Naima Green: Pur·suit

Due to the process-based nature of the Session program, Pur·suit will undergo constant modifications; the features of this page provide accruing information on the project’s developments.



All events are free and open to the public. Events are subject to change

Open Studio – Portraits

All queer womxn, trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming people are welcome to sit for a portrait. To do so, you must make an appointment. Please select a 30-minute slot for 1 person and an hour-long spot for couples, friends, or collectives of 4 or less. If you’d like to sit for a portrait with more than 4 people, please e-mail Naima directly. Please come hair and make-up ready.


Artist and researcher Mimi Ọnụọha describes our time as one of “unprecedented data collection.” Despite the overcollection of data, there continue to be gaps in our information systems. Ọnụọha describes these gaps as “spaces that are curiously devoid of data.” 

In its physical form, Pur·suit is a 54-card poker deck by artist Naima Green that features portraits of queer womxn, trans, non-binary, and gender-nonconforming people. Responding to the ‘curious’ absences of data on queer and trans people of color, Pur·suit helps to complete an image of the world that we live in.

The idea for Green’s card deck emerged after she stumbled upon artist Catherine Opie’s Dyke Deck, which was made between 1990-1995 in the Bay Area, in a New York Public Library database in 2017. With Opie’s blessing, Green endeavored to reimagine the Dyke Deck so that it might fill spaces devoid of data. 

During her Session at Recess, Green will focus on developing an accompanying digital archive for Pur·suit. The archive will expand upon and preserve narratives of queerness and the many evolving identities queerness encompasses. It will develop along two axes: an in-gallery portraiture studio and interpersonal data collection. Artist talks, a game night, and a reading room for rest and repose will catalogue a community in realtime. Interviews with Pur·suit participants on queer love, friendship, and chosen families will be Green’s data sources. 

Green’s practice is rooted in placemaking, constructing sites of comfort, leisure, and power outside of traditional homespaces. As such, the Session space will be a home for research, reading, and cataloguing. Throughout the Session, the public will be invited to read, rest, and to have their portraits added to a collective archive, which will serve as a reminder of vibrant queer experiences, play, and presence.

Naima Green’s Pur·suit is part of Recess’s program, Session, which invites artists to use Recess’s public platform to combine productive studio space with dynamic exhibition opportunities. Sessions remain open to the public from the first day of the artist’s project through the last, encouraging sustained dialogue between artists and audiences. Due to the process-based nature of Session, projects undergo constant revision and the above proposal is subject to change.


 About the Artist

Naima Green is an artist and educator currently living between Brooklyn, NY and Mexico City, Mexico. She holds an MFA in Photography from ICP–Bard, an MA from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a BA from Barnard College. Green will present her first museum solo show at Fotografiska in 2020. Her work has been featured in exhibitions at the Smart Museum of Art, MASS MoCA, International Center of Photography, Houston Center for Photography, Bronx Museum, BRIC, ltd los angeles, Gallery 102, Gracie Mansion Conservancy, Shoot the Lobster, the Studio Museum in Harlem, and Arsenal Gallery. Green has been an artist-in-residence at Mass MoCA, Pocoapoco, Bronx Museum, Vermont Studio Center, and recipient of the Myers Art Prize at Columbia University.

Her artist books and objects are collected by MoMA Library, the International Center of Photography Library, Decker Library at MICA and Barnard Library. 

Recess is supported, in part, by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; The National Endowment for the Arts, Art Works; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in Partnership with the City Council; The Horace Goldsmith Foundation; The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation; Art for Justice Fund, Pinkerton Foundation, ELMA Philanthropies, Laurie M Tisch Illumination Fund, The Salomon Foundation, The Stavros Niarchos Foundation, Prospect Hill Foundation, Powerhouse Environmental Arts Foundation and The Tikkum Olam Foundation. In-kind support is provided by Materials for the Arts.