THRESHELD is up for only two more weekends at Underdonk! We at Codify Art were so pleased to be able to curate this group show of wonderful Q/T/W/OC artists. The response thus far has been amazing—whether to the meditative calm of Janaye Brown's video Bather, After Dinner, or the cheeky sensation of the foot massagers in Orlando Estrada's Varied Pleasures, or the surprising greeting of Inhye Lee's motion-sensitive Smile Trio: Who thought of this little song, to name a few. Come by to see the work Sat/Sun until September 10 from 1–6PM, or catch us at our closing event, Friday, September 8, from 7–9PM!
Codify Art in collaboration with Underdonk is thrilled to present THRESHELD, a group exhibition of works by Janaye Brown, Orlando Estrada, Jes Fan, Ilana Harris-Babou, Inhye Lee, Pastiche Lumumba, and Adrienne Elise Tarver. THRESHELD explores the intimacy of routine, home as a constructed space, and ritual as a sanctified mundane. Please join us for an opening reception Friday, August 11, from 7–9PM. The exhibition will continue through September 10, 2017.
The Morning Routine is a standard opener across modern storytelling mediums because of its effectiveness as an introductory moment; its universality acts as a bridge between character and audience while simultaneously establishing individuality through the specificity of its components.
By contrast, the minutiae of the average person’s routines are rarely offered up for scrutiny, conducted as they are inside personal spaces and known only to the most intimate circles. It is a safe assumption—but an assumption nonetheless—that what is quotidian to the individual would be quotidian to the rest. What happens when one finds that their own routine can only be extrapolated so far?
From within the field of ritual studies, Evangelos Kyriakidis offers a definition of ritual as an outsider’s—or “etic”—identification for a set of actions that, to the outsider, seem illogical. An insider (“emic”) can also use the term to acknowledge that an activity may appear nonsensical to an uninitiated viewer. To return to the question then, does a uniquely personal routine cross that ambiguous line into ritual?
THRESHELD employs the vocabulary of home goods and small moments to map the shifting delineation of our circles and our thresholds, how objects are imbued with significance by the body, and the privileging of private actions as they pass into the public eye.
Janaye Brown's video work explores perception of time and fragmented narratives. Brown has exhibited at venues and film festivals including New York City’s Studio Museum Harlem, the Dallas Video Fest and The Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada. She has participated in residencies at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and the Bruce High Quality Foundation University. Brown received her MFA in Studio Art from the University of Texas at Austin in 2013 and her BA in Cinematic Arts and Technology from California State University Monterey Bay in 2010. She currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
Orlando Estrada is an artist based in New York City. He holds an MFA from the University of Florida and a BFA from Florida International University. He comes from a family tradition of spiritual mediumship and is fascinated by humans, their bodies and the subtle energies they emit. Being a very friendly person, he enjoys developing deep emotional connections and falling in love
Jes Fan is from Canada/ Hong Kong, China. They hold a BFA in Glass from Rhode Island School of Design. They are the recipient of various awards, such as the Pioneer Works Residency, Edward and Sally Van Lier Fellowship at Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), CCGA Fellowship at Wheaton Arts, and John A. Chironna Memorial Award at RISD. Recent solo shows include "No Clearance in Niche" at MAD Museum, NY; "Disposed to Add", at Vox Populi Gallery, PA; "Ot(her)" Brown University, RI. They have had group shows at Queens Museum, NY; Para Site, Hong Kong; Fisher Parrish Gallery; NY, Outpost Artist Resource, NY. Fan is currently based in Brooklyn, NY.
Ilana Harris-Babou uses music videos, cooking shows, and home improvement television as material in an abject exploration of the American Dream. She works primarily in ceramic sculpture and video installation. She received an MFA in Visual Art from Columbia University in 2016, and a BA in Art from Yale University in 2013. She has shown her work throughout the US & Europe. Her solo-exhibition One Bad Recipe will open this fall at the Museum of Arts & Design in New York City.
Inhye Lee has a mixed background in anthropology (BA, Seoul National University) and interactive arts (MPS, ITP New York University). Her work has been exhibited at World Maker Faire, Korean Cultural Service NY, Soho20 Gallery, Dumbo Arts Festival, Currents New Media Festival, SpaceWomb, 3rd Ward, Art Gate Gallery, Museum of Television & Radio, Chelsea Art Museum, Mattel HQ (USA), Shin Museum, Sang Sang Madang (Korea), Spazio Contemporanea, Telecom Italia Future Center (Italy), Art Paris, Galerie Charlot (France) and Scope Basel (Switzerland). She also has participated in Steampunk Festival, Hoosac River Lights (USA) and Media Lab Prado’s workshop (Spain, as a collaborator), working with other artists. She received residencies from the Signal Culture, the Staten Island MakerSpace (2015), and the Institute for Electronic Arts/Alfred University (2013). She is a recipient of Artist in Gallery Prize (Galerie Charlot) at the 8th Arte Laguna Prize in Venice, Italy (2014). She and her scientist collaborator are invited as artist in residence at the School of Visual Arts’ Visible Futures Lab next spring.
