events

Performance & Artist Talk with Qinza Najm

Wednesday, September 11, 6:30-8:30pm
A.I.R. Gallery, 155 Plymouth St, Brooklyn, NY

Tabdeeli  , 2017-2019  Performance with five dancers, video projection, soundtrack

Tabdeeli, 2017-2019

Performance with five dancers, video projection, soundtrack

A.I.R. Gallery and Qinza Najm will be hosting a performance: Tabdeeli , followed by an artist talk. Tabdeeli – “transformation” in Urdu – explores cultural, political, and personal displacement. The immersive choreography represents a journey that depends on the individual’s determination to reach his/her full potential, and to change his/her narrative from one of trauma to healing. The artist considers this performance as a live extension of her paintings. Notions of resisting, pushing against, and transcending barriers, taboos, and social and political norms are expressed through the movements of the dancers, as they stretch and struggle within the translucent fabric that covers their bodies like a cocoon, constricting their movements. The metaphor of stretching refers to the expansive metaphysical stretching of awareness and the broadening of one’s consciousness. The dancing bodies are integrated with projected images of the artist’s painting and collages, based on images of artifacts of violence and healing she collected over the years. This performance was first performed at the Queens Museum, NYC, in 2017.

Text written by Curator Tami Katz-Freiman.

For more information, please view Najm’s webpage here

Panel Discussion

Sunday, September 8, from 4-5:30pm
Negin Sharifzadeh with Giulio Verago, Alix Brouillion, and Bryn Gast.
A.I.R. Gallery, 155 Plymouth St, Brooklyn, NY

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A.I.R. Gallery and Negin Sharifzadeh will be hosting a panel discussion around Sharifzadeh’s show at A.I.R.

The idea for the exhibition came about during an artist residency Sharifzadeh was part of in the heart of Tuscany, at Santa Maria a Rignana.

Sharifzadeh’s studio space was in a decommissioned church in which all the church sculptures, fabrics, and ornaments had been left intact. That was what sparked her interest with Christian iconography, the history of Renaissance painting, and the role of women in the Renaissance. In particular, how the social and political systems defined the ways women were allowed to be the protagonists of their lives within those systems compared to how women deal with the same challenge today. We have the sense of great progress and distance from that period, but is that illusory? Are we still fundamentally bound by the restrictive politics and laws written for women by white male supremacists?

The panel will also investigate the idea of how a female artist from the Middle East looks at this iconic western history, what is so often posited as the fount of legitimate, i.e. European, art. How she can find herself in it as an outsider? Or take on the very notion of being an outsider?

As an artist, Sharifzadeh’s approach had two major facets. First, was understanding the complexities of the roles the women portrayed were able to build for themselves, and recognizing in them the ways women still need to struggle to build their identities and practices within the constraints placed on them. Second was challenging the notion of the Renaissance itself as some purely European phenomena, and instead recognizing it was part of a complex set of cultural flows between regions and periods, including tremendous influences from the Middle East. Placing herself inside this context was not an “invasion”, more a rectification of an intentional historical blindness. 


Panelists: 

Giulio Verago, is the curator of this exhibition. He has previously worked with Negin Sharifzadeh on her film project, Perilous Milano, during her residency at Via Farini Artist Residence in Milan, in winter 2019, of which he is the director. 

Negin Sharifzadeh, is an award-winning artist. She has worked across multiple mediums, from sculpture and animation to performance and film since 1996. She has shown work and attended artist residencies in Western Europe, Australia, USA and Iran. 

Ms Alix Brouillion recently completed her master’s thesis at the School of Social Sciences (L'École des hautes études en sciences sociales) in Paris on Negin Sharifzadeh’s body of work. She is joining the panel from the perspective of knowing the artist’s work from a sociopolitical view and bringing a richer understanding to the concept and content behind this exhibition. 

Bryn Gast recently earned her BA in English Literature from Emory University. She played a femme fatale in Negin Sharifzadeh’s 2016 short film, Inspector Sorrow. Bryn currently works at the UN and is applying to law school. She is the model in the photos for Appearance Stripped Bare. 

!Women Art Revolution

Wednesday, July 24 at 7pm

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A.I.R. will host a screening of Lynn Hershman Leeson's !Women Art Revolution (2010) on Wednesday, July 24 at 7pm. This screening accompanies our current exhibition, For Information.

