James T. Green, Ivan Forde, Tiona McClodden, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, J. Soto, Diamond Stingily, Pamela Council
Present Futures: Strategies Toward Emancipation (Part One)

08.11.2016 - 08.25.2016


Learn more about Present Futures and see the full program of events at presentfutures.info

Denny Gallery is pleased to announce Present Futures: Strategies Toward Emancipation (Part One) a group exhibition of artists Pamela Council, James T. Green, Ivan Forde, Tiona McClodden, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, Diamond Stingily, and J. Soto. The exhibition has been organized by Lynnette Miranda, Suhaly Bautista-Carolina, Teal Baskerville, Henry Murphy, and Kathy Cho. The exhibition will take place at Denny Gallery’s summer popup location at 150 East Broadway, on view from August 11th to 25th, 2016.

The recent mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and the senseless murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile (and the others that the media hasn’t covered) at the hands of police officers have left us with an overwhelming feeling of helplessness. With the exception of a few, there is a generally muted response among the art community to this ongoing violence, injustice, and oppression. But silence and indifference are tools of oppression.

In moments of injustice, how do we think about the future when the present is so daunting and fraught? Present Futures: Strategies Toward Emancipation (Part 1) brings together artists and cultural producers whose practices and work are grounded in the present moment while generating and expanding artistic strategies for making change. The exhibition will enact these strategies through a programmatic component that offers a space for arts practitioners to convene and exchange ideas around, questions about, and methodologies for self-preservation, self-determination, and collective organizing. Together, we can call for cultural spaces to offer us more than a site for reflection, but one for action. As a community, we can strategize through our artistic lens and create a hopeful, yet determined and focused space that pushes for progress.

This is the first of a recurring series of curatorial initiatives that we hope we continue to build and deepen together.

Please join us for an opening reception on Thursday, August 11, from 6 to 8 p.m. Denny Gallery East Broadway is located at 150 East Broadway in New York City. The hours are Wednesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For further information, contact Elizabeth Denny or Robert Dimin at 212-226-6537 or by email at [email protected] or [email protected].


Pamela Council was born in Southampton, New York and lives in the South Bronx, New York. She makes sculptures, prints, performances, jokes, and more. Recent works are abstract sensual experiences that freestyle on notions of self-care, estate management, personal style, and the preciousness of product. Council’s work has been featured at the Studio Museum in Harlem, Williams College Museum of Art, and Five Myles Gallery. Pamela has created a commission for the Schomburg Center. She received a B.A. from Williams College and an M.F.A. from Columbia University. Pamela is currently an artist-in-residence at BSMT at Mana Contemporary.

James T. Green is a conceptual artist, designer, developer, podcaster, educator, and writer based in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. His projects investigate information distribution on the internet and unspoken markers of identity. His work has been shown in EXPO Chicago (2012, 2013, 2014), the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (2013), the Chicago Cultural Center (2012), and the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago (2013). Green has completed residency programs at ACRE (2011-2012), Chicago Artist Coalition’s HATCH Projects (2012-2013), and University of Chicago Arts & Public Life/CSRPC program (2014-2015). Currently, Green teaches graduate courses at School of the Art Institute Chicago and co-founded and maintains two businesses: On The Firefly, a design and development consultancy, and Postloudness, a collective of audio shows by people of color, women, and queer identified hosts.

Ivan Forde lives and works in Harlem, New York. His “Transformation” series of photographs received first place in fine art collage at the Lucie Foundation 2012 International Photography Awards and premiered in the “Best In Show Exhibition” curated by Shelly de Soto in Los Angeles, California. Awards and fellowships include the Vermont Studio Center, Pioneer Works Center for Art and Innovation, the Lower East Side Printshop Key Holder Residency program, Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship (shortlisted finalist), Sharp Snug Harbor: Edward and Sally Van Lier fellowship and ACRE residency.  Ivan has participated in LookBetween 2014, Dumbo Arts Festival “The Fence” exhibition, Harlem Postcards spring 2014, and the Black Artist Retreat. Group exhibitions include Columbia University, The DC Arts Center, The Studio Museum in Harlem, Lower East Side Printshop, Gallery Projekt 72, the International Print Center, and a solo exhibition at The Newhouse Contemporary Art Center Staten Island, NY. Ivan graduated from SUNY Purchase collage with a B.A. in Literature and is currently an MFA candidate at Columbia University.

