Zachary Fabri: X Black Y Opens at the New Media Artspace at Baruch College
Video still from Untitled (Home Curtains), Zachary Fabri, 2013.
Image Courtesy of the artist.
NEW YORK, NY-February 9, 2015 - Baruch College presents Zachary Fabri: X Black Y, an exhibition of video works by Zachary Fabri, curated by Katherine Behar, Assistant Professor of New Media Arts, in the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences at Baruch College.
The show will open on February 11and run through April 27 at the New Media Artspace gallery in Baruch’s Library and Information Building, 151 E. 25th Street. The New Media Artspace will host an opening reception and casual discussion with the artist for Baruch students on February 11from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the New Media Artspace and room 415 of the Library and Information Building. Members of the public who wish to attend may RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. A public artist lecture and closing reception will be held on April 27at 6:00 p.m., at the Baruch Performing Arts Center’s Engleman Recital Hall.
Zachary Fabri is a media and performance artist based in New York; Zachary Fabri: X Black Y presents nine video works, spanning a decade of his career. Referencing coordinate points to mark a location, place, or home, X Black Y also implies the process of moving from point X to point Y, a trajectory for travel or dislocation. The exhibition maps the artist’s journey to locate Blackness and abstract qualities of racial identity in the United States.. With persistent poetics, Fabri stretches the notion of identity into something at once heavy and ephemeral, at once immutable and nimble, at once distant and close.
Works like The Big Payback address the Black Nationalist slogan “Buy Black,” part of a historic economic campaign to support black-owned businesses. The video questions the relevance of Black Nationalist ideology, in the context of home ownership and gentrification in black neighborhoods like Harlem today, where the video was filmed. In other works the home itself is experienced as a site of dislocation. In Kitchen Towels in Pankow the artist hangs tidy kitchen towels around a German city, and Untitled (Home Curtains) shows Fabri toeing a domestic perimeter, his body veiled in window curtains. Home is no longer a secure point of origin; it is a place that does not fit.
X and Y also allude to genetic identity. The Y chromosome plays an important role in genetic testing for African American ancestry. Simultaneously, it signals maleness, recalling the myriad ways race is gendered. For Fabri, racial identity is always dislocated and in tension with itself, impossibly both hard coded and performed. The exhibition is punctuated by four performances with balloons, a bowling ball, and a scrap of string. The heft and weightlessness of these objects symbolize the shifting embodiment of identity itself. In the nostalgic culmination, Forget me not, as my tether is clipped, an enormous cloud of balloons carries the artist’s long dreadlocks, a marker of his blackness, into the sky. The gap between X and Y narrows, drawing a path for escape.
Fabri received his BFA in graphic design from New World School of the Arts in Miami in 2000. He continued his studies at Hunter College, where he received an MFA in 2007. His solo exhibitions include Marrow in the Morrows, Third Streaming, New York (2012), and Not Cool: Out of Balance, Galerie Open, Berlin (2010). His group exhibitions include Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN, (2015); Fore, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2012); Civil Disobedience, White Box, New York (2010); Rockstone and Bootheel: Contemporary West Indian Art, Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT (2009); Metro Poles: Art in Action, Bronx River Art Center, Bronx, NY (2008); Neo Neo Dada, Rush Arts Gallery, New York (2007); Dark Matter, Galerie Open, Berlin (2007); Momentum: Nordic Biennial for Contemporary Art, Moss, Norway (2006); Domestic Affairs, Projekt 0047, Berlin (2006); and What Means Free?, Chelsea Hotel, New York (2005).
Gallery Location: New Media Artspace at Baruch College, Library and Information Building, 151 E. 25th Street, New York, NY 10010
Gallery Hours: The New Media Artspace is open to the CUNY community during regular library hours. Members of the public may request access to the New Media Artspace at the security desk at the second floor entrance to the library. For this week's public hours, please check the gallery website: www.newmediartspace.info or dial a docent at 626-312-1664.
The New Media Artspace is a teaching exhibition space in the Department of Fine and Performing Arts at Baruch College, CUNY. Housed in the Newman Library, the New Media Artspace showcases curated experimental media and interdisciplinary artworks by international artists, students, alumni, and faculty.
About Baruch College:
Baruch College is a senior college in the City University of New York (CUNY) with a total enrollment of more than 18,000 students, who represent 160 countries and speak more than 100 languages. Ranked among the top 15% of U.S. colleges and the No. 4 public regional university, Baruch College is regularly recognized as among the most ethnically diverse colleges in the country. As a public institution with a tradition of academic excellence, Baruch College offers accessibility and opportunity for students from every corner of New York City and from around the world. For more about Baruch College, go to http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/.