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Contemporary Art Programs /

Damien Davis: Piecing Things Together

This community-activated puzzle provides us with a safe space to engage in the uncomfortable lexicon of invisible systems of oppression.


THU, AUG 1, 2019 | 6:30-7:30PM




Gallery at BRIC House
647 Fulton Street
(Enter on Rockwell Place)
Brooklyn, NY 11217
United States
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Photo by Filip Wolak


PIECING THINGS TOGETHER, a performance by Damien Davis: THU, AUG 1, 2019 | 6:30-7:30PM




Puzzles have long had a history as a project that gathers families, friends, coworkers, and strangers together. On Damien Davis’ large table-top puzzle, visitors are asked to work together to assemble the puzzle, while the reflective surfaces of red and blue mirror refract light onto both the participants and the surrounding space; similar to the flashing lights of a police car in pursuit, or during a routine traffic stop. Several of the individual pieces are imbued with shapes from Davis’ living visual lexicon, which include historical representations of people/places/things often marked as “black” within multiple colloquial and cultural contexts. Participants are tasked with coding and decoding the visual language of black cultures held within these shapes while unpacking the histories of racialized language as they assemble the puzzle. In a closing conversation led by Davis, this community-activated puzzle will provide us with a space to engage in the uncomfortable lexicon of invisible systems of oppression.

This performance will be held during BRIC's Open House / Open Studios: Summer 2019 Artists event in the main gallery and is a part of the ongoing exhibition Serious Play.


Serious Play: Translating Form, Subverting Meaning is devoted to an exploration of forms of play as a process in contemporary art. Traditionally seen as an activity of childhood, for enjoyment and recreation rather than for serious or practical purpose, play is also at the heart of artistic practice.  Processes and values that inform play – making, taking apart and crafting back together, transforming space, and improvising – can be equally applied to the process of artistic creation in the studio. Serious intent, however, defines artists engaging in the realm of play.

Artists Chris BogiaDamien DavisKat Chamberlin, and Ronny Quevedo provide tools to embolden the viewer through the act of play to think differently about issues of gender, race, and class. For Amanda Valdez and Julien Gardair, play with the materiality of paint and cloth instructs an awareness of the mutability of shapes and ideas. For all six artists, embracing the forms of childhood play that encourage experimentation, chance, failure, and humor provides a roadmap into better ways of being in the world.


Venue Information:

The 3,000 square-foot Gallery in BRIC House has soaring 18-foot ceilings that permit major exhibitions focusing on emerging and mid-career artists and curators. 

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