Derrick Adams: THE HOLDOUT

A Social Sculpture with Curated Radio Station
Organized by Curator Dexter Wimberly
February 12 – April 25, 2015

THE HOLDOUT is funded by a generous grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation.

Aljira presents THE HOLDOUT, a provocative solo project by artist Derrick Adams. Consisting of a large-scale pyramid-like sculpture, along with photography and text-based work, the project features a functioning radio station with music, special guests and programming selected by Derrick Adams and the exhibition’s curator, Dexter Wimberly. Around the gallery, Adams will exhibit works from his Welcome to Monument City series, 2009-present, including new photographs and sculpture. Live interviews will also be broadcast from within the sculpture during the exhibition, through April 25th.

“Aljira is extremely proud to present THE HOLDOUT. It’s an exciting opportunity for engaging many aspects of our community—music, culture, resistance and activism,” says Aljira Executive Director Victor L. Davson.

Using the format of a pirate radio station, Adams will video stream his DJ sets, the conversations, and guest DJ playlists online, in the gallery and onto the street. The artist will present 12 public events at Aljira. Adams will also hand the radio station over to guest hosts, on occasion, as well as to playlist contributors who will be uploading their content remotely. He will be facilitating all events and performances in and around THE HOLDOUT installation.

Positioned in the middle of Aljira’s main gallery, THE HOLDOUT represents an outpost, bunker, fortress or temple.

“Holdout” is a real estate term for an owner of property in a row of acquired buildings who refuses to sell. Adams’ pyramid-like sculpture poetically references individuals within communities united as a wall of resistance and support. The installation and performative work acknowledges what is priceless and important to preserve in one’s own culture. It highlights a value system that appreciates these ideals.

“By allowing viewers to enter his sculpture, Adams is challenging the usual relationship between art and its audience. The various elements of the exhibition, particularly the pyramid-inspired sculpture with its functioning Holdout Radio station inside, is a send-up to real estate developers who ignore the negative impact that unchecked gentrification can have on historic and cultural preservation in less-affluent, urban communities,” states exhibition curator Dexter Wimberly.

All 12 events scheduled by the artist at Aljira are open to the public. Visit www.holdoutradio.com or www.aljira.org/exhibitions to view the full event list and live broadcast schedule or access live streaming video and archived content. The closing reception on April 25, 2015 will feature a dance party open to the public with a live-broadcast DJ. Follow THE HOLDOUT on Instagram at www.instagram.com/theholdout #theholdout.

Special thanks to Artist and Cultural Producer, Jaret Vadera, for his project development of this exhibition.

THE HOLDOUT will be on view February 12, 2015 through April 25, 2015.


Tuesday, March 17 | Playlist music: 12–2pm
Thursday, March 19 | Playlist music: 12–2pm
Saturday, March 21 | Guest Host: Live at Aljira 12–2pm
Tuesday, March 24 | Playlist music: 12–2pm
Thursday, March 26 | Playlist music: 12–2pm
Saturday, March 28 | Derrick Adams: Live at Aljira 12–2pm
Tuesday, March 31 | Playlist music: 12–2pm

Thursday, April 2 | Playlist music: 12–2pm
Saturday, April 4 | Guest Host: Live at Aljira 12–2pm
Tuesday, April 7 | Playlist music: 12–2pm
Thursday, April 9 | Playlist music: 12–2pm
Saturday, April 11 | Derrick Adams: Live at Aljira 12–2pm
Tuesday, April 14 | Playlist music: 12–2pm
Thursday, April 16 | Playlist music: 12–2pm
Saturday, April 18 | Guest Host: Live at Aljira 12–2pm
Tuesday, April 21 | Playlist music: 12–2pm
Thursday, April 23 | Playlist music: 12–2pm
Saturday, April 25 | Closing Reception of The Holdout and Dance Party with live broadcast DJ set: 6–10pm

About the Artist
Derrick Adams, born in 1970, is a multidisciplinary artist working in performance, painting, sculpture and music. He received his BA from Pratt Institute and his MFA from Columbia University and is an alumnus of The Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture. He has exhibited widely in New York, Chicago, Miami, Boston, Aspen, London and Paris. He has participated in Performa 05, and his work has been included in museum exhibitions at PS1/MoMA, New York (Greater New York, 2005); the Contemporary Art Museum, Houston; Grey Art Gallery, New York University; and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, in Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art, 2012–14 and on numerous occasions at The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York. He is a recipient of a Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, 2009, and an Honored Finalist for the 2011 William H. Johnson Prize.

About the Curator
Independent curator Dexter Wimberly was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. A passionate collector and supporter of the arts, he has exhibited the work of hundreds of artists in the U.S. and abroad. Wimberly maintains a critical dialogue with emerging artists throughout the world by way of his exhibitions, public programs, and lectures at galleries and public arts institutions. He has organized exhibitions and programs for Mixed Greens Gallery; Driscoll Babcock Galleries; 101 Exhibit; Edward Tyler Nahem Fine Art; bitforms gallery; Koki Arts, Tokyo; the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA); and The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; among others. Wimberly is the Director of Strategic Planning at Independent Curators International in New York.

Aljira 30th Anniversary Sponsors



Complementary Soles

Willie Cole
February 12, 2015 – May 21, 2015

The suite of 9 colorful Complementary Soles prints by Willie Cole embodies two iconic gestures as double entendres—the science of color, based on Josef Albers’ explorations, combined with the steam iron image. While exuding a deceptively decorative and graphic quality the image communicates both physical heat and psychological mood. All works are for sale, generously donated by the artist to benefit Aljira’s exhibitions and programs.

Aljira 30th Anniversary Sponsors




Oliver Lake
February 12, 2015 – May 21, 2015

Sticks are created by celebrated master jazz musician and Doris Duke Artist Award recipient, Oliver Lake. Using found objects and materials, Lake has been making painted sticks for over thirty years. “When I create them, I am sharing a portion of my life.” Sticks are available for purchase. A free Sunday afternoon jazz performance by Oliver Lake and his Big Band will be presented at Aljira on May 17, 2015, from 4–5:30pm.

Oliver Lake - Standing Stick
Aljira 30th Anniversary Sponsors



Elements of Arcadia

Vikki Michalios
February 12, 2015 – May 21, 2015

Aljira Emerge 11 Fellow Vikki Michalios’ Elements of Arcadia will continue to occupy Aljira’s storefront window through May 21, 2015. A site-specific hydroponic installation created for the recently completed Emerge 11 exhibition, it blends art, horticulture and sustainable technologies.

“Her work aims to transform how society views and uses agricultural practices, how it explores the mutability of art and how it seeks to bridge the viewing of and the experience of art.” – Jorge Rojas, Curator

Vikki Michelious - Elements of Arcadia
Aljira 30th Anniversary Sponsors