Duron Jackson: The Missing

An Interactive, Collaborative Project
November 18, 2017–January 13, 2018
Opening Reception
Saturday November 18, 2–5pm

Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art is pleased to announce the November 18, 2017, opening of Duron Jackson: The Missing, an exhibition that confronts the reality of mass incarceration in America. The exhibition challenges viewers to consider the impact of mass incarceration on vulnerable communities, as well as the entire country. “As Aljira enters its 35th year in Newark, it’s important that we continue to be a platform for artists of all backgrounds to present meaningful work that reflects the major issues of the day. Duron Jackson’s interest in social justice is aligned with Aljira’s mission to promote inclusiveness, diversity and cross-cultural dialog,” states Aljira’s Executive Director, Dexter Wimberly.

Duron Jackson is a multi-disciplinary artist whose practice combines academic and artistic research. He uses installation, photography, video archives, and objects to create new perspectives on dominant historical narratives. Jackson states that his exhibition, The Missing, “is inspired by a 2015 New York Times article that detailed the 1.5 million Black men who are literally missing from civic life due to early death or incarceration.” (See a 3-minute artist interview: https://vimeo.com/236183716)

An interactive and collaborative project, The Missing begins at Aljira as an art exhibition but becomes much more, as artists, students and the broader Newark community join Duron Jackson in sharing their stories of family and friends affected by mass incarceration. A community partner press conference, scheduled to take place at Shine Portrait Studio in Newark at 3pm on Wednesday November 29, 2017, will include presentations by New Jersey ACLU, the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, Shine Portrait Studio, and Duron Jackson, among others.

The timely subject matter, mass incarceration, is of both local and national consequence. The United States is the biggest jailer on the planet, with less than 5 percent of the world’s population but nearly 25 percent of its prisoners. Another 7 million Americans are either on probation or on parole. Operating federal and state prisons, including local jails, is generally calculated to cost the U.S. government, and therefore taxpayers, about $80 billion a year. Recent studies examining the economic toll of mass incarceration in the United States conclude that the full cost exceeds $1 trillion ― with about half of that burden falling on the families, children and communities of people who have been imprisoned, and ultimately removed from civic life.

Aljira’s presentation of The Missing has been partially supported by The Kenneth Aidekman Family Foundation, Nina and Ted Wells, Shine Portrait Studio and Express Newark: a university – community collaboratory which receives funding from Rutgers University – Newark, the Prudential Foundation, Bank of America, PSE&G, Panasonic, and the Kresge Foundation.

“I’m thrilled that Shine Portrait Studio is working with Aljira to foster Duron Jackson’s multimedia and portrait based public art project, The Missing. Shine’s mission is to facilitate and support the expression and self-representation of the various communities of Newark, NJ and Duron’s artist-in-residency is supported by guiding equity for local creatives, educational opportunities for Rutgers University-Newark students, as well as being deeply engaged throughout the city beyond the walls of Express Newark. From dots on dominoes to the stories of individual people, Duron creates compelling portraits of people’s absence and presence in our lives, and does so without exposing or sensationalizing them in opportunistic ways,” states Nick Kline, Associate Professor, Photography Founder/Director, Shine Portrait Studio Department of Arts, Culture & Media at Rutgers University Newark.

About Duron Jackson

Duron Jackson is Brooklyn-based multi-disciplinary artist born in Harlem, New York. He received his MFA in Sculpture at Bard College, Milton Avery School of Art. Jackson is a 2013 recipient of the prestigious Fulbright research fellowship, granted by the U.S. State Department for creative research in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, where he was concurrently artist in residence at Museu de Arte Moderna da Bahia. Modern Painters magazine listed Jackson as one of the 100 artists to watch for 2012, the same year he was awarded Brooklyn Museum’s Raw/Cooked solo exhibition sponsored by Bloomberg Media.

