Morgan Bassichis: More Little Ditties Opening Reception and Book Launch
Cover of Questions to Ask Before Your Bat Mitzvah, 2023, published by Wendy’s Subway. Edited by Morgan Bassichis, Jay Saper, and Rachel Valinsky. Illustrations by Nicole Eisenman. Design by Tiffany Malakooti.
Join us for the opening celebration of Morgan Bassichis: More Little Ditties and a book launch for Questions to Ask Before Your Bat Mitzvah (Wendy’s Subway 2023), featuring readings and conversation with editors Morgan Bassichis, Jay Saper, and Rachel Valinsky, and contributors Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo, Khury Petersen-Smith, and Sandra Tamari.
Morgan Bassichis: More Little Ditties will be on view in the Level 3 Sert Gallery.
About the Artist
Morgan Bassichis (b. 1983, Newton, MA) is based in New York City. Their work has been presented in New York by Abrons Arts Center, Danspace Project, The Kitchen, and New Museum of Contemporary Art; and in Portland, OR, at Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA). Bassichis’s first solo exhibition, Questions to Ask Beforehand, opened at Bridget Donahue in New York City in March 2022. They were included in the 2019 Whitney Biennial and the 2015 edition of Greater New York at MoMA PS1. Their book “The Odd Years” was published by Wendy’s Subway in 2020. Bassichis has released two album-length recordings: March is for Marches with Ethan Philbrick (2019) and More Protest Songs! Live From St. Mark’s Church (2018).
About the Participants
Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo is an artist, activist, educator, storyteller, cultural worker and person of multitudes. Through a practice based in the printed multiple, community-based work, performance and installation building, they invite the viewer to recall and share their own lived narratives, offering power and weight to the creation of a larger dialogue around the telling of Black, Indigenous, Queer, Trans, People of color’s stories. Lukaza has had solo shows at SEPTEMBER Gallery, Deli Gallery, Roll Up Projects, Printed Matter Inc. and Center for Book Arts. Their work has been included in exhibitions and performances at Konsthall C, EFA Project Space, San Francisco Arts Commision, Leslie Lohman Museum, YBCA, and L’Internationale Online, amongst others. Lukaza’s artist books and printed editions have been published by Endless Editions, Childish Books, Press Press and Printed Matter Inc. and are in the permanent collections at The Met Library, UCSC Library, NYU Special Collections and SFMOMA Library.
Khury Petersen-Smith interrogates U.S. empire and seeks to be a resource and collaborator in challenging it. He is the Michael Ratner Middle East Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, where he focuses on U.S. foreign policy and social movements that resist it. Khury completed a doctoral dissertation at Clark University Graduate School of Geography, focusing on questions of sovereignty and territory as they pertain to US military bases in the Pacific. A co-author of the 2015 Black Statement of Solidarity with Palestine, Khury writes and speaks about Israeli apartheid, the Palestinian freedom struggle, and Black and Palestinian solidarity. Khury also researches the militarization of borders, displacement of populations, and refugee rights. His current work includes: co-cultivating conversations about Black internationalism today, researching US military contamination in Iraq and the intersection of demilitarization and decontamination, and organizing with faith communities in the U.S. to confront Israeli violence against Palestinian sacred spaces and practices.
Jay Saper is an artist, translator, educator, and organizer who lives in Brooklyn, New York. They have taught Antifascist Yiddish for Beginners at Middlebury College and led walking tours on radical Jewish history for the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. Jay has served as artist-in-residence at the Jewish Museum Frankfurt. Their work has been supported by the Yiddish Book Center and featured on Democracy Now! Jay’s artist books and zines honoring the legacy of Yiddish print and activist culture, under the imprint Pashkevil Press, are held in the collection of the Watson Library at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Sandra Tamari (she/her) is a Palestinian organizer and the Executive Director of Adalah Justice Project, an advocacy organization based in the U.S. that builds cross-movement coalitions to achieve collective liberation - connecting Indigenous, Black, and Palestinian freedom struggles. She is a co-founder of the St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee and was co-chair of the Steering Committee for the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights from 2015-2018. Based in St. Louis, the murder of Mike Brown in Ferguson in August 2014 greatly impacted Sandra’s work and understanding of the Palestinian freedom movement. She was a lead organizer of the Palestinian contingent to Ferguson October in 2014.
Rachel Valinsky is a writer, editor, and translator based in New York. She is co-founder and Artistic Director of Wendy’s Subway, a nonprofit reading room, writing space, and independent publisher in Brooklyn. Rachel’s criticism appears in publications including Artforum, Art in America, BOMB, e-flux criticism, and Frieze, and she has written for the Berlinale, Danspace Project, and Sternberg Press, among others. Rachel has translated literary and critical texts for Semiotext(e) and Éditions Lutanie, and curated exhibitions, performances, and public programs at The Kitchen, The Queens Museum, BAM, and elsewhere. She teaches art history, performance, art writing, and critical thinking at New York University and The New School.