Join us tomorrow for the opening of Ivan Forde’s solo exhibition entitled ‘Dense Lightness’, organized by curator Anna Harsanyi! The opening reception is from 6 – 8pm and the show runs through December 15th, 2018. The exhibition will also include a performance on Thursday, November 29th at 7pm. We hope to see you there! Image: ‘Remember our Arrival’, 2017 by Ivan Forde. @workdaily @anna1harsanyi #baxterstccny
Apply now for our Baxter St at CCNY 2019 Workspace Residency! Each year, we invite emerging lens-based artists living in New York City to apply for the Baxter St at CCNY Workspace Residency Program. This residency offers lens-based artists much-needed workspace in New York City as well as access to the Baxter St at CCNY community and programs. The deadline to apply is November 30th, 2018. Link in bio!
Image by Baxter St at CCNY 2018 Workspace Resident Tommy Kha. @tommykha #baxterstccny #workspaceresidency #photography
Former Baxter St at CCNY 2016 Workspace Resident Nona Faustine’s new solo exhibition entitled ‘Ye Are My Witness’ opens today at Higher Pictures Gallery! The show runs through December 8th, 2018. ”Expanding on her White Shoes series, Faustine continues to document, occupy, and reclaim sites across New York City that are linked to its 200-year history of slavery, while responding with redoubled urgency to the echoes of that history in America today. In an extended, iterative performance for the camera, Faustine—nude, in her signature white pumps—is both unflinching and vulnerable. The artist uses her body and presence to confront our country’s past, compelling us to find a different way forward.” Image: ‘Ye Are My Witness, Van Brunt Family Cemetery, Brooklyn’, 2018. @nonafaustine #higherpicturesgallery #photography
Sergio Fonseca explores machismo, sexuality, and male personas in a video called ‘La Dispersión del Yo’. On a bare stage he performs seductively as a stripper, playing three iconic characters: a cowboy, a rapper, and a wrestler. In a second video, ‘180kph’, he traces the path of a biker shooting across a desert horizon, timed to a popular ballad of longing and desire. His video work is part of the exhibition Fantasy, Dreams and Make Believe curated by Jerry Vessuzo. On view at Baxter St now through Saturday, November 3rd. ‘Estriper,’ 2015 by Sergio Fonseca. @mexiconowfestival #sergiofonseca #mexiconow #baxterstccny #photography
Former Baxter St at CCNY Workspace Resident Keisha Scarville’s new solo exhibition entitled ‘Alma’ opens tomorrow night at Light Work’s Kathleen O. Ellis Gallery in Syracuse, New York! The reception is from 5-7PM, and the shows runs through December 13th, 2018. Image by Keisha Scarville @scarvillek @lightworkorg #photography
There is a poetry and lyricism at work in Keisha Scarville’s photographic and mixed media series Placelessness of Echoes (and kinship of shadows). It appeared in the narrative assembly of works across the Camera Club of New York’s white walls. The images lean on, extrapolate, and depart from the words of Wilson Harris, Jamaica Kinkaid, the artist herself, and other writers who have sought to explore the complex interplay of subjectivity, place, and power. Placelessness of Echoes… speaks of landscapes that are alive, possessed, and have stories to be told.
Journeys – both metaphorical and actual – are the foundation of Scarville’s artistic inquiries. Whether tracing her parents’ migration from Guyana to the United States (Passports); addressing her mother’s passing through material ciphers and their potential to conjure (Mama’s Clothes); or the excursions undertaken to produce Placelessness of Echoes… movements that transform bodies and individuals are explored by Scarville’s photographic gaze, in images that convey texture and shadow in seemingly impossible ways. Placelessness of Echoes… luxuriates in darkness, simulating the experience of an eye adjusting to the lowest levels of light. The series is performative and process-oriented; from scouting, to returning to traverse and negotiate the chosen terrain, to camping, observing, and engaging in the discrete and little-known rituals Scarville created to capture her photographs – this body of work meditates on time, place, and space and how each informs, overlaps with, and produces the other.
