Farewell Reception

Thursday, July 25
Reception 6–9pm
Performance and Screenings 7–8:30pm

We invite you to join us for a farewell reception for NURTUREart. As our final season draws to a close, we will gather to bid our space and programs farewell and celebrate the community of artists, curators, and students who have shared their work with us, and the current and former staff who have carried forward our mission for over 22 years.

In conjunction with the reception, from 7–8:30pm, we will host a selection of short films by Yto Barrada, Keren Benbenisty, and LuLu Meng, and a performance with Shahrzad Changalvaee, curated by Mira Dayal and Janna Dyk. Each artist will present work that shifts the expected relationships between language, material, and recorded histories.

In order of appearance:

Shahrzad Changalvaee, “Everything In Its Place” (2017–ongoing), 12 mins.
Changalvaee places then chews clay in her mouth while attempting to speak historically, politically, and emotionally challenging phrases, and recounting her ongoing perceptions of life in the U.S. Upon removal, the clay, visually in the form of a dental imprint, transforms into tokens, retaining the spoken words.

Keren Benbenisty, “Light, Skin” (2017), 15 mins.
Benbenisty’s work serves as a metaphorical lens onto contemporary migration. The video shows different processes of creating prints from the skin of dead fish, specifically those species that came to live between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean after the construction of the Suez Canal.

LuLu Meng, “Practice to Be” (2013), excerpt, 5 mins.
Meng negotiates the limitations of language as observed in the perfectionism of learning to write a character from the Mandarin alphabet.

Yto Barrada, “Tree Identification for Beginners” (2017), 36 mins.
Amidst the jitter of animated Montessori toys and grammatical symbols, Barrada’s mother’s account of a 1966 trip to the U.S. through a program sponsored by the State Department is intercut with the organizers’ commentaries on African customs and culture.



Yto Barrada (Moroccan, French, b.1971, Paris) studied history and political science at the Sorbonne and photography in New York. Her work—including photography, film, sculpture, prints and installations, — began by exploring the peculiar situation of her hometown Tangier. Her work has been exhibited at Tate Modern (London), MoMA (New York), The Renaissance Society (Chicago), Witte de With (Rotterdam), Haus der Kunst (Munich), Centre Pompidou (Paris), Whitechapel Gallery (London), and the 2007 and 2011 Venice Biennale.  She was the Deutsche Bank Artist of the Year for 2011, after which her exhibit RIFFS toured widely. Barrada is also the founding director of Cinémathèque de Tanger. A comprehensive monograph was published by JRP Ringier in 2013. She is a recipient of the 2013-2014 Robert Gardner Fellowship in Photography (Peabody Museum at Harvard University) and was awarded the 2015 Abraaj Prize. Barrada is represented by Pace Gallery (London), Sfeir-Semler Gallery (Beirut-Hamburg), and Galerie Polaris (Paris).

LuLu Meng is a New York-based artist born in Taipei, Taiwan. Experience of growing up in Taiwan, living briefly in Australia and Netherlands, and now working and living in the United States, impels her to explore the difference and similarity among cultures and people. Her multidisciplinary practice, including installation, sculpture, photography, drawing and video, investigates the formation and fluctuation of individual identity in a society. Her exhibitions include Bronx Calling: The fourth AIM Biennial, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx, NY (2017); Delicate Failure, Flux Factory, Long Island City, NY (2017); Collective Memory, Cloud Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan (2017); Rewoven, QCC Art Gallery, Oakland Gardens, NY (2017) ; Roaming Realities, William Harris Gallery, Rochester, NY (2016); Being Here, Cuchifritos Gallery&Project Space, New York, NY (2015); The Moments, Hall of Science Museum, Queens, NY (2015); Picture Books, Power Plant Gallery, Durham, NC (2014). Her residencies and awards include Artist in the Marketplace Residency, Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx, NY (2016); Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program, New York Foundation for the Arts (2016); Experimental Film Virginia, Cape Charles, VA (2016); NY Residency Unlimited, Brooklyn, NY (2015); Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT (2015); Kala Art Institute, Berkeley, CA (2015); DordtYart Residency, Dordrecht, Netherlands (2014); Waasland Artistic Projects, Sint-Niklass, Belgium (2013). Meng holds a B.A. in Drama and Theater from National Taiwan University and a M.F.A. in Photography, video and related media from Rochester Institute of Technology. 

