Project for Empty Space is pleased to announce its participation in the 2018 NY VOLTA ART FAIR. PES will be representing Kameelah Janan Rasheed in the fair's critically acclaimed Curated Section, curated this year by Mickalene Thomas and Racquel Chevremont. 

Additionally, PES Directors Jasmine Wahi and Rebecca Pauline Jampol have organized a special project for The Video Wall // 2018 that will live in the fair's lounge. It is astonishing the lengths to which a person, or a people, will go in order to avoid a truthful mirror features five videos by artists that have been a part of the Project for Empty Space Residency or Exhibition program.

VOLTA will take place March 7 - 11, 2018 at Pier 90, 12th Avenue (At West 50th Street), New York, NY 10019. For more information click HERE.

Fair Hours:
Wednesday, March 7: 6pm – 9pm (VIP Preview/ Public Vernissage)
Thursday – Saturday, March 8 – March 10: 12pm – 8pm
Sunday, March 11: 12pm – 5pm



Kameelah Janan Rasheed, Selling My Black Rage to the Highest Bidder.

Mickalene Thomas and Racquel Chevremont will assemble The Aesthetics of Matter across a 2,600-square-foot space in the heart of PIER 90, an array of freestanding museum-style walls that afford and en- courage dialogue between artists, as well as a specific focus in contrast to the traditional booth architecture and solo projects surrounding it. “This exhibition will include paintings, sculpture, photography, video, text, and printed matter,” notes the co-curators. “The artists’ works are social and political through the form of collage, which has always been thought of as ‘a moment of crisis in consciousness’.”

Eight artists selected by Thomas and Chevremont will be presented by eight galleries. Project for Empty Space will represent the work of Kameelah Janan Rasheed, an artist whom we worked with in the past and are looking forward to as a Artist Scholar in Residence in 2019. 

Kameelah Janan Rasheed is a Brooklyn-based interdisciplinary artist, writer, and former public high school teacher from East Palo Alto, CA. Through installation works that combine photography, printmaking, publications, poetry, and performance, Rasheed’s research and work examine language as it relates to constructions of Black subjectivity.

Rasheed’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. Her work has been presented at the 2017 Venice Biennale, Institute of Contemporary Art - Philadelphia, Printed Matter, Jack Shainman Gallery, Studio Museum in Harlem, Bronx Museum, Queens Museum, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Pinchuk Art Centre, and others. Her work has been written about Artforum, Guernica Magazine, The New York Times, Art 21, Wall Street Journal, and ArtSlant.

In conjunction with The Aesthetics of Matter, Rasheed has produced a limited edition, 2 color Risograph print of Selling My Black Body to the Highest Bidder, pictured above, that is available for purchase HERE or at VOLTA. 



Video still from Disposses, Amy Khoshbin

It is astonishing the lengths to which a person, or a people, will go in order to avoid a truthful mirror is a selection of short films dealing with thematic derivations from the short story “This Morning, This Evening, So Soon,” by James Baldwin. The participating artists, Bang Geul Han, Melvin Harper, Amy Khoshbin, Shaun Leonardo, and Kambui Olujimi, each address a facet of contemporary American through video and  new media explorations in response to the Baldwin text.

A reception for the video program will take place in the VOLTA lounge on Friday, March 9th, at 6pm.

“This Morning, This Evening, So Soon,” was published in The Atlantic Monthly, in 1960, and later included in a collection of short stories, Going to Meet the Man, this piece follows it’s protagonist through a series of memories and reflections on the eve of his return to the United States after years of living in Paris. The protagonist, a famous Black actor in Paris, ruminates on prevalence of racism, xenophobia, and anti-multiculturalism in America; he is particularly concerned for the welfare and reception of his White, European wife, Harriet, and their biracial son, Paul.

As with many of Baldwin delicate and visceral short stories, the thematic underpinnings of “This Morning, This Evening, So Soon,” are racism and violence,  invisibility and imposed identity, love and loss, pain and precarity, and, perhaps most importantly, the intersections of all of the aforementioned human phenomena. In It is astonishing the lengths to which a person, or a people, will go in order to avoid a truthful mirror, curators Jasmine Wahi and Rebecca Pauline Jampol, address these themes within a contemporary framework.

The collection of videos is intentionally underscored by both the timeliness and unfortunate timelessness of what they address: the cunning and murderous beast of bigotry and pain still persists throughout the American landscape. And the gorgeous cycle of imperfect love, pain, and loss, still unfailingly reincarnates as it does in Baldwin’s time, and all of time.

It is the intention of the curators to present a short glimpse of something that speaks to an America that remains incrementally changed, largely the same, messy, and perhaps broken.

The artists picked for this program have all been a part of the Project for Empty Space Residency or Exhibition program.

Bang Geul Han, Through the Gaps Between My Teeth, 2018 | 5:00 mins. 
Melvin Harper, Watch, 2016 | 5:17 mins
Amy Khoshbin, Dispossess, 2014 | 1:00 min
Shaun Leonardo, Untitled (A Performance Project), April 19-21, 2013 | 10:00 mins
Kambui Olujimi, A Faint Notion, 2016 | 5:51 mins