Pastiche Lumumba is an artist, curator, and DJ living and working in Brooklyn, NY. His multidisciplinary work examines the element of context and its effect on subjective experience. In 2013, Pastiche founded The LOW Museum and served as executive director for three years. He is currently a resident at the Bruce High Quality Foundation University’s year long MFU Studio+Teach residency where his primary focus is Memes.
Adrienne Elise Tarver is an interdisciplinary artist living and working in Brooklyn recently selected by ArtNet as one of “14 Emerging Female Artists to watch in 2017.” She has had solo exhibitions at Victori+Mo and BRIC Project Room in Brooklyn, New York, A-M Gallery in Sydney, Australia, and Art Matrix Gallery in Chicago, Illinois. She received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and BFA from Boston University.
On Friday, June 9, 7:30–9PM, Codify Art will be hosting a Study Session at the Whitney Museum of American Art.
So what is a Study Session? From the Whitney's Public Programs:
Study Sessions is a new, ongoing event series inspired by Fred Moten and Stefano Harney’s notion of study as “what you do with other people.” For each Study Session, an artist, writer, or cultural worker selects an artwork on view in the Whitney’s galleries as a departure point for thinking through an urgent question in our contemporary political landscape. Participants are invited to join in open-ended discussions and engage with creative practice. Study Sessions may take the form of workshops, listening parties, performances, readings, or film screenings.
For our Study Session, we will be responding to the Whitney’s newest exhibition, WHERE WE ARE: SELECTIONS FROM THE WHITNEY’S COLLECTION, 1900–1960.
Where We Are "traces how artists have approached the relationships, institutions, and activities that shape our lives. Drawn entirely from the Whitney’s holdings, the exhibition is organized around five themes: family and community, work, home, the spiritual, and the nation."
Codify Art will facilitate a conversation around the themes of Nation and Work with Jacob Lawrence's War Series (1947) and Elizabeth Catlett's I am the Negro woman linocuts as our departure points. Framed as a writing and zine-making workshop, our Study Session examines the work as each artists' effort "to create her or his own vision of American life" and invites you to share your own contemporary reimagining. Bring a pen or pencil!
THE SURVIVAL LIBRARY at The Whitney Study Sessions
ICYMI, Codify Art is working with Pioneer Works' School of the Apocalypse to bring you The Survival Library, a project that:
...aims to consolidate and contribute to an ongoing collection of publications and media works centered around the personal narratives of W/Q/T/POC. We respond to the hostility of American society by amassing the knowledge gained in the course of our individual navigations into a shared archive. The Survival Library does not seek to replicate pre-existing nexuses developed for concrete resistance actions, which are invaluable and already available. Instead, it seeks to create an analogous resource for emotional responses: a confirmation that You Are Not Alone in your experiences, a torch warded against this gaslighting world of “alternative facts.” The [works are] available online and/or in-person—depending on optimal channels of dissemination—as a guerrilla hub of valid, examined feelings.
Physical works from this archive will be on view at our workshop! Be inspired, feel seen, and connect with folks from your community. Our goal for the Study Session is that you leave with the beginnings of a zine that tells your story. We hope that you'll contribute to this ever-growing collection of QTPOC voices and works. See you soon.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been over a month since we wrapped STANDARD STANDARD, our exhibition at SPRING/BREAK Art Show! We are truly grateful for the positive responses, new friendships, and rigorous conversations, many of which are continuing now.
SPRING/BREAK provided us with an opportunity to fulfill our mission of showcasing work by women, queer, and trans artists of color for one of our largest audiences yet. Though the fair itself featured some 'missteps' (See: An/Other's tireless labor in addressing the racism of one of the included shows), we were recommitted to the necessity of Q/T/WOC voices in the art world and will continue our endeavors to infiltrate these spaces in the interest of amplifying our community's narratives.
Many of the pieces shown in our booth are still available for purchase on springbreakartfair.com through April 30th. Head over to the e-commerce site to add some beautiful, personal, and important work to your collection.
Also, be sure to follow our artists in their future endeavors! We have been blessed to collaborate with these talented individuals and are excited to see what they do next.
Last but certainly not least in our SPRING / BREAK Art Show artist feature is our very own Jarrett Key.
Born and raised in Seale, Alabama, Jarrett Key is a multi-disciplinary artist who integrates movement, music, and heightened language in his work. Graduate of Brown University, he is currently the Assistant to the Associate Producer at the Public Theater and has produced, performed, and curated many art pieces and performances during his time in NYC.
Jarrett's hairpainting series marries performance and visual art through codified movement, tempera paint and a ponytail, straightened with a hot comb. This literal “hairbrush” transcribes the movements and gestures of the embodied tool. Each mark on the canvas is a signature of identity, a relic of performance. Each endeavor is a recorded dance-like performance, with a resulting hairpainting object.
Hairpainting No 14 is set to a score of Jarrett interviewing family members about his late grandmother. They discussed what was she like, what she wore, her daily rituals. These memories combined with a set of 4-5 choreographed movements birth the full performance. The deliberate use of Black hair - an intensely charged symbol of respectability politics, workplace discrimination, and beauty standards - as the mark-making tool is key in the series. It underscores the personal and political nature of Jarrett's work.