!Women Art Revolution reflects on the history of the Women’s Movement and documents the work of women artists in the narrative format of film. In revealing the gender politics of the art world and the work of activists and artists to alter these dynamics, Leeson demonstrates how seemingly small actions can build into a movement for change. The artist takes a revisionist approach to traditional narratives around art history, documenting the voices and stories of those who have not historically been included. These first person accounts develop an archive of the experiences of women artists on their own terms. In this way, Leeson provides an example as to how art might be activated to address and challenge inequalities.

This screening is free and open to the public. For more information click here.

NADA Curator-led Tour

Thursday, July 18 at 6:30pm

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Please join us for a curator-led tour of The Scalability Project hosted with NADA on Thursday, July 18 at 6:30pm. This tour will be led by A.I.R. curators and directors Roxana Fabius and Patricia M. Hernandez.

The Scalability Project is a year-long programming initiative that considers technologies and their implications for gendered, racialized, and class violence. The Project establishes feminism as a system of belief that has a wide spectrum of interpretations, exploring them through two exhibitions, eight public programs, and an online publication. The series also addresses the possibilities of scaling up feminisms, and the strategies needed in order to confront our socio-political landscape. Please RSVP to: membership@newartdealers.org

For more information about The Scalability Project click here

For more information about NADA click here

Art Criticism & Agendas: Specific Language & Relative Positions

JUNE 22, 3PM
SOHO20, 56 Bogart Street, Brooklyn, NY

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A conversation with Amy Fung, Ariel Goldberg, and Lindsay Preston Zappas, moderated by Mira Dayal

SOHO20 and A.I.R. Gallery are pleased to announce the third conversation in a collaborative programming series, Art Criticism & Agendas, happening at both spaces this spring, as a conceptual extension of SOHO20’s “Rethinking Feminism” initiative. For Art Criticism & Agendas, SOHO20 Curatorial Fellow Mira Dayal invites art critics to consider how they position their criticism as an act of solidarity, for whom, and on what terms. In one of its earliest uses, solidarity—a complicated term whose meaning has shifted over time—was tied to the concept of debt, signifying that each involved party could be held financially responsible for another. By implication, mutual support was a kind of social obligation. In thinking about this logic with respect to criticism, what does it mean to have an “agenda” while writing? While “having an agenda” is usually seen as a detriment or conflict, these conversations will consider how this implied level of planning and obligation might be productive for feminist objectives.

The third panel in the series, Art Criticism & Agendas: Specific Language & Relative Positions, will bring together Amy Fung, Ariel Goldberg, and Lindsay Preston Zappas to speak with Dayal at SOHO20 on June 22nd. This conversation will focus on the shifting vocabularies writers use to frame and critique art and artists, specifically unpacking how decisions to label and classify can both lend weight to and detract from the work at hand. The origins of Goldberg’s book The Estrangement Principle are described on its back cover: “I began collecting the phrase ‘queer art’ in all its sweaty megaphone pronouncements.” Amid chapters investigating the complexities of locating and identifying with their communities of artists and writers, Goldberg observes, “Perhaps it is not that I want to stop critiquing what is called ‘queer art’ but just to recover from being barraged by it… I don’t want reinvention. I want more specific language.” Zappas echoes this sentiment—and laments a related barrage of words—in “The Languages of All-Women Exhibitions:” “How do you know if an exhibition will include only women? It will tell you. And it often tells you loudly, and in advance.” In studying the implications of promotional materials for shows focused on women, she continues, “It is indeed this question of naming that is paramount in the re-historicization of women artists today, as it shapes the future narrative of their historically tenuous careers.” Naming has always been an act of power, of recognition, but it can also misfire and warp. What vocabularies do we need now, and how should we use them? As Fung writes in “How to Review Art as a Feminist and Other Speculative Intents,” “How we write matches what we are going to write… How to review art as a feminist is to understand the world and our relative positions within it. How have we come to this position and how will we engage?”

Attendees are requested to read the selected texts in advance for context, although all are welcome to thoughtfully respond to the discussion regardless of preparation. The cited chapter of Ariel Goldberg’s The Estrangement Principle was published with e-flux here.

Amy Fung is a writer, researcher, and curator born in Kowloon, Hong Kong, and spent her formative years in and around Edmonton on Treaty 6 Territory. Her writing has been published and commissioned by national and international publications, galleries, museums, festivals, and journals since 2007. Her multifarious curatorial projects have spanned exhibitions, cinematic and live presentations, as well as discursive events across Canada and abroad. Before I Was a Critic I Was a Human Being (Artspeak and Book*hug Press) is her first book.