Tiona McClodden is a visual artist and filmmaker whose work explores and critiques issues at the intersections of race, gender, sexuality and social commentary. McClodden’s interdisciplinary approach traverses documentary film, experimental video, sculpture, and sound installations. Themes explored in McClodden’s films and works have been re-memory and more recently narrative biomythography. McClodden has exhibited and screened work at the Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia, Project 4 Gallery in Washington, D.C., Vox Populi Gallery-Philadelphia, PA, Esther Klein Art Gallery – Philadelphia, PA, Art Toronto’s VERGE Video program, On The Ground Floor Gallery-L.A., Imperfect Gallery -Philadelphia, PA, @RAUMERWEITERUNGSHALLE in Berlin, MOMA PS1, New York, Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland; Kansai Queer Film Festival in Osaka and Kyoto, Japan; and the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, among others in a range of international film festivals and film programs. In her most recent exhibition, Dreaming of Kin (2016) curated by Ladi’Sasha Jones at the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts, McClodden exhibited the full installation her personal and familial biography epic Be Alarmed: The Black Americana Epic, Movement I – The Visions.
Kameelah Janan Rasheed is an artist, writer, and former public school social studies teacher. A 2006 Amy Biehl U.S. Fulbright Scholar to South Africa, Rasheed holds an Ed.M (2008) in Secondary Education from Stanford University as well as a BA (2006) in Public Policy and Africana Studies from Pomona College. She has exhibited her work at Studio Museum in Harlem, Bronx Museum, Queens Museum, BRIC Art Gallery, Weeksville Heritage Museum, Smack Mellon Gallery, Vox Populi Gallery, TOPAZ Arts, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The Leroy Neiman Gallery, etc.

Diamond Stingily is an artist and writer based in New York. Her work has been presented in solo exhibitions at Egg, Chicago; A1, Chicago; and in a two-person exhibition (with Martine Syms) at Project Row Houses in Houston. Group exhibitions include Arcadia Missa, London; Queer Thoughts, New York and Nicaragua; Ramiken Crucible, Los Angeles, and a forthcoming project with Publishing House in Gstaad, Switzerland. Her writing has been performed and exhibited at Signal Gallery, Brooklyn and Chin’s Push, Los Angeles, among others, and a publication of her writing was released through Dominica, Los Angeles.

J. Soto is a queer interdisciplinary artist and poet with a focus on project-specific collaborations in writing, performance, and arts organizing. Beginning from writing, Soto’s performance work addresses the intersections of race, class, and gender through dance and incorporating poetry. He received his MFA in performance from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and lives and works in New York.

Lynnette Miranda is a latinx artist, curator, and writer from Miami, FL. She approaches her practice from the perspective of an artist—questioning and challenging established conventions—and an educator—opening up avenues for dialogue and collective knowledge building. Over the last seven years, she has worked at leading art institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, ART21, and Creative Time. In 2015, she coordinated three art conferences, including The Creative Time Summit: The Curriculum at the Venice Biennale and at Brooklyn’s Boys and Girls High School, as well as ART21’s Creative Chemistries: Radical Practices for Art + Education at the Park Avenue Armory. Currently, Miranda is the 2016-2017 Curator-in-Residence at Charlotte Street Foundation in Kansas City, MO.

New Yorker by birth + AfroDominican by bloodline, Suhaly Bautista-Carolina, otherwise known as, “The Earth Warrior,” is an artist, educator + community organizer. Her recent works explore themes of the AfroLatinX experience, Afrofuturism + Memory.