Stop by 4 Times Sq, Fl 23, Room 24 to see the beautiful and arresting work of Jarrett Key. We'll be there today and tomorrow from 11am - 6pm.
As we end the fourth day of our exhibition STANDARD STANDARD at SPRING/BREAK Art Show, this evening’s feature is no other than Emily Oliveira. You have never seen anything like their Labor-In-Vain series, so come to room 2324 on Sunday or Monday, March 5th and 6th!
Labor-In-Vain is a series of embroidered pillows and banners featuring women bodybuilders. The work highlights the connection between the domestic labor of women’s crafts, the invisible labor of outsourced black and brown women textile workers, and the labor of women bodybuilders. The assemblage materials used on the pillows interrupts their utility and rejects the misinterpretation of the handmade as a charming relic of the past. Instead these materials place the act of the handmade in the present and visceral world of global labor and materials culled from dinner scraps. Labor-In-Vain touches upon the ways in which feminized labor is marginalized both when it aligns with the desires of men/the market, and when it directly opposes and seeks to subvert those desires.
Emily is a Brooklyn-based performance artist, sculptor and costume designer. They are a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and studied performance at Brown University. Outside of their visual art practice, Emily’s performance works include I Am One of Them and So Are You (Brown University), DELILAH (What Is Love? Baby Don’t Hurt Me) (Hot! Festival of Queer Theater at Dixon Place), Everything Happens for a Reason (Judson Memorial Church), So Thick That Everybody Else in the Room is so Uncomfortable (Cloud City), Do You Ever Long for True Love From Me (Judson Memorial Church) and KINGS AND QUEENS OF LOVE (Ars Nova). Their work uses transcribed text, original and popular music, dance, and full-body costumes to subvert the despotism of white femininity and examine narratives about love, sex and race in American popular culture. Their costumes have been shown at The Judson Memorial Church, Invisible Dog, The Center for Performance Research and Theatre for the New City.
Emily’s pieces are such a satisfying complement to the strong QTPOC narratives found in STANDARD STANDARD. 4 Times Sq. Don’t miss out!
Today we're featuring Yves-Olivier Mandereau from our SPRING / BREAK Art Show exhibition STANDARD STANDARD. We're lucky to have Yves-Olivier in New York for this exhibition, so be sure to swing by room 2324 from 11am-6pm daily through March 6 to say hey!
A native San Franciscan, Yves-Olivier quickly became fascinated by clay's materiality and historical significance. This was seed that later grew into his project "Porncelain," a reappropriation of fine china as a means of confrontation and conversation between tenets of ‘the christian home’ and his queer identity. Yves-Olivier subverts these classic heirlooms and claims them as his own by inserting floral-like images of gay pornography.
Yves-Olivier purposefully uses ‘found’ chinaware in order to broaden the discussion beyond his own sexuality. He invites the viewer to contemplate homosexuality and its oppressors at the hallowed hearth of Family—the dinner table. Yves-Olivier complicates the traditional narrative of familial inheritance by shining a spotlight on the queer community's absence of a formal transference of material culture. As queer people are often pushed to create their own Chosen Families, the viewer is forced to confront what inheritance looks like outside of a heteronormative structure.
We're thrilled to have Yves-Olivier's elegant and provoking "Porncelain" pieces in STANDARD STANDARD. We hope to see you at 4 Times Sq soon!
We had a great first day at SPRING / BREAK Art Show! Be sure to check us out at 4 Times Square, Floor 23 in Room #24. We'll be here March 1-6, from 11am-6pm daily.
Next up in our artist feature is Martine Gutierrez.
Sitting down with Martine was such a pleasure. The conversation about her work began with her name: Martín to Martine.
Interested in the fluidity of relationships and the role of genders within them, Martine offers mannequins in her own stead to explore the diverse narratives of intimacy. Acting as a conduit, Martine supplies a framework that facilitates a dialogue requiring the viewer to question their own perceptions of sex, gender, and social groups.
Hands Up, reflecting old Hollywood glamour, was the first time that she had collaborated with many people. It also features her first unreleased single, which was selected by Saint Laurent Paris for their Cruise Collection 2012 video editorial. Her music has since been featured by several other fashion houses, including Christian Dior and Acne Studios.
Don’t miss a chance to check out Martine’s iconic installation at STANDARD STANDARD.
Today is the first official day of SPRING / BREAK Art Show! We'll be featuring the individual artists in our curatorial project STANDARD STANDARD throughout the exhibition. Be sure to check us out at 4 Times Square, Floor 23 in Room #24. We'll be here March 1-6, from 11am-6pm daily.
First up is Jon(athan) Key. Jon is a Black Artist, Designer, and Writer. Raised in rural Alabama, Jon started visual art and design at an early age. At 10, Jon taught himself HTML and Java Script. Design became a major tool for his artistic expression. It wasn’t until high school that he began to focus on developing a strong traditional art practice. After summers spent at SCAD and RISD in pre-college programs, Jon matriculated to RISD for his formative art years.
