CRITICAL WRITING

The Critical Writing program commissions emerging writers to pursue the underlying themes and ideas that inform individual Session projects, initiating meaningful exchanges between artists and writers and facilitating the mutual production of new work.

Fellows are given editorial support and a $1000 honorarium. Editorial support for Critical Writing provided by Kemi Adeyemi, Well Read.

If you’d like to be considered for the fellowship, please combine the following into a single PDF and send to info@recessart.org:

  • Your top 2 choices for Session artists you want to work with and a few sentences per artist explaining why
  • A brief explanation of your interest in the Critical Writing program
  • A writing sample
  • A resume/CV

Your application will be shared with the artists you name.

Note, applications are due to info@recessart.org by September 30th 11:59 pm EST. Session artists will choose their desired Critical Writing fellow by mid-October.

Upcoming Session artists are listed below:

Dana Davenport: Dana’s Beauty Supply

As a product overwhelmingly sold by Koreans to Black Americans, Black hair care and beauty supply stores have often served as both the site and object of tensions between Black and Korean communities and a marker of the white supremacist agenda to divide us. Dana’s Beauty Supply constructs an experimental beauty supply store and hair gel manufacturing lab, a model for what a Korean-owned beauty supply can exist as in our modern times. With fully-stocked inventory, blowout sale prices, and proceeds being reinvested to support Black entrepreneurship, it reimagines the beauty supply as a space for critical dialogue, accountability, creativity, and community while servicing your beauty supply needs. 

Dana Davenport is a Korean and Black American interdisciplinary artist shifting between performance, sculpture, and video. Davenport earned a BFA in Photography from School of Visual Arts in New York City. Her work has been shown throughout the United States and internationally including Gibney Dance, New York, NY; Watermill Center, Water Mill, NY; NYU Skirball, New York, NY; BronxArtSpace, Bronx, NY; Brown University, Providence, RI; NARS Foundation, Brooklyn, NY; Cultural Center Recoleta, Buenos Aires, AR; Seventh Gallery, Sydney, AUS and many more. Davenport is the 2018 Chashama ChaNorth fellowship recipient and has completed the 2017 SOHO20 Gallery AIR Program. She co-organized Free Space, month-long programming at Miranda Kuo Gallery in 2018.

Zachary Fabri: Black Tape Ebony Frame

Black Tape Ebony Frame celebrates the living moments of my African American family and friends by creating a reel-to-reel analog audio recording of one-on-one conversations. I have become acutely sensitive to the fragility of the Black body through the simultaneous death of my father and the successive murders of Black people by United States police officers. Thinking about mortality and immortality, I am recording conversations that give significance to live engagements and celebrate moments often taken for granted. Each recording session is transformed into an inaudible object that functions as a reference for the live event.

Zachary Fabri is an interdisciplinary artist engaged in lens-based media, language systems and the built environment; often complicating boundaries around studio research, performance, and socially engaged practice. Fabri’s work has been exhibited at Art in General, The Studio Museum in Harlem, El Museo del Barrio, The Walker Art Center, The Brooklyn Museum, The Barnes Foundation, Performa. Collaborations include projects at the Museum of Modern Art, the Sharjah Biennial, and Pace gallery. He is the recipient of the 2020 Colene Brown Art Prize and an upcoming solo exhibition at CUE Art Foundation.

Rowan Renee: A Common Thread 

A Common Thread will transform Recess into a collaborative weaving studio that explores craft – specifically the physical transformation of material through the body – as a framework for envisioning and enacting transformative justice. As a starting point, Rowan draws from the healing rituals developed in their own studio while transforming court documents and family archival material. During this Session, a series of public programs and drop-in studio hours will bring together artists, community members, and restorative justice practitioners – particularly those who have been personally affected by the criminal justice system – to explore art-making as a system of care and healing.

Rowan Renee is a Brooklyn, NY based artist who explores how queer identity is mediated by the law. Their work addresses the intergenerational impact of gender-based violence and incarceration through State records and family archives. Their work has been exhibited in solo exhibitions at the Anchorage Museum of Art (2021), Five Myles (2021), Aperture Foundation (2017), and Pioneer Works (2015), with reviews in publications including VICE, Huffington Post, Hyperallergic, and The New York Times. They have received awards from the Aaron Siskind Foundation, the Harpo Foundation and the Jerome Hill Foundation, and have been an artist-in-residence at the Center for Book Arts, NARS Foundation, Red Bull Arts and the Textile Arts Center. Currently, their project Between the Lines, in collaboration with We, Women Photo, runs art workshops by correspondence with LGBTQ+ people currently incarcerated in Florida. Their installation, No Spirit For Me (2019), was included in the critically acclaimed exhibition Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration, curated by Dr. Nicole R. Fleetwood at MoMA PS1.

