present futures: strategies toward emancipation (part one)

August 11 – August 25, 2016

The recent mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and the senseless murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile (and the others that the media hasn’t covered) at the hands of police officers have left us with an overwhelming feeling of helplessness. With the exception of a few, there is a generally muted response among the art community to this ongoing violence, injustice, and oppression. But silence and indifference are tools of oppression.

In moments of injustice, how do we think about the future when the present is so daunting and fraught? Present Futures: Strategies Toward Emancipation (Part One) brings together artists and cultural producers whose practices and work are grounded in the present moment while generating and expanding artistic strategies for making change. The exhibition will enact these strategies through a programmatic component that offers a space for arts practitioners to convene and exchange ideas around, questions about, and methodologies for self-preservation, self-determination, and collective organizing. Together, we can call for cultural spaces to offer us more than a site for reflection, but one for action. As a community, we can strategize through our artistic lens and create a hopeful, yet determined and focused space that pushes for progress.

This is the first of a recurring series of curatorial initiatives that we hope we continue to build and deepen together.


Exhibition Checklist



Pamela Council

Ivan Forde

James T. Green

Tiona McClodden

Kameelah Janan Rasheed

J. Soto

Diamond Stingily


Curated and organized by Lynnette Miranda, Suhaly Bautista-Carolina, Teal Baskerville, Henry Murphy, and Kathy Cho

Denny Gallery Pop-up

150 East Broadway | New York, NY


about the artists:

Pamela Council was born in Southampton, New York and lives in the South Bronx, New York. She makes sculptures, prints, performances, jokes, and more. Recent works are abstract sensual experiences that freestyle on notions of self-care, estate management, personal style, and the preciousness of product. Council’s work has been featured at the Studio Museum in Harlem, Williams College Museum of Art, and Five Myles Gallery. Pamela has created a commission for the Schomburg Center. She received a B.A. from Williams College and an M.F.A. from Columbia University. Pamela is currently an artist-in-residence at BSMT at Mana Contemporary.

Ivan Forde lives and works in Harlem, New York. His “Transformation” series of photographs received first place in fine art collage at the Lucie Foundation 2012 International Photography Awards and premiered in the “Best In Show Exhibition” curated by Shelly de Soto in Los Angeles, California. Awards and fellowships include the Vermont Studio Center, Pioneer Works Center for Art and Innovation, the Lower East Side Printshop Key Holder Residency program, Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship (shortlisted finalist), Sharp Snug Harbor: Edward and Sally Van Lier fellowship and ACRE residency.  Ivan has participated in LookBetween 2014, Dumbo Arts Festival “The Fence” exhibition, Harlem Postcards spring 2014, and the Black Artist Retreat. Group exhibitions include Columbia University, The DC Arts Center, The Studio Museum in Harlem, Lower East Side Printshop, Gallery Projekt 72, the International Print Center, and a solo exhibition at The Newhouse Contemporary Art Center Staten Island, NY. Ivan graduated from SUNY Purchase collage with a B.A. in Literature and is currently an MFA candidate at Columbia University.

James T. Green is a conceptual artist, designer, developer, podcaster, educator, and writer based in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. His projects investigate information distribution on the internet and unspoken markers of identity. His work has been shown in EXPO Chicago (2012, 2013, 2014), the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (2013), the Chicago Cultural Center (2012), and the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago (2013). Green has completed residency programs at ACRE (2011-2012), Chicago Artist Coalition’s HATCH Projects (2012-2013), and University of Chicago Arts & Public Life/CSRPC program (2014-2015). Currently, Green teaches graduate courses at School of the Art Institute Chicago and co-founded and maintains two businesses: On The Firefly, a design and development consultancy, and Postloudness, a collective of audio shows by people of color, women, and queer identified hosts.

Tiona McClodden is a visual artist and filmmaker whose work explores and critiques issues at the intersections of race, gender, sexuality and social commentary. McClodden’s interdisciplinary approach traverses documentary film, experimental video, sculpture, and sound installations. Themes explored in McClodden’s films and works have been re-memory and more recently narrative biomythography. McClodden has exhibited and screened work at the Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia, Project 4 Gallery in Washington, D.C., Vox Populi Gallery-Philadelphia, PA, Esther Klein Art Gallery – Philadelphia, PA, Art Toronto’s VERGE Video program, On The Ground Floor Gallery-L.A., Imperfect Gallery -Philadelphia, PA, @RAUMERWEITERUNGSHALLE in Berlin, MOMA PS1, New York, Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland; Kansai Queer Film Festival in Osaka and Kyoto, Japan; and the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, among others in a range of international film festivals and film programs. In her most recent exhibition, Dreaming of Kin (2016) curated by Ladi’Sasha Jones at the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts, McClodden exhibited the full installation her personal and familial biography epic Be Alarmed: The Black Americana Epic, Movement I – The Visions.

Kameelah Janan Rasheed is an artist, writer, and former public school social studies teacher. A 2006 Amy Biehl U.S. Fulbright Scholar to South Africa, Rasheed holds an Ed.M (2008) in Secondary Education from Stanford University as well as a BA (2006) in Public Policy and Africana Studies from Pomona College. She has exhibited her work at Studio Museum in Harlem, Bronx Museum, Queens Museum, BRIC Art Gallery, Weeksville Heritage Museum, Smack Mellon Gallery, Vox Populi Gallery, TOPAZ Arts, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The Leroy Neiman Gallery, etc.

J. Soto is a queer interdisciplinary artist and poet with a focus on project-specific collaborations in writing, performance, and arts organizing. Beginning from writing, Soto’s performance work addresses the intersections of race, class, and gender through dance and incorporating poetry. He received his MFA in performance from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and lives and works in New York.

Diamond Stingily is an artist and writer based in New York. Her work has been presented in solo exhibitions at Egg, Chicago; A1, Chicago; and in a two-person exhibition (with Martine Syms) at Project Row Houses in Houston. Group exhibitions include Arcadia Missa, London; Queer Thoughts, New York and Nicaragua; Ramiken Crucible, Los Angeles, and a forthcoming project with Publishing House in Gstaad, Switzerland. Her writing has been performed and exhibited at Signal Gallery, Brooklyn and Chin’s Push, Los Angeles, among others, and a publication of her writing was released through Dominica, Los Angeles.