LEC: Who Owns Art? a conversation @ Pool Art Fair New York 2011

A conversation about co-option and ownership in contemporary creative practices

March 5th 6 – 8 PM

Thompson Hotel LES , 190 Allen St

Zulema Griffin proudly announces Who Owns Art?, an informal talk about co-option and ownership in contemporary art practices.  Organized by designer and filmmaker Zulema Griffin with Pool Art Fair, Who Owns Art? addresses notions of co-option in art practice and in the culture at large.

Ownership is the cornerstone of capitalism. The strained relationships between capitalism and the creative community force responses that push the boundaries of expression. This new dynamic also raises questions about how commercialization and mass production have affected how we understand creative practices.  Throughout history most cultures have developed a framework for individual ownership, but the technological advancements of the last 50 years, such as digital media, open source culture, Wiki code, and file sharing have raised concerns about intellectual property.

What are the relationships between intellectual property and art production?   What function does copyright play in our lives as cultural producers? How do we operate within the foundations of ownership while maintaining a vibrant public domain in the 21st century?  What are the implications of “Remix” culture?  The participating panelists are concerned with these and other artistic, philosophical, legal, and social issues.

This panel discussion is will follow a trailer viewing of the upcoming documentary Ink Bleach by Deux Conceptualiste Noir, a film about the co-option of Black aesthetics. The goal of Ink Bleach is to amplify the ongoing conversation about ownership.

Participating panelists are: Victor Davson, Kalia Brooks, Barron Claiborne, Rocio Alvarado, Zulema Griffin,.  Moderated by: Nicky Enright

Nicky Enright is a multimedia artist and DJ with a BFA from Cooper Union and MFA from Hunter College.  His international currency, the Globo, was exhibited at Exit Art in NY, and profiled on the Forbes Magazine website.  He has received various awards including a recent apex art residency to Thailand. He has also completed public commissions for clients such as the MTA Arts for Transit, in NYC, and the Smithsonian Institution, and NASA, in Washington D.C.

Kalia Brooks is a New York based curator and writer. She is the Exhibitions Director at the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA) in Brooklyn, New York, and an Adjunct Professor in the Photography and Imagining Department in the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University (NYU). She is also a PhD Candidate in Aesthetics and Art Theory with the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts (idsva). Brooks received her M.A. in Curatorial Practice from the California College of the Arts (CCA) in 2006. She served as Public Programs Coordinator at The Studio Museum in Harlem and was a Helena Rubinstein Fellow in Critical Studies at the Whitney Independent Study Program 2007/2008.

Victor L. Davson is Co-Founder and Executive Director since 1983 of Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art. Under his leadership Aljira has become a center for creative excellence in Newark’s bustling downtown arts district and the leading contemporary arts organization in New Jersey. Aljira has received major support from JPMorgan Chase Foundation, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Prudential Foundation, Johnson & Johnson, Nathan Cummings Foundation, New Jersey State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2001, Aljira was one of eight institutions nationwide selected to participate in the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Capital stabilization Initiative for small to mid-size organizations.

Barron Claiborne (BC AFRICANUS) was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts.  He is a self-taught photographer and began taking photographs at the age of ten after receiving a camera as a gift from his mother (Betty Lou).  He works primarily in large format (8×10) & (4×5).  The inspiration for his work is historical, mythological, and imaginary. His work has appeared in numerous publications including The New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, and Interview, among others.   He has photos in museums and private collections worldwide.

Rocío Aranda-Alvarado, Ph.D., is Associate Curator at El Museo del Barrio where she is currently working on a number of projects including El Museo’s Bienal: The [S] Files for Summer 2011. Her curatorial work and research focuses on modern and contemporary art of the Americas. Ms. Aranda-Alvarado is also on the adjunct faculty in the Art History Department at the City College of New York. Her writing has appeared in various publications including catalogue essays for the Museum of Modern Art and El Museo del Barrio, Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art, Art Nexus, Review, the journal of the Americas Society, NYFA Quarterly, Small Axe, BOMB and American Art.

Zulema Griffin, designer and filmmaker, began her career in as a Ford model. Zulema appeared in such publications as Bazaar, The Face, I.D., Essence, Interview and Paper. In June of 2001, Zulema successfully ran the costume department of her first film and has since enjoyed her 8 year career as a costume designer. Zulema became a finalist on Bravo’s Project Runway Season 2 and followed up with a strong showing of her Fall 08 collection “Revelations” and pioneered the first internet launched fashion show for fashion week. She has garnered press from Style.com, O Magazine, Fader.com, The Fashion Spot.com, and Video Fashion. She is currently in production with her Documentary Ink Bleach.


Author: Camara Dia Holloway

I am an art historian specializing in early twentieth century American art with particular focus on the history of photography, race and representation, and transatlantic modernist networks. I earned my PhD at Yale University in the History of Art Department. Besides my leadership role as the Founding Co-Director of the Association for Critical Race Art History (ACRAH), I am recognized for my expertise on African American Art, particularly African American Photography, and as a seasoned consultant for exhibitions, museum collections, and symposia/lectures planning.

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