk Kruithof and will include special installations by Bob Civil, Curtis Hamilton, Devin Morris, and Peter Puklus. I got a chance to speak to Baxter St at CNNY Executive Director Libby Pratt and Board Director Michi Jigarjian as well as select curator, Anouk, about what to expect this weekend. Vice Media
Robert Marshall photographs the world seen in passing, through car and train windows. Employing latex ink, he transfers these fugitive images – often desolate, post-industrial city and suburbscapes – onto silver vinyl. The resulting images, functioning both as windows and mirrors, become zones of luminous ambiguity. As the viewer moves a few inches in any direction, what she sees changes. Small shifts of light as well as the changing gallery environment become part of the picture. Marshall views perception as relational; his evanescent images, in which actual and depicted light intermingle, enact this proposition. Musée Art Out
Starting with a new name, Baxter Street at Camera Club of New York, CCNY emphasizes its downtown location, to underscore its commitment to fostering emerging contemporary lens-based artists and bringing their work to the attention to devotees of photography. Its new headquarters, located on a residential street just north of Chinatown and close to Lower East Side galleries, is designed to support artists at work, through exhibitions, workspace residencies, visiting artist lectures and discussions. Dart
In her exhibition N O K – Next Of Kin, Abergil examines the ways in which American families memorialize their relatives killed in military conflict. Abergil traveled throughout the U.S. to meet with relatives of fallen soldiers and military personnel and to document their methods of coping with loss through the preservation of personal effects. Her ongoing interest in the representation of war has led her to look beyond the phenomenon of large public monuments and to focus instead on the personal altars and private displays of mementos maintained by families. Small, private monuments exist in garages, basements, attics and storage lockers across the United States. Musée Art Out
The objects in Inbal Abergil’s photographs can be seen as the inverse of the kind of massive monuments that fillparks and publicly memorialize those killed in war. Her subjects are personal mementos, made from ephemeral materials like cloth and paper rather than bronze and stone—a scrap of newspaper, a stuffed animal, a stack of cards and photographs. But the modest size of these objects belies their evocative power for those who treasure them, and by extension for us. PDN Photo Of The Day
January 21 – February 20, 2016
Nica Ross uses photography, performance, installation and video, drawing upon tropes of gaming and game design, creating her first playable card game. noo reality ? a gayme, engages active, group participation. Composed of 140 gaming cards including photography and text, a system of symbols is used to match cards together, creating photographic narratives and fostering collaborative storytelling through game play. Musée Art Out
December 10, 2015 – January 16, 2016
In Tear Sheets, Silano creates composite images that appropriate gay iconography from 1970s and 80s porn magazines such as Blueboy, Torso and Honcho in order to negotiate his own identity and formative experiences as impacted by the AIDS crisis. The images that filled the glossy pages of these magazines once accompanied articles on blithe topics – fashion, popular culture, sex and cruising – intertwined with heavier issues such as gay rights, political activism and HIV/AIDS. Musée Art Out
In the 1970s and ’80s, the Pictures artists reworked Marlboro ads, Hollywood-film motifs, Walker Evansphotographs, and the front page of the New York Times. Their focus was the stuff of mass media, the images that couldn’t not be seen. This was pre-Internet—remember?—and their materials’ natural habitats, among others, were magazines and newspapers, printed cheaply and consumed by everyone. ArtForum’s Critics’ Pick
Pacifico Silano is a BAXTER ST 2015 Workspace Resident. His new body of work, Tear Sheets – currently on view atBAXTER ST Camera Club of New York – pushes conversations that, as he puts it, “are my history.” The images in his new body of work deal with issues of gender, identity, HIV/AIDS awareness, abstraction and photography. Silano is a photographer of photographs; a historian in many senses, and his work challenges the stigma of both the camera and HIV/AIDS. aCurator Magazine
October 27th – December 4th, 2015
Since 1970, Mexican photographer José Luis Venegas has devoted himself to memorialising family history and capturing rites of passage on film. This picture, taken at a wedding reception, shows the Jimenez and Perez men raising a glass to celebrate their relatives’ union in matrimony. Venegas’s photographs of society weddings were notable for combining colour shots from parties and those from his studio in single albums. Financial Times