To commemorate Ivan Forde’s first solo exhibition, Baxter St at the Camera Club of New York hosted a conversation between Ivan Forde and Derrick Adams on Wednesday, December 12. Forde’s show, Dense Lightness, was on view from November 8 through January 5, 2019.

Dense Lightness brings together multimedia works from Forde’s interdisciplinary experimentations with cyanotype, drawn from his long-term work and research around the ancient Mesopotamian epic poem Gilgamesh/He Who Saw The Deep. As a form of self-portraiture, the works are evidence of the Guyanese-American artist’s examination of ancient narratives and how, through self-exploration, these narratives uncover notions of identity. As a multidisciplinary artist working with performance, installation, portraiture, printmaking and collage, Adams has had a strong influence on Forde’s career as a mentor and fellow artist. Adams has provided Forde with impactful advice on exploring self-image in his work, another common narrative in both the artists’ practices.

For this conversation, Forde and Adams dove into Dense Lightness, Forde’s ongoing practice, and examined the work within a larger context, looking at identity and race. The artists looked at the narrative of epic poetry and the black figure, the artistic practice of working in multimedia and the influence they have on one another.