Zachary Fabri: Marrow in the Morrows

The big pay back_hr300a

Zachary Fabri, Still from The Big Pay Back, 2009. Single channel video, dimensions variable, 1:58 min.


Mim Andar Avenida Canadá (I Walk Avenue Canada) 2010. Single channel video, 4:15 min.

Dennis haysbert_lr

Aureola Dennis Haysbert, 2012. Pigment Print, 35 × 54 inches.

Richard pryor_lr

Aureola Richard Pryor, 2012. Pigment Print, 35 × 54 inches.

Zf_apparent wind

An Apparent Wind, 2006/2012. 5 Pigment Prints, 20 × 16 inches each.

Zf_lorem delant

lorem ipsum Martin Delany 1854, 2012. Installation, 40 × 40 inches.

Zf_lorem henry

lorem ipsum Henry Highland Garnet 1858, 2012. Installation, 40 × 40 inches.

Zf_lorem african

lorem ipsum African Nationalist Pioneer Movement 1950, 2012. Installation, 40 × 40 inches.

Futon_sample grid

Futon, Nine Events, 2006/2012. 9 Pigment Prints, 8 × 10 inches each.

  • The big pay back_hr300a
  • Mim-andar-avenida-canadá_video
  • Dennis haysbert_lr
  • Richard pryor_lr
  • Zf_apparent wind
  • Zf_lorem delant
  • Zf_lorem henry
  • Zf_lorem african
  • Futon_sample grid

Marrow in the Morrows
Zachary Fabri

Exhibition Dates: September 13 – December 14, 2012

Opening Reception: Wednesday, September 12, 2012, 6 – 8pm

First Performance: Thursday, October 11, 2012, 7 – 9pm, doors open at 6:30pm

Zachary Fabri in conversation with Adrienne Edwards:
Tuesday, October 16, 2012, 6:30 – 8:30pm

Final Performance: Tuesday November 13, 2012, 7 – 9pm, doors open at 6:30pm

Third Streaming opens the fall 2012 season with Marrow in the Morrows, Zachary Fabri’s first solo exhibition in the United States. The show features new and recent work, bringing together video, photography and text-based prints along with several evenings of performance.

Through his interdisciplinary practice, Fabri interrogates power structures and current forms of political oppression, particularly as they affect people of color. He draws inspiration from sources that range from popular culture, advertising and media to the history of art, dance and performance. Fabri then injects these underlying foundations with elegant, absurd and/or humorous sensibilities to critique the idiosyncrasies of daily life.

The ‘marrow’ of the exhibition’s title refers literally to bone marrow, and in turn to the physicality of the artist’s body, but also represents a greater unifying, life-giving substance. The ‘morrows’ describe an indeterminate future, unconfined by any place or time. Together, the two speculate about subsequent generations, as stated by the artist: “_Marrow in the Morrows_ makes me question what the future holds for people of color. So much of my work has been about examining the past and comparing it with the present.”

Fabri’s Aureola (2012) series conveys many of the themes present in the exhibition’s title. The photographs examine representations of black presidents on television and in famous films, most of them science fiction, inherently raising questions about the role of race in current American politics. Aureola also demonstrates the artist’s experimentation with light, as the images were framed and photographed on a computer with an external light source illuminating the screen. This approach produced the golden auras of the work’s title, which both abstract and obstruct the figures, as in Aureola Dennis Haysbert (2012) and Aureola Richard Pryor (2012). Fabri’s assessment of popular media is also evident in lorem ipsum (2012), a series of prints featuring titles of books and organizations appropriated from Black Nationalist scholars before 1914, when Marcus Garvey introduced Black Nationalist and Pan-African ideology into popular culture. Using contemporary graphic design, and visual marketing strategies taken from advertising, these prints ‘brand’ political ideologies for consumption, offering an ironic commentary on how political strategists make use of similar practices.

The global and political aspects of Fabri’s work are counterbalanced by a more personal interest in movement and the human body. Futon, Nine Events (2006/2012) is a sequence of nine black-and-white photographs depicting a poetic performance in and around a futon that was choreographed for the camera. Fabri plays with the notions of absence and presence through the use of time-lapse photography, thereby creating an atmosphere of intimacy and domesticity. The concept of sequence is further explored in An Apparent Wind (2006/2012), five consecutive photographs of a black flag in Budapest that was hung to commemorate the death of a political leader. Chanting Black Clouds (2010), a video work in which Fabri tied helium balloons to the ends of his dreadlocks, deals with movement as well, albeit this time as a means of buoyancy and release, from burdens both physical and psychological in nature.

Fabri’s other videos relay his fascination with the specifics of place and location. Mim Andar Avenida Canadá (I Walk Avenue Canada) (2010) is a result of the artist’s residency in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. He hired a local seamstress to make a white shirt and pants that then became the documentation for walks he took to get better acquainted with his neighborhood, Jardim Canadá. The gradual accumulation of red dirt on the clothes cemented their connection to the neighborhood, which is a major producer of iron ore. Where Mim Andar Avenida Canadá focuses on the physical characteristics of a location, The Big Payback (2009) revolves around the opposite identifying factor – the people who live there. The video explores the historic and contemporary idea of Black Nationalism, in particular how black people can empower themselves both individually and collectively. Using text transposed on top of a pair of New York City street performers, Fabri takes the iconic slogan “Buy Black” and morphs it into a variety of phrases that question American ideals of choice, equality and capitalism.

The works selected for Marrow in the Morrows collectively reveal Fabri’s use of different media, including his body, to poetically address politics of race, class and social inequality. Combined with his understanding of the passage of time, these issues take on a sense of life and urgency, especially as they relate to the changing course of regimes and ideologies.

The son of a Hungarian father and a Jamaican mother, Zachary Fabri (b.1977) was born and raised in the United States. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn. Fabri received a B.A. in Graphic Design at the New World School of the Arts in Miami, FL (2000) and an M.F.A. from Hunter College, New York, NY (2007). His work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally, including at Sequences Real-time Festival, Reykjavik, Iceland; Nordic Biennale: Momentum, Moss, Norway; Gallery Open, Berlin; and the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art, New York, NY. He recently completed residencies in Belo Horizonte, Brazil and at LMCC in New York, NY. Upcoming exhibitions include Fore, a group show featuring a new generation of artists of African descent at the Studio Museum in Harlem, Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art at the Contemporary Art Museum in Houston, TX and a new commission at Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT.

artists: Zachary Fabri

Press release

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