Zachary Fabri: Black Tape Ebony Frame

November 11 – December 18, 2021

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


Events are subject to change

Project Kick-Off Day / First Recording Sessions 

Thursday, November 11, 2-8pm | 46 Washington Ave BK, NY 11205

The artist will be smudging the space and welcoming visitors. He will conduct his first two conversation recordings with friends and family at 4pm and 6pm.

Open Studio with Artist

Thursdays 1-5 pm: Nov 18 and Dec 9 | 46 Washington Ave BK, NY 11205

Drop in to view the project and have intimate conversation with the artist.

Stoop Session Recordings

Saturdays 2-4pm: Nov 13, Nov 20, and 1pm Saturday Dec 4 | 46 Washington Ave BK, NY 11205

The artists will invite his friends and family for recorded conversations. Audience members are invited to listen and engage discussants in a post-recording Q&A, at the discretion of each conversation participant. 

Friday December 17 at 6pm: Closing Event

Black Tape Ebony Frame

Visiting Hours:

Thursday, 2:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Friday & Saturday, 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm

46 Washington Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11205

Visitors (age 12+) must show proof of vaccination upon arrival to Recess. Please be prepared to check in at the front desk to show your proof of vaccination. Per the city guidelines, we accept the NYC Covid Safe App (Android and iOS), Excelsior Pass, CDC Vaccination Card (or photo), NYC Vaccination Record, or an official immunization record from outside NYC or the US.

Masks (age 2+) are required for all visitors.

Click here to reserve timed tickets.

Ongoing programming:

Zachary Fabri’s Black Tape Ebony Frame celebrates the living moments of Fabri’s African American family and friends by creating a reel-to-reel analog audio recording of one-on-one conversations. Originally, the project was created to record his father’s stories as a political refugee from Hungary in 1956, but soon expanded to provide space to contemplate the heightened culture of police violence against Black people. Through these conversations, Fabri’s Session examines mortality and immortality as they relate to both remembrance and refusal. 

After each conversation is recorded, Fabri will wind the audiotape around an ebony frame, sealing it and thereby preventing access to the conversation. The only information revealed from the conversation will be the name of the participants, date, and time. By intentionally complicating this accessibility to the conversations, Fabri invites viewers to consider the future problems of technological obsolescence, as well as possible ways to safeguard Black cultural content against commodification.  

How do black people create and control their own content? What is the role and responsibility of cultural organizations to facilitate critical discourse? How are “Black Futures” protected? While these are valuable queries, the goal of Black Tape Ebony Frame is not data collection or in-depth interviews. For Fabri priority is placed on having organic, pedestrian, and meandering “stoop chats” where guests can discuss these questions openly. As such, the Session gallery will be transformed into a live recording studio influenced by the portrait studio photography practice of Seydou Keïta and Malick Sidibé. 

Zachary Fabri’s Black Tape Ebony Frame 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

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, and 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.

Recess is supported, in part, by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; The Art for Justice Fund; The Pinkerton Foundation; ELMA Philanthropies; The Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund; The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation; The Tikkum Olam Foundation; The Visionary Freedom Fund of Common Counsel Foundation; 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; Prospect Hill Foundation; The Salomon Foundation; The Horace Goldsmith Foundation; VIA Fund; New York Community Trust; ArtMatters; Frank E. Clark Charitable Trust. In-kind support is provided by Materials for the Arts.