Rashayla Marie Brown: The MPA for MPA

The Motion Picture Association for Maintaining Personal Ambivalence is an independent filmmaking space where underrepresented audiences can alter the traumatic endings of movies they want to love but cannot bear to witness, using the aesthetics of a 1950’s writers’ room and darkroom studio. The MPA for MPA offers cinematic storyboarding and ideation conversations to co-create storyboards and photographic images with plot-driven development. As an art installation, the MPA for MPA reimagines the set of a screenwriters’ room and darkroom/photo studio, with community members, either in-person or via Zoom, occupying roles such as director, producer, actor, and set designer.

Rashayla Marie Brown (RMB) is an “undisciplinary” artist-scholar exploring how aesthetics can enact radical thought beyond mere representation. Creating visually poetic and emotionally engaging artworks with a deeply critical eye towards knowledge, medium and audience, RMB’s work blends installation design, photography, performance, writing, video and filmmaking with the implementation and critique of power structures. These works have been presented at galleries internationally including INVISIBLE-EXPORTS, New York; Krabbesholm Højskole, Copenhagen; La Becque, La-Tour-de-Peilz; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco; Rhodes College, Memphis; Tate Modern, London; and Turbine Hall, Johannesburg.

Caroline Garcia: I Woke Up and Chose Violence

I Woke Up and Chose Violence is a project that seeks to carry diasporic and postcolonial grief. It borrows from the Indigenous practice of Headhunting from the Philippine Islands by way of Filipino Martial Arts (FMA) to explore the possibilities of tropical dissent – as a type of cultural force in opposition to white violence against non-hegemonic bodies. This project involves a re-rendering of FMA weaponry (hand-in-hand, ranged, flexible, and defensive) using 3D printing and also focuses on the choreographic embodiment of these renditions through practical application. This project invites personal and communal mythologies on rage and violence as motivations to modify weaponry, serving as grounds to engage with the inherent duality of these objects as offensive and defensive tools.

Caroline Garcia is an interdisciplinary artist working across performance, video, and installation. She is a 2021 New York Artadia Awardee and has recently made new commissions for Open Call at The Shed and The Sydney Opera House’s digital exhibition, ‘Returning’. Her most notable projects include ‘Flygirl,’ developed in residence at the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center in 2016/17, and performances at the Manila Biennale, Art Central Hong Kong, and The Vera List Center for Arts and Politics NYC; all in 2018. Caroline was one of the eight artists selected nation-wide for ‘Primavera: Young Australian Artists’ in 2018 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, and was the 2018/19 recipient of the American Australian Association’s AUSART Fellowship Award. Caroline has presented work at Spring/Break Art Fair, Olsen Gruin Gallery, Movement Research at Judson Church, Smack Mellon, Creative Time Summit X, A.I.R. Biennale, and Hesse Flatow; all NYC. She was in residence at The Studios at MASS MoCA in 2019, awarded the Edwards Charitable Giving Trust Residency at ISCP, NY in 2020, and a Tech Resident at Pioneer Works in 2021. She is an upcoming Experimental Projects resident at the Institute for Electronic Arts, and a CultureHub Resident for 2021-22. Caroline is an MFA in Fine Arts graduate from Parsons The New School of Art, Media, and Technology.

Francheska Alcántara: Secure the Bag, Mint the Soaps and Throw the Bones

Secure the Bag, Mint the Soaps and Throw the Bones is an art installation and site of exchange that recontextualizes and reclaims the histories of the brown paper bag, and Hispano cuaba soap while inviting the audience to play a game of dominoes. The aim is to materialize new outcomes for these artifacts and interactions given their racialized, colonial and social complexities which reverberate in the customs and dynamics of the black diasporic subjectivity and imagination. Secure the Bag, Mint the Soaps and Throw the Bones sets free personal and cultural histories that are an ever expanding constellation of re-existences. 

An Afro-Caribbean-queer-person raised-by-their-grandmother and hailing from The Bronx, Francheska Alcántara explores slippages in-between memories, fragmentations and longing. Their aim is to explore the specific social meaning within the realm of domestic and public life of artifacts and interactions such as: hand-washing their underwear with cuaba soap while taking a shower, setting up buckets to catch rainwater to wash their hair, and peeling plátanos with the knife that has the right sharpness to follow the platano’s curve without cutting their hand. Francheska wants to use these subjective experiences to expand our capacity for pleasure, love and intra-connection. Alcántara graduated with a MFA in Sculpture + Extended Media from Virginia Commonwealth University, a BFA in Painting from Hunter College, and a BA in Art History from Old Dominion University. Francheska has shared their work at the Brooklyn Museum, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the Queens Museum, La Mama Theater, Grace Exhibition Space, and Longwood Art Gallery. Currently, they are a fellow at the Tulsa Artist Fellowship. 

Recently Published Critical Writing:

PAST CRITICAL WRITINGS