Jon’s work explores the tension and fragmentation of identity. Through collage, installation and painting he creates intimate spaces that recount the experiences of confronting his own queerness, blackness, southerness, and family. He has two pieces from his Man in Violet Suit Series showing at Codify Art’s booth in SPRING/BREAK Art Show. He sold his first painting, Man in the Violet Suit No 3 (Red), during yesterday's press preview! The Man in the Violet Suit series plays on the assumption of self-portraiture. The collaged elements are painted, claiming the verisimilitude of photography in role but embodying the ambiguity of pictorialization in form; the Man, who may or may not be the artist, explores how distance from perception cannot fully negate the gradation between the viewer and the self.
Building upon queerness and blackness as themes in his work, Jon’s installation Cotton and Magnolia focuses on family and southerness. This series forces the viewer to reflect on the past and present burdens of the Black Family in the South. Harkening on bourgeois home aesthetics, the Cotton and Magnolia wallpaper signifies the historical and transgenerational trauma built within the foundation and walls of our society. With a statue cast from his own hands and a collage film based on images created for his zine WE, Jon builds strong narratives that immerse the viewer in a breadth of perspectives and ideas.
We are so proud to have Jon's work as a part of our show STANDARD STANDARD. Check it out, before it’s too late!
Codify Art is thrilled to present STANDARD STANDARD, a new exhibition of work by QTPOC artists at SPRING/BREAK Art Show to coincide with Armory Arts Week in New York City. The sixth edition of SPRING/BREAK Art Show will take place in the former corporate offices located at 4 Times Square, with our curatorial project in room #24 on the 23rd floor of the building. The show will run March 1–6, 2017, from 11AM to 6PM daily, with a VIP Vernissage on Tuesday, February 28 from 5–9PM. Passes can be purchased at springbreakartshow.com.
Between December 2012 and May 2013, Time magazine went from declaring “selfie” one of the Top 10 Buzzwords of the year to lambasting “The Me Me Me Generation” on their front cover. Since then, the battlefield designated by these two poles has been tread flat with skirmishes. Selfie apologists weaponize the language of empowerment and entrepreneurship while detractors raise concerns over inauthenticity and surveillance. What seems to be the crux of both arguments is power: are we are setting the terms for our presentations, or are we simply arming a malicious ether with our likenesses?
The black mirror, or Claude glass, is similarly a tool of power. In its facade, all of nature is distilled and composed for the artist’s gaze. However, consider: who held these mirrors? In the 18th and 19th centuries, who could walk freely through a picturesque landscape? Who had the time and means to decide to paint it? Who was allowed the distance necessary to observe? Now, as we speak of a generation enraptured by our reflections, can we say the glass has passed hands?
As cultural conversations turn to the proliferation of self, the question of whether art should ‘hide the artist’ should not be removed from the question of power. Some artists simply cannot hide. For so long as the black mirror is held by the institution, the marginalized artist remains the subject on view. In the glass, her reflection is diffused—not the sharp specificity of the individual but the simplification of a (skin) tonal range. As Hannah Black writes, “the identity artist has to exemplify a race/gender category, but as soon as she steps into the institution’s embrace, she becomes an example of universality.” What does it mean that entire artistic designations are delineated by the artists’ categorical identities rather than the content, the medium, the form of the works?
The artist of color (and all its intersections), is familiar with this conflation. There is never an individual; it is always “all of us.” If the artist hides, it is less her decision and more an erasure, a disavowal. For a subject on view, all of choice swings on the fulcrum of identity, and there is no escape from the omnipresent eye.
Martine Gutierrez: “Hands Up”
Interested in the fluidity of relationships and the role of genders within them, Martine Gutierrez offers mannequins in her own stead to explore the diverse narratives of intimacy. Life-size props blur into a discourse about what it means to be ‘genuine,’ where interpretations of dichotomous constructs such as ‘gay’ vs ‘straight,’ or ‘reality’ vs ‘fantasy’ are revealed as subjective and mutable. Acting as a conduit, Martine supplies a framework that facilitates a dialogue requiring the viewer to question their own perceptions of sex, gender, and social groups.
Jarrett Key: “Hair Painting No. 11” and “Hair Painting No. 14”
Jarrett Key’s Hair Paintings are as personal as they are political, and political because they are personal. Scored with an oral history of Jarrett’s late grandmother, these choreographed performances recount their family’s specific rituals through the use of their black hair—an intensely charged symbol of respectability politics, workplace discrimination, and beauty standards—as the mark-making tool. Though the resulting paintings can exist within a European abstract art historical context, Jarrett’s black body on view carries the weight of their difference, serving to ingratiate or alienate the audience in turn with their history, personhood, pathos, and joy.
Jon Key: “Man in the Violet Suit No. 2(Green)” and “Man in the Violet Suit No. 3 (Red)”
As abstractions of the Queer Black Man, a category whose members already walk society as caricatures, Jon Key's “Man in the Violet Suit” series plays on the assumption of self-portraiture. The subject of the paintings is simultaneously flamboyant and flattened, provocative and subdued. The frame stifles, but the eyes accuse elsewhere. The collaged elements are also painted, claiming the verisimilitude of photography in role but embodying the ambiguity of pictorialization in form; the Man, who may or may not be the artist, explores how distance from perception cannot fully negate the gradation between the viewer and the self.