Before joining the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute (CCCADI) as the Director of Public Programs and the Brooklyn Museum as the Community Relations Manager, Suhaly served as the first Engagement & Education Manager at the public art nonprofit, Creative Time. She is the founder of the Afrofuturism book club, Black Magic and has worked in various capacities with organizations such as Artspace, FOKUS, The Walls-Ortiz Gallery and The Brooklyn Children’s Museum. In 2015, she was a panelist at ArtPrize7’s “Reflecting the Times: Arts & Activism” alongside Dread Scott and Arts.Black. She is a 2016 alumna of CCCADI’s Innovative Cultural Advocacy Fellowship and a recent graduate of Columbia University’s Summer Teachers and Scholars Institute, “The Many Worlds of Black New York.” Her photographic documents and writings have been published in Insight Magazine, United Nations’ International Museum of Women and Caribbean Vistas Journal. She has enjoyed solo exhibitions at NYU and La Casa Azul Bookstore. As of 2016, she is also a Weeksville Ambassador and a Willow Arts Alliance Weeksville Summer Arts Residency Fellow and scholarship recipient. Suhaly earned her B.A. and MPA from NYU, where she was named one of “NYU’s 15 Most Influential Students.” She is living and loving in Brooklyn, New York.

Teal Baskerville is an artist, researcher and organizer from New York City. Her practice focuses on imagining and enacting new ways of being and learning together that embrace multiplicity and creativity as a necessary tools of social change. Her recent work maps the history of black aesthetic through the framework of location, spatial, as well as temporal and social. She currently works at Creative Time where she is coordinating the 2016 Creative Time Summit DC: Occupy The Future.

Henry Murphy is a Jackson, Mississippi native, technologist, musician, and creative thinker interested in issues of access and equity at the intersection of art and technology. Henry is currently a fellow in Public Programs as a part of MoMA and the Studio Museum in Harlem’s collaborative fellowship program.

Kathy Cho is an artist and collaborator whose artistic and curatorial practices focuses on affect theory, affective labor and archiving lived experience. Her work manifests in fictionalized narratives created with objects, images, writings and events. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and recently co-curated shows for ACRE Gallery in Chicago and High Tide Gallery in Philadelphia. She currently lives and works in Philadelphia.


Read article in Artnet News

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08.11.16 Opening Reception | 6 - 8 pm |

Please join us for an opening reception on Thursday, August 11, from 6 to 8 p.m.

08.12.16 Black Study & Radical Thought | 1-2 pm |

In The Undercommons, study is defined as “a mode of thinking with others separate from the thinking that the institution requires of you.” In essence, study is a prescription for radical thought and defying the class, racial and gender oppression reified within academia. As radical thinkers, we will come together to enact “study” and think through the legacy of our wisdom: what are the spaces that have fostered and nourished our thinking? How can we share and/or reproduce those spaces for others?


Suggested reading: “The University and the Undercommons,” The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning & Black Study, Fred Moten and Stefano Harney (2013)

08.13.16 Dialogue + Performances | 12:30-6 pm |

12:30 PM


Outside of institutional walls, what are the ways in which artistic practitioners work on the ground with publics? How can community organizing through art address social justice issues, and what strategies can we use to push for progress? Participate in a practical exchange around how we work together and collaborate with publics to advocate for change through art. Bring your insight, expertise, and questions to deepen and complicate this conversation. Special guest speakers to be announced.


2:30 PM


How do we practice critical arts organizing and arts administration? How do we stay woke while working in bureaucratic and hierarchical institutions? Join us for a conversation about productive strategies on surviving the non-profit art institution, promoting equitable practices, and making change from within. We will share thinking and methodologies that support the development and growth of a kind of critical arts administration centered on difference. We encourage participants to contribute their own strategies and insights during this dialogue.