Keren Benbenisty’s multi-disciplinary practice explores notions of loss, displacement and communication through historical narratives and myths. Her work focuses on micro-events and their long-term ramifications within the disciplines of archeology, biology and linguistics. In her recent projects, she examined subject matters related to migration, colonialism and exile in her homeland, Israel, a territory charged with continuous conflicts that fuel the perpetual geographical, political and social crisis. Keren Benbenisty (b. Israel) moved to Paris in 1998, graduated from the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris in 2004 and attended California Institute of the Arts (Cal’Arts) as an international exchange scholar. Benbenisty has been artist-in-residence at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine (2009); ISCP – The International Studio & Curatorial Program (2011);  Residency Unlimited, New York (2016); Arts Maebashi, Japan (2017). She is currently a participant artist at the Open Sessions Program at the Drawing Center, New York. Recent exhibitions include A.I.R Gallery, Brooklyn; Soloway Gallery Brooklyn; Mishkan Ein Harod, Israel; Petach Tikva Museum, Israel: Ulterior Gallery, NY; The James Gallery, CUNY Graduate Center for Humanities in New York City; Tel-Aviv Museum of Art; Genia Schreiber University Gallery, Tel Aviv; The Artist House in Jerusalem; Francesca Antonini Gallery in Rome and Human Resources in Los Angeles.

Shahrzad Changalvaee‘s practice responds to sculpture in a vast field of media, including installation, video, photography, text, and performance. She constructs unities of prints and multiple elements in a non-hierarchical rhizomatic connection system. Her recent photographs of accumulation of studio tools and material manifest resistance to organizational structures and patriarchal grid. Shahrzad was featured in Shanghai Biennial (2012), was the artist in residence in the Delfina Foundation in London (2012), and currently was a co-director of Bon-Gah collective in Tehran. She received a B.A. in Graphic Design from Faculty of Fine Arts, Tehran University (2006) and her M.F.A. in Sculpture from Yale University (2015).

Mira Dayal is an artist, critic, and curator based in New York. She is the founding editor of the Journal of Art Criticism, co-curator of the collaborative artist publication prompt:, and an associate editor at Artforum. Dayal’s recent studio work has focused on skins, scrolls, metaphors, and membranes. Past shows include A Hairline Crack at Gymnasium, Anagen at Lubov, Material Metaphors at NARS Foundation, and Volley at Abrons Art Center. Extending and researching these interests, Dayal has previously curated programming and exhibitions on the subjects of intimacy, material residues, and feminism for venues including CUE Art Foundation, SOHO20, A.I.R. Gallery, Helena Anrather Gallery, and Barnard College. Dayal’s curatorial practice primarily engages the work of emerging and underrepresented artists. She often works collaboratively.

Janna Dyk curates, makes, collaborates, writes, and reads in Brooklyn, and elsewhere.  Briefly before but largely after completing an MFA in Combined Media from Hunter College (2012-2015), she curated over 26 exhibitions and art events.  Her work most often assembles intersections between poetry, image-theories, psychology, politics, and (if approached via psychology), religion. Dyk’s approach – both conceptually and pragmatically-  is rooted in the inter/personal. Notable past projects include Relative Material, at NURTUREart (2017), Adam Golfer’s A House Without a Roof with Booklyn (2016), and OPEN CAGE: NY, at Eyebeam (2011), with the Chelsea Music Festival.  She continues to investigate the space between contemporary visual art and cognitive psychology.  In 2018 she finished an unpublished experimental writing piece, “Revising the Text(s),” which shifted her focus creatively.  Her curatorial projects have appeared in Artforum, Art in America, Art Critical, 1000 Words (London), the New York Times, TIMEOUT NY, BOMB, Hyperallergic, and Photography Magazine.  She’s held residencies at A.I.R. (Beijing), NARS Foundation (Brooklyn), Marble House Project (VT), and was a recipient of the Rema Hort Foundation ACE Grant.  Her art has appeared in the New York Times, ArtSlant, Curator Magazine, SEEN, and L’Orient du Jour.

Image 1: Shahrzad Changalvaee, from As Long as It Casts, 2016.
Image 2: LuLu Meng, “Practice to Be,” 2013, 5 mins excerpt. Still.
Image 3: Keren Benbenisty, “Light, Skin,” 2017, 15 mins. Still.
Image 4: Yto Barrada, “Tree Identification for Beginners,” 2017, 36 mins. Still.  Courtesy Pace Gallery; Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Hamburg, Beirut; and Galerie Polaris, Paris.  Photography courtesy the artist.  A Performa 17 Commission for Afroglossia, curated by Adrienne Edwards.