Yves-Olivier Mandereau: “Porncelain”
Yves-Olivier Mandereau’s “Porncelain” reappropriates fine china as a means of confrontation between ‘The Christian Home’ and his homosexuality, staged on the most hallowed locus of the family hearth—the dinner table. Yves-Olivier subverts the heirloom, a beacon of traditional values, with gay pornography, a personal utopia in which he had found himself unafraid. “Porncelain” is both cheeky and traumatic, a preemptive strike at ‘The Conversation’ that also raises questions of a legacy for the queer community, which stands as the only classified social grouping without any generational inheritance of material culture.
Emily Oliveira: "Labor-In-Vain"
With “Labor-In-Vain,” Emily Oliveira draws a thread between the domestic labor of women’s crafts, the invisible and outsourced labor of black and brown women textile workers, and the physical labor of women body builders. Their utility interrupted by the assemblage materials, the embroidered pillows reject the notion of the handmade as a relic of the past and instead place themselves in the visceral present of global labor, economic disparity, and food security. “Labor-in-Vain” examines the ways in which feminized labor is marginalized—both when it aligns with the desires of men and market, and when it directly subverts those desires.
The artists in STANDARD STANDARD are not monolith but acknowledge the possibility of being viewed as such. Their work confronts, accepts, or simply exists in their responsibility as it relates to their truths. They fly their own standards, aware to which they will be held.
For more information, please visit springbreakartshow.com or contact kat.jk.lee [at] gmail [dot] com.
During the last weekend in January, Codify Art was invited to participate in the first ever Brown Paper Zine & Small Press Fair For Black and PoC Artists at MoCADA Museum, presented by 3 Dot Zine. In this festival, Artist Devin Morris—the founder of 3 Dot Zine—curated a space where the creative efforts of Black and PoC artists working in print mediums could be celebrated.
Codify Art’s table featured work from 6 Brooklyn-based QTPOC artists:
Sharina Gordon - Searching for a Home that Holds All of Me (2017)
Samir Hazlehurst - RECIPE BOOK a year and a month of (2016)
Jarrett Key - Judges 16:28 (2016); Trans (2017)
Jon Key - 12 (2015), WE (2016), Manifesto (2016), The Tenth Zine Vol. IV (2016)
Kat JK Lee - natur (2017)
Maya Meredith - Wade in The Water Zine (2015)
All of the work is available for purchase on Codify’s Online Bookstore
This event was an overwhelming success for Codify Art. We sold every zine on our table by this remarkable group of artists. Special shout out to Sharina Gordon for selling 27 copies of her very first zine! Jon Key’s WE, Manifesto, and Tenth Zine Vol. IV were featured on The Creators Project at Vice. Codify Art is grateful for the efforts of Devin, 3 Dot Zine, and the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art (MoCADA) for hosting such an empowering event.
The full list of participants is below. We are blessed to have shared space with such wonderful Black and PoC creators and urge you to check them out.
Ayqa Khan - http://www.ayqakhan.com/
Blkgrlswurld Zine - https://blkgrlswurld.com/
Collectiva Cosmica - http://www.colectivacosmica.com/
KH Zine - http://www.khzines.com/
La Chamba Press - http://lachambapress.tumblr.com/
Lambey Press - https://lambeypress.com/
Maroon World - http://www.maroon.world/
PJ Gubatina Policarpio (Endless Edition)
Rafia S - http://raf-i-a.tumblr.com/
Tea & Converse
Tijuana Zine Fest - http://tijuanazinefest.com/
Yellow Jackets Collective - http://yellowjacketscollective.com/
Happy 2017 from all of us at Codify Art! With the new year already in full swing, we ask that you consider making a donation to our organization, to support us in continuing to foreground queer, trans, and women artists of color. There's work to be made and work to be done, and we have a lot of plans for both. Help us make it happen.
Codify Art is aiming to raise $10K this year.
We were busy in 2016: maybe you swung by OUTLET Gallery during our show WORK. Or maybe you shared your time and talent with us at our Open Mic Night. Or maybe we caught up at Codify Connects, our community happy hour for QTPOC creators. The creative labor of QTPOC and WOC has always been an underrecognized but vital act of resistance. This year, we are looking to scale our programming to reach an even larger community when it is most necessary. Our work must continue and grow because of—and in spite of—the state of our State.
We encourage a $20–$50 contribution towards our goal
but appreciate anything you can give.
In the interest of transparency, our planned breakdown of uses for our $10k fundraising goal is as follows:
- $500—Printed materials for marketing and publicity including business cards and posters
- $500—Projector and Microphone for upcoming multidisciplinary collaborations aimed at community engagement
- $1000—To cover remaining balance for production costs from 2016 (printed materials, event supplies, etc.)
- $1000—Two $500 microgrants for QTPOC artists, to be distributed by application
- $2000—Venue booking and production costs for 2017 events
- $5000—Codify Saves: A Rainy Day Fund. For costs associated with opportunities that may come up throughout the year including application fees, venue booking, art supplies and materials.
Best wishes and solidarity to you and yours!