Image Credits, top to bottom:
Duron Jackson, Ringmaster, 7 ft. x 20 ft., 2009
Duron Jackson: The Missing, video on Vimeo
Duron Jackson: Bones Crusade, dominos and birch, 72 x 72 x 13 inches, 2013. Courtesy of Aljira
Duron Jackson. Photo credit: Rodolfo Diaz Gonzalez




An Exhibition of International Video Art
July 22 – September 23, 2017
Reception: Saturday, July 22, 2–5pm
Curated by Larry Ossei-Mensah and Dexter Wimberly

August 5, 2017 3–5pm

Join us for an in-depth discussion with the artists
and curators of Comm | Alt | Shift

COMM | ALT | SHIFT includes the work of 14 contemporary artists who use video to explore the complexities and angst of modern times. The exhibition’s title references keyboard shortcuts or a sequence or combination of keystrokes on a computer that lead to various, yet specified outcomes. COMM | ALT | SHIFT unpacks video as a ubiquitous technology for entertainment, education and escape, as well as a powerful tool for surveillance, manipulation and control.Participating artists include Carlos Aires, Bolo (Saks Afridi and Qinza Najm), Delphine Fawundu, Genevieve Gaignard, Jibade-Khalil Huffman, George Jenne, Miatta Kawinzi, Lin Ke, Jen Liu, Jillian Mayer, Nontsikelelo Mutiti and Dyani Douze, Federico Solmi, Jan Staller, and Rodrigo Valenzuela.

In Carlos Aires’ Sweet Dreams are made of this we find two policemen in anti-riot gear, dancing the Tango to a version of the famous 1984 song, “Sweet Dreams,” by the British group, Eurhythmics. Recorded in the ballroom of the Museo Cerralbo, in Madrid, Aires’ video was inspired by protests against the Spanish government for corruption, as well as the violent response by the Spanish police.

Delphine Fawundu’s the cleanse, an intense yet meditative work, appropriates text from a variety of sources including authors Ntozake Shange, Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, and James Baldwin, as well as The Holy Bible and The Holy Quran. Rodrigo Valenzuela’s Prole probes the working-class mindset, depicting a once unified factory soccer team that has gone on strike—their problems exacerbated by a mix of office politics, game misunderstandings, and personal issues.

Carousel, a work by the multidisciplinary artist duo Bolo (Saks Afridi & Qinza Najm), questions the duplicity of rhetoric in dictatorships and democracies, alluding to patterns of power cycles and ascendancy in human nature and human history. Genevieve Gaignard’s Missing You, a video fraught with melancholy, portrays the artist as Diana Ross whose song is spliced with radio chatter from recent police killings of African Americans.


Larry Ossei-Mensah is a Ghanaian-American independent curator and cultural critic who has documented contemporary art happenings for various publications including NeueJournal, Uptown and Whitewall Magazine. His writings have profiled some of the most dynamic visual artists working today—Derrick Adams, Mickalene Thomas, Kehinde Wiley, Lorna Simpson and street artist JR. As a curator, Ossei-Mensah uses contemporary art and culture as a vehicle to redefine how we see ourselves and the world around us. He has organized exhibitions and programs at commercial and nonprofit spaces around the globe featuring a roster of critically acclaimed artists including Firelei Baez, ruby amanze, Hugo McCloud, Brendan Fernandes, and Derek Fordjour to name a few. Recently, Ossei-Mensah was named the 2017 Critic-in Residence at ART OMI in addition to serving as Co-Chair on Russell Simmons’ RUSH Artist Advisory Board and a member of MoMA’s Friends of Education.

Aljira’s Executive Director, Dexter Wimberly organizes exhibitions that explore contemporary culture, American history, economics, and power dynamics. A passionate supporter of the arts, Wimberly has exhibited the work of hundreds of artists internationally. During his decade-long career, he has organized exhibitions and programs at dozens of museums and galleries including the Contemporary Art Museum (CAM) Raleigh, The California African American Museum, The Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA), 101/EXHIBIT gallery, Edward Tyler Nahem Fine Art, bitforms gallery, Koki Arts gallery (Tokyo), and The Third Line Gallery (Dubai).

Images, top to bottom: Genevieve Gaingnard, Missing You, Courtesy of Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles; Carlos Aires, Sweet Dreams are made of this, Courtesy of the artist; Delphine Fawundu, the cleanse, Courtesy of the artist; Rodrigo Valenzuela, Prole, Courtesy of the artist

Aljira is grateful to sponsor PSEG for its support of Comm | Alt | Shift.




Kate Stone: Every Straight Line is the
Arc of a Great Circle

February 4–April 15, 2017
Now Extended thru April 22, 2017
ARTIST TALK: Saturday, April 22, 2017, 3pm

Alluding to the changes brought about by gentrification, renovation and development, Every Straight Line is the Arc of a Great Circle is a mixed media work that resembles a house under construction. The installation contains one small, fully finished room that must be entered and exited through a maze of wood studs. Layers of time—past, present and future are interwoven, creating subtle architectural anachronisms. The fresh wood of the unfinished maze alludes to a future yet to be built, while the complete room in the middle has the markings of a worn, lived-in space. Indentations in the carpet recall the presence of furniture and people. Fragments of drywall are artifacts of another time that have been ripped from their origins and misplaced here in the present, as ruins. The single photograph hanging in the room serves as a record of the past and provides clues to an ambiguous narrative about time, place and the traces people leave behind.

