Frieze Vision & Justice Tribute


  1. May 5 – 9, 2021, 9 am – 9 pm

The Carpenter Center has selected the following conversations from its 2020-2021 season of programming to present as part of Frieze New York 2021’s Tribute to the Vision & Justice Project and its founder, Sarah Elizabeth Lewis, Associate Professor at Harvard University.

In Conversation: Ja'Tovia Gary and Frank B. Wilderson III

On October 8, 2020, filmmaker Ja’Tovia Gary joined writer Frank B. Wilderson III for a conversation around Gary’s 2019 film The Giverny Document. Gary’s film, which meditates on the safety and autonomy of Black women through a collage of contemporary and archival footage, became the point of departure for a conversation around wayward women in film, wake work in the archive, and the perils of autobiographical writing. This conversation was co-presented with the graduate students in Harvard’s department of Art, Film, and Visual Studies as part of the (Im)possibility Conference and was moderated by Aria Dean.


Dan Byers intro


Aria Dean intro


Conversation begins 


Art that disturbs the arc of redemption


The intramural


Acute quadruple consciousness


Wilderson asks, “When you said “specificity” earlier, what did you mean by that?”


What are the possibilities of Black Hollywood?


“Are you a director who edits or an editor who directs?” 


Intergenerational trauma; the evidence of things not seen


Gary asks what possibilities the intramural possesses for us as Black people living under this paradigm of violence


Q&A begins. Dean asks, “What are some successful depictions of the wayward in film?”


Dean asks Gary, “Do you think about the gaze?”


Wilderson asks Gary about Nina Simone


Audience asks, “Can cinematic strategies function as modes of care?”


Dan Byers closing remarks


In Conversation: Kemi Adeyemi with Jessica Bell Brown, Lauren Haynes, and Jamillah James

On December 10, 2020 the Carpenter Center welcomed curators Kemi Adeyemi, Jessica Bell Brown, Lauren Haynes, and Jamillah James for a panel discussion on the experiences of Black women in the curatorial field. Conceived as an extension of Adeyemi’s oral history project “Black Women Curators: A Brief Oral History of the Recent Past,” this four-way conversation touched upon the panelists’ respective research interests, institutional responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the challenges facing Black women working in the arts, as well as workplace inequities that transcend the art world. Each participant gave an overview of her unique professional path towards curating, sharing both recollections of past mentors as well as their ambitions for the future of curatorial practice.


Dan Byers intro


Kemi Adeyemi: What were some of your first experiences with art that clued you to the idea that you might be able to think closely about art or be in proximity to artists?


What does it mean to curate? What does curating look like as a process?


Jessica Bell Brown: “Sometimes I think about curating about care, as you so lovingly articulated, Lauren, and sometimes as a curator I am a harm prevention specialist.


Jamillah James: “It’s a learning experience, a mutual learning experience.”


How do you create an inclusive workplace?


Advocating for an expansive idea of who makes up our audiences and what their interests may be. Stop assuming based on canonized identity matrices


What is the best-case scenario for how people will let you work?


Lauren Haynes: “The idea of taking the space and being given the space to take chances. To make mistakes and do things that you are even surprised by…you hired me as a full being. And a person who is continuing to learn, grow, and be excited by a lot of different things. There needs to be space to lean into that and see where it takes you.”


Jamillah James: “We have to acknowledge we are living and working in a really hard time right now where the usual progression of how we do our work has been severely disrupted. We all need to adapt and change the way we are doing things. Adapting to be extra mindful.”


How has the pandemic shifted the way you conduct your work?


Increased interconnectedness across institutions and programming from supporting each other in crisis situations


How is art work essential work? How does the museum play a role at the urgent intersection of community work and engagement?


How has the pandemic shifted where you believe artists are working and the types of art educations that can occur in hyper-local settings?


Who mentored you?


Dan Byers closing remarks


In Conversation: Candice Lin, C. Riley Snorton, and Hentyle Yapp

On March 25, 2021, artist Candice Lin joined C. Riley Snorton and Hentyle Yapp for a discussion around the book Saturation: Race, Art, and the Circulation of Value (The MIT Press, 2020). Saturation: Race, Art, and the Circulation of Value compiles essays, conversations, and artist portfolios that confront questions at the intersection of race, institutional life, and representation. Editors Snorton and Yapp discussed the book’s conception and the idea of “saturation,” as an organizing principle, then invited contributor Lin into a discussion around her body of work, which explores histories of colonialism through a wide range of material investigations and alchemical experiments. Lin’s exhibition Candice Lin: Seeping, Rotting, Resting, Weeping, will be on view at the Carpenter Center in the spring of 2022.


Dan Byers intro


Byers frames the conversation with C. Riley Snorton and Hentyle Yapp’s introduction to Saturation: Race, Art, and the Circulation of Value


Yapp, Lin, and Snorton begin the conversation by revisiting how they got to know each other


Thinking across Sylvia Wynter, Denise Ferreira da Silva, and Hortense Spillers’s works on race and what Snorton sees as a “healthy suspicion” about how race is typically framed


Yapp discusses the development of Saturation, as well as conversations around race in the art world as a microcosm for larger questions of institutions and institutionality


Yapp: “What happens beyond calls for representation? How can we begin to think more structurally in relationship to race?”


Snorton: Calls for inclusion are still part of the machinery of how race is made attend to capitalism.


Lin speaks on the limits of explaining work


Lin shares and discusses images of recent work


Making the residues of historical violence visible


Bone black pigment and Chinese indentured labor in Cuba


Work from Candice Lin: Seeping, Rotting, Resting, Weeping at the Walker Art Center and the Carpenter Center


Lin discusses her love of cats


Yapp underlines the importance of race and the transnational, putting colonial violence askew


Lin discusses how her pattern usage shows the development of transnational capitalism, discussing Nigerian and Indian patterns in particular


Snorton discusses re-translation as a mode of approach


Yapp: How do we approach research as process?


Lin: If this book were an audiobook, what sound artist would you have included?


Q&A begins. Audience question: Can you all recommend tactics to open space for the opacity and unknowability of race in discussions with institutions founded on Western Enlightenment ideals of knowledge and encompassment?


Audience question: What are the different roles artists can play in turning saturation up or down?


Audience question: Can you discuss the human, both in terms of how it is addressed in the book, and how it is often absent in Lin’s work?


Audience question: How has living with a cat informed your practice?


Audience question: What is the intersection of “saturation” with ecologies of care?


Dan Byers closing remarks

Generous support for Carpenter Center programing is provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.