Bau Haus in collaboration with Codify Art is pleased to present You Are Here, featuring work by Jarrett Key, Jon Key, Kat JK Lee, and Kameron Neal. This exhibition is on view for one night only during the opening reception: Saturday, October 22, 2016, 7-10PM.
YOU ARE HERE
@Bau Haus, 516 Bainbridge St. #1L Brooklyn
October 22, 2016
Found on subway maps to mall directories, the words “You Are Here” serve to situate the inquirer in larger spatial contexts. The subway map or the mall directory, through its confident declaration, lays claim to a specific cross-section of “here,” the viewer’s physical body in relation to the bounds of an illustrated territory. Leaving the subway or the mall does not negate your Being Here; Here is moved, or Here moves with You.
In three immersive and participatory environments, YOU ARE HERE invites viewers to situate themselves anew through the transformation of the most quotidian of spaces: the apartment room. The assemblages herein comprise a study in what it means to be present, to have come through the past to reach this point in time. The artists in this exhibition seek to create common contexts in which conversations can occur, each an intensely personal GPS marker that remains beholden to greater communities within racialized society. When You, informed by DNA sequences and collective storytelling from previous generations, navigate a Here built atop structures erected before before your birth, what map traces those collusions? What do you bring in and what do you leave out? What of those divots, protrusions, scars? To reach back for ancestry and find that extant records remember grandmother’s warmth but begin with the Middle Passage; to embody the Bear-Mother of Korea’s mythical founder in the throes of her transmogrification; to traverse a childhood in the plantation south, an adulthood under the police state, and wonder if your home is yet where YOU are home? Opening the doors into these formative intimacies, traumas, and lived realities, YOU ARE HERE is both trespasser and guest in a directory of intra-, inter-, and transgenerational experience.
Finding a way to financially sustain ourselves while sustaining our souls through art-making has always been a struggle, particularly for QTPOC artists.
That’s why Codify Art was thrilled to welcome J Mase III to facilitate Can I Pay My Rent Tho?!, a workshop centered on making a space for artists to develop long-term strategies towards a life supported by our creative work. Mase walked through tangible steps on how to better market ourselves and create a sustainable financial plan.
Check out below five takeaways from the workshop and pics from the day!
1. Don’t be afraid to ask! Sometimes as folks of color, we don’t want to (or have been taught not to) ask for help. If you happen to fall into this bucket, try reframing asking for help as asking for the people who you love and care about you.
2. Create your network! Build a database of people, groups and institutions that you can e-blast quarterly about your work in order to stay relevant. Put up to three people from the same institution since positions listed on websites can become outdated quickly
3. Don’t underprice yourself! Do research to see what the current market is in your artistic practice. It’s better to shoot for a high number and then negotiate towards the middle as opposed to selling yourself – and your worth – short.
4. Have varying levels of art. Some folks can only pay $10 for art. Some institutions can pay $10,000. Marketing a wide range allows for greater accessibility to your work – and enables you to get the most bang for your buck.
5. When people are buying your art, they are investing in you! Think about how you can humanize yourself and tell your story so investors are interested in supporting you in the long-term.
J Mase III is a Black/trans/queer poet based in Seattle, by way of NYC. As an educator, he has worked with thousands of community members in the US, the UK, and Canada on the needs of LGBTQIA youth and adults in spaces such as K-12 schools, universities, faith communities, and restricted care facilities among others. Contact J Mase III here if you want to book him for a workshop or poetry gig!
Have a workshop for QTPOC artists or know someone else who does? Email us at email@example.com to see if we would be the perfect match for your workshop!
I started doing yoga in January 2016 right after I got fired from my job.
I was overwhelmed, anxious and sad. The depression from a long, gray winter began to sink in. The pace and hustle of New York dictated all of my decisions and actions. All of my energy was spent on impressing my bosses, producing the next event, or worrying about the calls I would have to squeeze in between food and an endless line of meetings. I completely lost sight of the things that made me happy. I was distracted by the unrealistic drive for professional success and as a result, forgot to take time to think about me. Life was an 8-3AM grind that never ended. I needed a new routine.
I’d heard enthusiastic testimonies about the benefits of yoga from friends, online lifestyle blogs, and self-care sites. Yes, I was looking for something physical to do to start getting into summer shape, but I was also looking for self-care remedies to counteract my (self-diagnosed) depression. My friend suggested Lesley Fightmaster, a YouTube self directed yoga class. It was an easy sell; I was willing to do anything to change the state I was in. Day One, I sat on my makeshift yoga mat—an old beach towel—and pressed play.
After my first week of doing yoga, the tension and pain I was physically carrying dissolved from my back. I hadn’t realized how out of touch I was with my body. Simple stretching exercises that seemed reminiscent of my childhood P.E. days were matched with intense breathing, stillness, and focus. Basic motions grew into more complicated formations, engaging my core and mind. I could definitely FEEL that something was happening.