Ariel Goldberg's publications include The Estrangement Principle (Nightboat Books, 2016) and The Photographer (Roof Books, 2015). Goldberg’s writing has most recently appeared in Afterimage, e-flux, Artforum, and Art in America. Goldberg teaches at Pratt Institute and The New School. From 2014-2017, they organized readings at The Poetry Project and they are the 2018-9 Zuckerman Fellow, Curator of Community Engagement at the Jewish History Museum in Tucson, AZ.

Lindsay Preston Zappas is an L.A.-based artist, writer, and the founder and editor-in-chief of Carla. She received her MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art and attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2013. She has contributed to ArtReview, Flash Art, LA Canvas, Artsy, Art21, KCRW, and others. Her solo exhibition, I Forgot My Shoes, will be on view at the Buffalo Institute of Contemporary Art this summer.

Mira Dayal is an artist, critic, and curator based in New York. She is the founding editor of the Journal of Art Criticism, co-curator of the collaborative artist publication prompt:, and an associate editor at Artforum. Dayal’s recent studio work has focused on skins, scrolls, metaphors, and membranes. Past shows include A Hairline Crack at Gymnasium, Anagen at Lubov, Material Metaphors at NARS Foundation, and Volley at Abrons Art Center. Extending and researching these interests, Dayal has previously curated programming and exhibitions on the subjects of intimacy, material residues, and feminism for venues including CUE Art Foundation, Helena Anrather Gallery, A.I.R. Gallery, and Barnard College. Dayal’s curatorial practice primarily engages the work of emerging and underrepresented artists. She often works collaboratively.

Art Criticism & Agendas: Representation & Expansion

MAY 19, 3PM
A.I.R. Gallery, 155 Plymouth St, Brooklyn, NY

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A conversation with Merray Gerges and Jessica Lynne, moderated by Mira Dayal

A.I.R. Gallery and SOHO20 are pleased to announce the next conversation in a collaborative programming series, Art Criticism & Agendas, happening at both spaces this spring, as a conceptual extension of SOHO20’s “Rethinking Feminism” initiative.  For Art Criticism & Agendas, SOHO20 Curatorial Fellow Mira Dayal brings art critics together to consider how they position their criticism as an act of solidarity, for whom, and on what terms. In one of its earliest uses, solidarity—a complicated term whose meaning has shifted over time—was tied to the concept of debt, signifying that each involved party could be held financially responsible for another. By implication, mutual support was a kind of social obligation. In thinking about this logic with respect to criticism, what does it mean to have an “agenda” while writing? While “having an agenda” is usually seen as a detriment or conflict, these conversations will consider how this implied level of planning and obligation might be productive for feminist objectives.

For the second panel in the series, Art Criticism & Agendas: Representation & Expansion, on May 19th at A.I.R. Gallery, Merray Gerges and Jessica Lynne will be in conversation with Mira Dayal. Building on the terms soft talk and solidarity, explored in the first panel with Leslie Dick and Annie Godfrey Larmon, this panel will begin with the term representation as explored in Merray Gerges’s essay “On Being a Critic of Colour in February,” where she delves into the expectations placed on critics of color to write about underrepresented artists, and the necessity for writers to be able to represent their own interests. In an epistolary essay signed “In solidarity,” Jessica Lynne explores the mission and changing context of her publication ARTS.BLACK (co-founded with Taylor Renee), while addressing the complications of considering art “as a place of refuge.” In these and other writings, both writers grapple with expansion—of the field of art criticism, of perceptions of their criticisms, and of the roles of writers and editors.

Attendees are requested to read the selected essays in advance for context, although all are welcome to thoughtfully respond to the discussion regardless of preparation.

The third panel in this series, with writers Amy Fung, Ariel Goldberg, and Lindsay Preston Zappas, will take place on June 22nd at SOHO20.

Merray Gerges writes around art rather than about it. She studied art history at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and journalism at King’s in Halifax, where she co-founded and co-edited CRIT, a free biannual criticism publication. She was editorial resident at Canadian Art in 2016, and assistant editor there from 2017 to 2019. She is now editorial fellow at C Magazine, where she is conceptualizing and commissioning a year of themed issues. Her work has appeared in Canadian Art, C Magazine, MOMUS, Hyperallergic, the Walker Reader, and more, addressing issues ranging from the radical potential (and shortcomings) of intersectional feminist memes and art selfies, to art-world race politics.

Jessica Lynne is a founding editor of ARTS.BLACK, an online journal of art criticism. Her writing has been featured in publications such as Art in America, The Believer, BOMB Magazine, and elsewhere. She is currently at work on a collection of essays about family, faith, and the American South.

