Zalika Azim and Deborah Willis In Conversation


An exodus without head or tail, 2016/2018

In Conversation: Zalika Azim and Deborah Willis

Wednesday, March 27th | 7pm
This conversation is free to attend by RSVP and will take place at 126 Baxter St. Please RSVP to
Suggested Donation $5

To commemorate 2018 Workspace Resident Zalika Azim’s exhibition, Baxter St at the Camera Club of New York is pleased to host a conversation between Zalika Azim and Deborah Willis on Wednesday March 27th at 7pm. Azim’s show, in case you should forget to sweep before sunset, is currently on view until April 13, 2019.

Featuring multiple lens-based works as well a new photographic installation, the forthcoming exhibition explores notions of home, memory, migration, and remigration. Referring to southern lore, the title in particular, pulls from a common superstition which suggests that “the home should not be swept past sunset.” For believers, doing so puts one at risk of sweeping away the spirits of ancestors who may provide protection to the family home. In case you should forget to sweep before sunset is not only an engagement with ancestral knowledges and southern sensibilities, but is also a play on expectations of time, space, and narration. Deborah Willis has been influential to Azim’s practice both as a former professor and through Willis’ publications, especially Picturing Us: African American Identity in Photography.

Zalika Azim (b.1990) is a New York-based artist conceptualizing her practice through photography, installation, performance, collage and sound. Exploring the complexities of personal and collective narratives, her work investigates the ways in which notions of memory, displacement, and the body are negotiated in relation to nationhood and the American landscape. Azim’s work has been exhibited within the United States and abroad, including the International Center of Photography, Pfizer, 8th Floor Gallery, Diego Rivera Gallery, the Instituto Superior de Arte and The Dean Collection. Zalika holds a BFA in Photography and Imaging from the Tisch School of the Arts and a BA in Social and Cultural Analysis from New York University.

Deborah Willis, Ph.D, is University Professor and Chair of the Department of Photography & Imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University and has an affiliated appointment with the College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Social & Cultural, Africana Studies, where she teaches courses on Photography & Imaging, iconicity, and cultural histories visualizing the black body, women, and gender.  Her research examines photography’s multifaceted histories, visual culture, the photographic history of Slavery and Emancipation; contemporary women photographers and beauty. She received the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship and was a Richard D. Cohen Fellow in African and African American Art, Hutchins Center, Harvard University; a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow, and an Alphonse Fletcher, Jr. Fellow. She has pursued a dual professional career as an art photographer and as one of the nation’s leading historians of African American photography and curator of African American culture.

Baxter St at the Camera Club of New York operates as a 501(c)3 arts organization and is located at 126 Baxter St and 128 Baxter St. Its programming and exhibitions are supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, The Jerome Foundation, The Tierney Family Foundation, Steven Amedee Fine Custom Framing, Fujifilm of North America, The Puffin Foundation Ltd., Yarden Winery, and Awagami Factory. Baxter St at the Camera Club of New York is W.A.G.E. certified. The Conversations Series is supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.