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Contemporary Art Programs /

Serious Play - Lessons in Learning/Unlearning: Piecing Things Together

Led by Damien Davis, this community-activated puzzle provides us with a safe space to engage in the uncomfortable lexicon of invisible systems of oppression.


FRI, JUL 26, 2019 | 12:30-2PM




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


Study Sessions

FRI, JUL 26, 2019 | 12:30-2PM


Play has traditionally been understood as an activity of childhood; an essential space that allows children to learn to recognize patterns and systems within our cultures. How does the practice of play transform when it is removed from the confines of recreation and applied to the processes of artistic creation? These events embrace forms of childhood play through the use of experimentation, chance, and failure, and grant us momentary freedom from the restrictive rules and limitations that burden us in our everyday lives. BRIC is proud to present a series of public programs in conjunction with Serious Play: Translating Form, Subverting Meaning where play offers us a space to engage in the difficult issues we face in the 21st-century such as the over-saturation of digital content, overlooked forms of accessibility, and the uncomfortable lexicon of systemic oppression that afflicts African American communities.

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 program is a part of the exhibition Serious Play: Translating Form, Subverting Meaning.

EXHIBITION ON VIEW June 27 - Aug 18, 2019
OPENING RECEPTION: Thurs, June 27, 2019 from 7-9PM


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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