Mira Dayal is an artist, critic, and curator based in New York. She is the founding editor of the Journal of Art Criticism, co-curator of the collaborative artist publication prompt:, and an assistant editor at Artforum. Dayal’s studio work has focused on the routines and materialities of language and the body. Her most recent solo exhibition was at Lubov gallery in January 2019. Past shows include Material Metaphors at NARS Foundation, Spectral Imprints at A.I.R. Gallery on Governor’s Island, and Volley at Abrons Art Center. Extending and researching these interests, Dayal has previously curated programming and exhibitions on the subjects of intimacy, material residues, and commemoration for venues including Helena Anrather Gallery, A.I.R. Gallery, the Pfizer Building, and Barnard College; she also assisted New Museum curator Margot Norton with research for Sequences VIII: Elastic Hours, a biennial in Reykjavik. Dayal’s curatorial practice primarily engages the work of emerging and underrepresented artists. In September 2018, she curated a show of Lizzy De Vita and Hong Seon Jang for 5-50 Gallery, followed by Formula 1 at CUE Art Foundation, where she is a Curatorial Fellow, in April 2019.

A conversation with Fellowship Artist Kim Dacres

MAY 17, 6-9 PM
A.I.R. Gallery, 155 Plymouth St, Brooklyn, NY

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A conversation with Fellowship Artist Kim Dacres

A.I.R. Gallery and Kim Dacres will be hosting an intimate gathering for Williams Black Alumni Network (WBAN) members and guests. Join us on Friday, May 17 from 6-9PM, as we celebrate Kim Dacres and her current exhibition, Swerve Team Meeting.

The exhibition is comprised of nine sculptures drawing on hairstyles, features, and identities of black women. Through working with rubber tires and tubes, Dacres transforms exterior materials to represent personal identities. The sculptures were created over the course of a two-year period during which Dacres collected, cleaned, and braided recycled bicycle parts from Harlem and the Bronx. She used these tough yet flexible and forgiving materials to emphasize the characteristics of black women inside and outside of her community. In creating these works, Dacres explores the space between permanence and importance amongst people that have been disregarded. The installation is site-specific for a feminist space to encourage dialogue and conversation between women. Swerve Team Meeting brings together flexible perceptions of people to investigate how black women can change the world to be to a softer place through community.

Kim Dacres (b.1986, Bronx, New York) is a first-generation Jamaican American. Dacres received her Bachelor’s degree from Williams College as a dual major in Art Studio and Political Science with a minor in Africana Studies. She also received her Master’s degree in Education from the City University of New York (Lehman College). Her first public art installation, Peaceful Perch, a collaboration with Daniel Alexander Matthews, is currently on view in Harlem’s Marcus Garvey Park through September 2019. Dacres currently lives and practices her studio work in Harlem.

Please RSVP Here.

Visions of a Post Rikers NYC: Panel, Film Screening, and Idea Expo with Fellowship Artist Melanie Crean

MAY 9, 5:30 PM
Red Hook Community Justice Center, 88 Visitation Place, Brooklyn, NY

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Visions of a Post Rikers NYC: Panel, Film Screening, and Idea Expo
Thursday, May 9, 2019, 5:30-8pm
Red Hook Community Justice Center
88 Visitation Place, Brooklyn, NY

Please join the Red Hook Community Justice Center and A.I.R. Fellowship Artist Melanie Crean this Thursday May 9 for a panel discussion concerning visions of a post-Rikers NYC, details below. Panelists will include Jordan Stockdale, Deputy Executive Director, Close Rikers at the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice; Kandra Clark, Associate Vice President of Strategy, Exodus Transitional Community; Red Hook's Presiding Judge, Hon. Alex Calabrese; and will be moderated by the Justice Center’s Program Director Amanda Berman. Reception to follow, including an "IDEA EXPO" where community members will share their ideas for a post-Rikers NYC, developed during workshops facilitated by Melanie Crean, in conjunction with Ras Mashramani and Ayodamola Okunseinde. 

Melanie Crean is an artist and educator whose work focuses on redistributing power and reimagining how it might be represented in media, culture, and technology. In her research-based practice, she makes use of a variety of forms including performance, speculative design, and participatory filmmaking. Crean is an Associate Professor at Parsons School of Design where she teaches courses on emerging media, social engagement, and visual culture. She has received awards and commissions from A Blade of Grass, Art in General, Creative Capital, Franklin Furnace, The Jerome Foundation, and Rhizome; and has participated in exhibitions with Creative Time, Performa 11, Southern Exposure, and No Longer Empty. 