Kate Stone (b, 1988 Philadelphia, PA) is a Brooklyn-based interdisciplinary artist. She received a BA in Photography from Bard College in 2009 and an MFA from Parsons the New School for Design in 2013. Her work is a response to the way we relate to space and it challenges associations we have with familiar architectural structures. Her sculptures, drawings and photographs exist in an intersection of order and disorder, creation and destruction, two-dimensions and three. She was a recipient of the Tierney Fellowship in 2009 and has exhibited at The Center for Photography at Woodstock, Eleni Koroneou Gallery, bitforms gallery, FiveMyles, Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space, among others.



KONTROLLE, the First U.S. Solo Exhibition of
German Artist, Dominik Halmer

February 4–April 15, 2017
Now Extended thru April 22, 2017
ARTIST TALK: Saturday, April 22, 2017, 3pm

Aljira is proud to present KONTROLLE, the first U.S. solo exhibition of German artist, Dominik Halmer and Every Straight Line is the Arc of a Great Circle—a site specific installation by Brooklyn-based artist, Kate Stone.

Dominik Halmer’s practice centers on the question of how our individual image of “reality” is constructed. Coming from an analytical but sensual approach to painting, Halmer works with the collision of different realities. In his so called “semi-functional image-objects,” we find canvases combined with everyday objects. Based on formal analogies, Halmer creates a subtle coherence between painting and objects and transforms their specific function into a poetic state of being. Through experimental arrangements, Halmer explores the relationship between object and depiction, functionality and art. By confronting the traditional concept of painting with pragmatic values and suggesting a playful usage of the artwork, he also undermines ideas of the untouchable exclusivity of art.

Organized by Dexter Wimberly, KONTROLLE presents a series of works integrating equipment from sports. These items, which are already part of a complex set of imagery and values, address the observer in an immediate way by challenging a reflexive mental reaction. By opening an associative space, on a more abstract level, they play with predominant ideas of accomplishment and systems of evaluation within our society. The title of the exhibition, KONTROLLE, refers to human desire to actively design and control the conditions of an increasingly unstable world.

Dominik Halmer (b. 1978 Munich, Germany) currently lives and works in Berlin. He studied fine arts at the Academy in Düsseldorf with Albert Oehlen and later with Heimo Zobernig in Vienna. He has been awarded several grants and will have a large solo presentation in the Museum of Arts Wiesbaden in 2018.



Zachary Fabri: From the Wolf to the Fox

Organized by Dexter Wimberly
October 15, 2016–January 15, 2017
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 15, 2016 2­–5pm

Zachary Fabri’s artistic practice seeks to create a space for discourse around social and political systems of oppression through artworks that manifest in a range of mediums, including drawing, performance, photography, sculpture, and video. Continually investigating the movement and politics of the body, Fabri’s work incites viewers to locate themselves as “insider” or “outsider.” Fabri often meditates on the memory and weight of history; the ideologies and beliefs that define us. His works offer reminders of the ideas that shape identity―exploring its limits and possible transformations.

Zachary Fabri was born in Miami, Florida and currently lives in Brooklyn. He received a Bachelor of Fine Art in graphic design from the New World School of the Arts, Miami, in 2000, and later relocated to New York City to receive a MFA from Hunter College in 2007. Fabri’s work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally at Sequences Real-time Festival, Reykjavik, Iceland; the Nordic Biennale: Momentum, Moss, Norway; Gallery Open, Berlin; the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; the Contemporary Art Museum, Houston; and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. Solo exhibitions include the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale, Art in General, and the Bindery Projects. He has been awarded the Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art, the New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship in interdisciplinary work, and most recently The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award.

Images at right, top to bottom:

Zachary Fabri
Red Handed, 2010 (detail)
Digital c print
Photo credit: Gabriella Araujo

Zachary Fabri
lorem ipsum Edward Wilmont Blyden 1887 (Christianity, Islam, and the Negro Race), mounted vinyl installation, dimensions variable.

Zachary Fabri,
Richard Pryor
from the series Aerola (Black Presidents), digital print.