I am not a yoga expert, nor do I consider myself part of the Yogi subculture, but I have learned a tremendous amount about my body, mind, breath and strength. One of my biggest takeaways from practicing yoga is freeing myself of expectations when I come to the mat. I couldn’t gracefully slide into a split or a perfectly balanced headstand when I started, and I still can't, but that's not even the point! I am on a journey of reconnecting with myself, a person who was lost between schedules and hectic overproducing. Realigning and readjusting my expectations for my day-to-day was clearly the next step in negotiating a healthier and more balanced life. Yoga allowed me to be honest and present with myself wherever I was, wherever I am, and—I daresay—wherever you are.
It's been 9 months since embarking into the world of self-employment and freelance. And now, I do yoga almost everyday. I wake up and spend the first two hours of my morning focusing on my mind and body and reflecting on my goals for the day. Only then do I begin to tackle the work and chaos that comes with freelance life. Some days, I only have 10 minutes in the morning to work out, but taking even that small moment to connect with myself is important. In the few months that I have been doing yoga, I see a stark contrast between where I started and where I am now. I am happier. I feel more grounded. I have more energy. I am more in tune with the things I need to do just for me. The list could go on! I am definitely a work in progress, but being present and honest with myself in the process is a part of the journey.
Codify Art had a great time at Wanderlust 108 Brooklyn this year. Below are a few images from the day!
OUTLET Fine Art in collaboration with CODIFY ART is pleased to present WORK. Featuring work by Jarrett Key, Jon Key, and Kat JK Lee, and facilitated by Leandro A. Zaneti, please join us for an opening reception Friday July 8 from 7-10pm. The exhibition will continue through July 24th.
CODIFY ART is a Brooklyn-based collective of multidisciplinary artists whose mission is to create, produce, and showcase work that foregrounds the voices of people of color, particularly those of women and queer people of color.
This is Work. A reaction to present realities, a mirror to identities both projected onto and embodied by alterity. The work of inhabiting an identity. It is declarative; it is a claiming of space by queer, POC bodies through the art object. Through manifold mediums and styles, CODIFY confronts the multiplicity of its constituents, its greater communities, and society at large. As an exhibition, Work. is a stand in for these selves; Work. is a representative, an icon, an effigy. Through bodies and permanent impressions on paper, repurposed imagery and cloaked soundscapes, CODIFY investigates, as individuals, the diversity and nuance within an identifier and upholds, as a collective, its larger histories.
Jarrett Key’s hair painting series marries performance and visual art through codified movement, tempera paint and a ponytail, straightened with a hot comb. This literal “hairbrush” transcribes the movements and gestures of the embodied tool. Each mark on the canvas is a signature of identity, a relic of performance. Jarrett will perform a site specific rendition of his “Hair Painting.” The culminating piece will be on display, accompanied by video documenting the painting/performance process.
Kameron Neal's work investigates the intersection of ritual, performance and identity through film. With repetition and layering, his films denature the original source to bring attention to the personal trials of the creative process. Kameron's "Hair Painting" collaboration with Jarrett Key is an act of translating, documenting and reinterpreting history with an affirming gaze. These films provide a frame for an intimate exploration of growth and self-empowerment.
Jarrett’s accompanying I AM/AIN’T I series is defined by its use of text and oil paint to create narratives of strength and courage in a time of despair and vulnerability. The print series investigates the value of black lives, from slavery to present day.
Jon Key explores the tension and fragmentation of identity in his work. Through photography, collage, and color he creates intimate portraits that recount the experiences of confronting his own queerness, blackness, southerness, and family. Similar to how identities do not merge seamlessly or portray one person, his collage elements are not subsumed when placed against each other, yet still read as one body. Through the themes of love, pain, dislocation and abuse, the work reflects the resolve of the physical and emotional self.
Projections, distortions, transparencies, ghostly objects that suggest a texture only for fingers to meet with glass—these are the markers of Kat JK Lee’s work: simulations of self-portraiture, where the self is not necessarily a portrait. Like navigating-public-arenas-whilst-marginalized, each piece is an exercise in obfuscation, a presentation dependent upon a halfhearted deception of the senses. With interpolation as necessity and speculation as creed, Kat constructs a non-binary, second-gen, bi-coastal canon for themself with Google (mis)translations, Easter egging, and evolutionary adaptations that are less bodyhacking and more fursona, all couched in the vocabulary of a Korean-American science fiction. An amalgamation of narratives, Kat’s work employs technology as confidante, survival as futurity, and reclamation as an act of genesis.
The members of Codify Art are Sharina Gordon, Jarrett Key, Jon Key, Kat JK Lee, Chantel Whittle and Leandro Zaneti.
OUTLET Fine Art is an exhibition space in Brooklyn dedicated to presenting innovative and dynamic programming. They host monthly exhibitions and workshops designed to engage and inspire through a comprehensive arts experience. At the root of OUTLET, they believe in promoting creativity through exhibitions, collaborations, and out-of-the-box explorations
[dot]COM, or [dot]Codify Open Mic, welcomes members of our community to share their talents at 440 Studios in the East Village! The first half of the night will be scheduled programming featuring dance, music, and poetry, after which we'll open it up to interested performers.
Get excited for this very excellent lineup, and click through the links for a what-to-expect on May 31 in the room where it happens:
MJ Batson — Music (Indie)
Jeffrey Velez — Music (Jazz)
Marcus Bedinger — Music
Yaya McKoy — Spoken Word
Paco Salas Pérez — Poetry Reading
When and Where
May 31, 2016, 7-9PM
440 Lafayette Street
New York, NY 10003
$10 Suggested Donation
See you there!