The “placelessness” of the work’s title, calls attention to the paradox of space, of how the wilderness confounds our attempts to command, locate, and describe it. The landscape in Scarville’s photographs refuses to be fixed in place. Further, the composite nature of the series, staged as it is in numerous, unnamed topographies, is quietly suggestive of the un-geographic facts of Blackness. (After all, where is Black?) To be dispersed, located, placeless, and out of place – all at once.
With her camera – a tool for fixing in place and measuring time – Scarville creates bifurcating narratives of a black female body in and of its rural surroundings. In these we see how the landscape lives in the imagination of the artist – and how perhaps, it stands as a signifier for other spaces. One of these is the fictive space of Harris’s Mariella, the territory in Guyana that is the setting for his novel Palace of the Peacock. Another is the idea of a landscape at night, that in the artist’s words, “becomes everywhere and nowhere, occupying multiple spaces at the same time.” This sense of multiplicity and hybridity is intimately tied to subjectivity’s constant process of formation, and how these transformations are prompted and determined by spatial paradigms. For Scarville, the series is a way of decentering the body in thinking about place – resisting the urge to describe it as a dichotomy of body and nature, instead to think, in Katherine McKittrick’s words about “how bodily geography can be.”
The scenes created by Scarville are the diametric opposite of the cityscape, that which is constantly illuminated, surveilled, and controlled; these qualities programmed into its very topography. As such it is largely vacated of mystery, intrigue, darkness, and the unknown. For Black Americans, experience has taught a suspicion and fear of rural landscapes for the stage they provided for acts of racial terrorism; from lynchings and slave blocks to centuries of uncompensated and cruelly-cultivated labor all carried out on stolen indigenous land. Adversely, the landscape (especially at night) evokes stories of refuge and sanctuary, it conjures the fugitives who traversed the land in the era of the underground railroad. Scarville’s series captures glimpses of the ghosts of those whose self-emancipatory journeys are etched into the land. Making space for the unknowable, mystical, perhaps even magical qualities of the landscape at night mirrors the very capaciousness of the land, and seeks to recuperate the Black female body in nature. Partly through the guise of the shapeshifter – a central figure in Palace of the Peacock, and across a selection of Kincaid’s short stories – she is at once a metaphor for the placelessness of the Black female, the diasporic figure, and a vessel through which the individual navigates, commands, and is enveloped by space.
In a number of images, we see a woman’s body, and the foreground and ground illuminated by red light; chosen in part as it is invisible to most nocturnal animals, and therefore undisruptive to their nightly pursuits. These strongly invoke traditional spiritual practices of the Black diaspora, themselves radical acts of resistance. They also call to mind the mystic or the witch – a maligned figure, whose roots are located in the first anti-capitalist struggles of feudal Europe and the newly-colonized Americas. Scarville’s photographs allow us to grasp and consider the complicated embodied history of the landscape: as a terrain of many terrors, as a fertile ground for growth, a place of imagination and becoming, and a setting for kinship and community.
– Daniella Rose King
We are excited to collaborate with @imagethreads and @penumbrafoundation to present All That Is Air Melts Into Books, a collaborative photobook workshop happening this weekend and continuing Nov 10-11 at Penumbra! The workshop is loosely inspired by the process of Daido Moriyama’s interactively-produced “Another Country In New York” and will aim to further expand the possibilities of collaborative bookmaking l. @oranbeg founder John O’Toole will make a guest appearance alongside Image Threads organizers to help lead the group venture. Sign up at the Image Threads website!
Opening today! Join us for the opening of our new show entitled ‘Fantasy, Dream and Make-Believe’, an exhibition of photography and video, curated by photographer and educator Jerry Vezzuso @profgv. This exhibition brings together three outstanding emerging artists from Mexico, Sergio Fonseca, Juan Carlos López Morales @jclopezmorales and Roberto Tondopó @tondopo, who situate their subjects within vivid and liminal landscapes of fantasy, dream, and make-believe. The exhibition is held in collaboration with the Celebrate Mexico Now Festival @mexiconowfestival and is sponsored by the Tierney Family Foundation. There will be a conversation at 4:30PM with the opening reception to follow from 6-8PM. We hope to see you there!
📸 by Roberto Tondopó. #baxterstccny #mexiconow #photography