Art Criticism & Agendas: Soft Talk & Solidarity

APRIL 14, 3PM
A.I.R. Gallery, 155 Plymouth St, Brooklyn, NY

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A conversation with Annie Godfrey Larmon and Leslie Dick, moderated by Mira Dayal

A.I.R. Gallery and SOHO20 are pleased to announce a collaborative programming series, Art Criticism & Agendas, to be held at both spaces this spring, as a conceptual extension of SOHO20’s “Rethinking Feminism” initiative. Art Criticism & Agendas will consider how different writers position their criticism as an act of solidarity, for whom, and on what terms. In one of its earliest uses, solidarity—a complicated term whose meaning has shifted over time—was tied to the concept of debt, signifying that each involved party could be held financially responsible for another. By implication, mutual support was a kind of social obligation. In thinking about this logic with respect to criticism, what does it mean to have an “agenda” while writing? While “having an agenda” is usually seen as a detriment or conflict, these conversations will consider how this implied level of planning and obligation might be productive for feminist objectives.

The first panel in the series, Art Criticism & Agendas: Soft Talk & Solidarity, on April 14th at A.I.R. Gallery, features Annie Godfrey Larmon and Leslie Dick, moderated by SOHO20 Curatorial Fellow Mira Dayal. The two terms in this panel’s title, “soft talk” and “solidarity,” are key to Larmon’s recent essay “Dirt is Clean When There is a Volume,” published in apricota, and Dick’s “Soft Talk,” published in X-TRA. Both Larmon and Dick suggest, in different contexts, that critique is a method of support, but that support should generate both tension and discovery. Both writers also contend with other artists’, professors’, institutions’, or authorities’ responses to the described critical approaches.

Attendees will be invited to read these selected essays in advance for context, although all are welcome to thoughtfully respond to the discussion regardless of preparation.

Read “Dirt is Clean When There is a Volume” by Annie Godfrey Larmon here.
Read “Soft Talk” by Leslie Dick here.

Annie Godfrey Larmon is a writer and editor based in New York. Her writing has appeared in apricota, Artforum, BBC Culture, Bookforum, CURA., Even, Frieze, MAY, The Miami Rail, Spike, Texte zur Kunst, Topical Cream, Vdrome, WdW Review, and The White Review. The recipient of a 2016 Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant for short-form writing, she is the editor of publications for the inaugural Okayama Art Summit and a former international reviews editor of Artforum. Last year, she was a writer in residence at the LUMA Foundation in Arles, France and at Mahler & LeWitt Studios in Spoleto, Italy. She is currently at work on her first novel and a monograph on the work of Beverly Pepper.

Leslie Dick is a writer who has taught in the Art Program at CalArts since 1992. Currently she also works as a Visiting Critic in Sculpture at Yale School of Art. She published two novels and a book of short fiction, and her writing on art has appeared in various magazines, journals, and catalogues. Recent publications include: “Soft Talk: Thoughts on Critique,” X-TRA; “Marisa Merz: Unavailable,” X-TRA; and “Intentional Accidents: Reflections on Sarah Charlesworth’s Stills,” X-TRA. Her piece “The Interpretation of Dreams” was reprinted in Writers Who Love Too Much: New Narrative Writing 1977-1997, eds. Dodie Bellamy and Kevin Killian (Nightboat, 2017).

Mira Dayal is an artist, critic, and curator based in New York. She is the founding editor of the Journal of Art Criticism, co-curator of the collaborative artist publication prompt:, and an assistant editor at Artforum. Dayal’s studio work has focused on the routines and materialities of language and the body. Her most recent solo exhibition was at Lubov gallery in January 2019. Past shows include Material Metaphors at NARS Foundation, Spectral Imprints at A.I.R. Gallery on Governor’s Island, and Volley at Abrons Art Center. Extending and researching these interests, Dayal has previously curated programming and exhibitions on the subjects of intimacy, material residues, and commemoration for venues including Helena Anrather Gallery, A.I.R. Gallery, the Pfizer Building, and Barnard College; she also assisted New Museum curator Margot Norton with research for Sequences VIII: Elastic Hours, a biennial in Reykjavik. Dayal’s curatorial practice primarily engages the work of emerging and underrepresented artists. In September 2018, she curated a show of Lizzy De Vita and Hong Seon Jang for 5-50 Gallery, followed by Formula 1 at CUE Art Foundation, where she is a Curatorial Fellow, in April 2019.