Codify Art presents SOURCE MATERIALS, a show of new work by five artists, at Bau Haus, a Brooklyn-based live/work studio, community art space, and Codify partner. This show marks Bau Haus' first anniversary! Come celebrate with us at our opening and afterparty.
Artists: Jarrett Key, Jonathan Key, Kat JK Lee, Kameron Neal, Hannah Lutz Winkler
Presented by Codify Art
April 30, 2016
The idea of the artist as solitary genius, working alone in their studio under the frenzy of sublime inspiration, has [mostly] been dethroned by the realities of contemporary practice. Removed from such a pedestal, artists have utilized a wealth of materials beyond those traditionally purposed for art-making—found objects, archival documents, other artworks—to create in a manner reflective of society’s holistic experience of the world. But this development introduces a complication. When the components comprising an artwork bring with them pre-existing utilities, purposes, and histories, does the artwork subsume them? Transcend them? Celebrate or fail them? Where are the edges of a composition?
Through various mediums and from diverse directions, the five artists featured in SOURCE MATERIALS engage these questions and explore the potential for an ambiguity that enriches, rather than confuses, a finalized piece.
Jarrett Key’s paintings explicitly insert themselves into a specifically black (art) historical dialogue. With references ranging from Glenn Ligon to primary source diagrams of slave ships, Jarrett’s work does not pretend at an end in itself or an existence within a vacuum. Instead, it acts as a conduit, actively engaging in an existing conversation and leaving the door open for continuation.
Collage is an art form with an inherent tension, simultaneously a single piece and many pieces together. Jonathan Key utilizes this form to connect highly personal narratives to the nameless faces in civil rights photography. In this juxtaposition of vivid memory and the forgotten, a contemporary tableau revives that which was relegated to the archives, a second life that extends the half-life of both sides beyond their expected spans.
Drawing from such existing Internet phenomena as K-pop boy bands, fanfiction, and “mukbang” Youtube videos, Kat JK Lee creates their own canon of Korean-American Speculative Fiction in a process that directly confronts the accusations of derivativeness in South Korea’s fledgling sci-fi literary scene. This “creation-by-inference” method parallels Kat’s patchwork navigation of their racial and ethnic identity, where in every state, they find themselves as, at least partially, alien.
Kameron Neal shoots his own footage, but his videos denature completely the expected product of these filmings. Glitchy and often tongue-in-cheek, Kameron’s pieces highlight the frame as the primary unit of measure and splice the original shots in such a way as to antagonize his own material.
In Hannah Lutz Winkler’s paintings, art canvas and recycled fabrics occupy the same space in seeming disregard of their constructed differences. However, the intent is not to “elevate” the found scraps and old T-shirts. Rather, the presence of these fabrics recalls the physical intimacy and attachment humans have to textures/textiles and asks for a second look, a reconsideration, of the painting itself and painting as a form.
SOURCE MATERIALS endeavors to expand the edges of “composition” with work that showcases the histories of its components as much as the final art object; it seeks an engagement that arises from entering a dialogue as a player instead of a judge.
There is a fundamental disconnect between the future of the theater field and the way it is being discussed currently. The industry has only recently taken up arms to address problems of exclusion as it pertains to women and people of color on stage (it would be naïve to not attribute some of this awareness to the extreme financial and artistic success of Hamilton, a show that is unapologetically not white). Efforts such as The List by The Kilroys are a step forward in the inclusion of women. Audiences are demanding accountability for theaters producing exclusively white works. The battle cries of the silenced are now difficult to ignore. Still, we are approaching the issue in fragments, and because of this we are still operating under a white hegemony.
Due to current industry structure, we as people of color require recognition, programming, and support by producers and organizations that are overwhelmingly white. This discrepancy has undeniable repercussions on our art. We are asked to make art in a market that is rooted in a Eurocentric history that does not allow for expressions outside of its conventions. As such, our narratives are still being filtered through the storytelling conventions of whiteness. In trying to be seen, are we compromising our own histories and rituals?
This issue is further fueled by the dearth of critics of color. In the rare instances where we are able to produce without compromising ourselves, we are critiqued by those who are still deeply imbedded in white societal norms. We are judged by those who have very little understanding of our narrative practices. When the ritual of a piece is built on, say, an Afrocentric tradition, it runs the risk of getting a bad review. In the system under which we work, we are yet again looking for the approval of a white majority to validate (read: bolster our financial and artistic success) us.
In order to allow the full breadth of humanity onto the stage, we need to do more than simply present and feature the work of artists of color. We must give voices of color a platform from which to tell their own stories, in their own voices. We have to allow for criticism of work by an array of opinions to allow for all approaches to exist in homology. To further Audre Lorde’s claim, not only do we need to recognize that “the master’s house [will] not be dismantled by the master’s tools,” but we must also stop looking to gain boarding in the house entirely and instead build a new one—one whose door is equally open to everyone and whose foundation is made stronger by the diversity of material.