TEAL BASKERVILLE, Summit Coordinator at Creative Time

SUHALY BAUTISTA-CAROLINA, Director of Public Programs at the Caribbean Cultural Center; Community Relations Manager at the Brooklyn Museum

LYNNETTE MIRANDA, 2016-2017 Curator in Residence at Charlotte Street Foundation

HENRY MURPHY, Public Programs Fellow at MoMA and Studio Museum in Harlem


4:30 PM


08.14.16 If I Ruled the World Roudtable + Black Sounds Collaborative Lecture | 1-3:30 pm |

1 PM

IF I RULED THE WORLD: The Future of Black/Brown Leadership

In his 1996 masterpiece, Nas envisions a world ruled by a black leader with unlimited power. Twenty years later, we are coming to the end of Barack Obama’s presidency—a presidency in part defined by its limitations and what it was not able/allowed to achieve. As we prepare to close this chapter in our history, it is an important time to reflect on black/brown leadership in this country, both past and present, and ask ourselves what the future of black/brown leadership will, or perhaps more importantly, should look like?


Suggested reading + listening: “Obama’s Legacy: The First Black President,” The Washington Post, Peniel Joseph;

“Black Leadership In The Age Of Obama: A Look Back,” All Things Considered, NPR, Audrie Cornish and Gwen Ifill

This is part of a three-part series of mid-day reflection, questioning and knowledge sharing as we nourish both mind and body. *Participants should bring their own food


2:30 PM


This collaborative lecture and conversation aims to create a platform for conversation around the role of black sonics —sound art, music, etc.— in imagining and enacting habitable futures for black bodies.  We invite participants to contribute videos that capture this theme  here. The program will feature screening of a selection of submitted videos.

Led by Henry Murphy, Public Programs Fellow at MoMA and the Studio Museum in Harlem

08.17.16 Unlearning Roudtable | 1-2 pm |

1 PM


Conceptual artist and educator Luis Camnitzer challenges us to apply “art thinking” into our everyday system of logic as well as other disciplines, including science. Camnitzer believes that embedding art thinking into society’s consciousness should be art’s social function, shifting its role away from production and consumption, to one of investigation and subversion. As artistic practitioners, how do we enact, embody, and advance unlearning and decolonizing knowledge? Together we will question systems of learning, exchange methodologies for unlearning, and create strategies for challenging power structures in teaching.


Suggested readings: “ALPHABETIZATION, Part I: Protocol and Proficiency,” e-flux journal No. 9, Luis Camnitzer (2009);

“ALPHABETIZATION, Part II: Hegemonic Language and Arbitrary Order,” e-flux journal No. 10, Luis Camnitzer (2009)


This is part of a three-part series of mid-day reflection, questioning and knowledge sharing as we nourish both mind and body. *Participants should bring their own food

08.19.16 Poetry Reading | 7-8:30 pm |

7 PM


Join us for a poetry reading & open mic hosted by the 2016 Weeksville Summer Arts Residency Fellows and Willow Arts Alliance.

The 2016 Weeksville Residency Program in collaboration with the Willow Arts Alliance, a program of Willows Books–international publisher of writers of color- aims to provide multidisciplinary artists of color a nurturing and inspiring space for work and collaboration.  Enjoy readings by some of the 2016 Fellows. All audience members are encouraged to participate in the open mic.

08.21.16 Book Club + Dialogue | 1-5 pm |

1–2:30 PM

Meet at gallery and walk to park on Forsyth st


Founded in 2014, Black Magic is an Afrofuturism Book Club composed of womyn of the African Diaspora intended as a space to envision, imagine & create other possible futures. Join Black Magic for a reading & writing workshop that incorporates some of our favorite book club titles: “Parable of the Sower” by Octavia Butler, “The Truth About Awiti” by C.P. Patrick and “Who fears death?” by Nnedi Okorafor. If you own any of these books, please bring them along with you.


3:00 PM


Participate in a dialogue around the role of archives and its relationship to contemporary art. Together we will consider the ways in which looking back at the histories and cultures of marginalized peoples through archives can not only inform us, but inspire future action.


Led by librarians from the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture


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