The Legacy of Baldwin in Contemporary Art. Artists Leslie Hewitt and Bradford Young in Conversation with Thomas J. Lax

The Year of James Baldwin Mon 3 Nov 2014 6.30PM-8.30PM The New School, Wollman Hall
66 West 12th Street, 5th floor

Admission Free
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Conceptual artist Leslie Hewitt joins award-winning cinematographer and artist Bradford Young in a conversation with Thomas J. Lax, Associate Curator of Media and Performance Art, MoMA. For a half-decade, Hewitt and Young have worked together, making site-specific moving-image installations that have been on view at The Kitchen, The Studio Museum in Harlem, The Menil Collection, the MCA Chicago, and the Lofoten International Art Festival. Together, their work considers fluid notions of time, the relationship of still to moving images and the specificity of place. The evening begins with a short screening and reading, and will be followed by a dialogue informed by James Baldwin's relationship to collaboration, visuality and representation.

Thomas J. Lax, moderator
Leslie Hewitt, artist
Bradford Young, artist

Thomas J. Lax is Associate Curator of Media and Performance Art at the Museum of Modern Art. Previously, he was Assistant Curator at The Studio Museum in Harlem. Lax is a faculty member at the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance at Wesleyan University's Center for the Arts; on the Advisory Committee of the Vera List Center for Art and Politics; on the Arts Advisory Committee of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council; a member of the Catalyst Circle at The Laundromat Project; and on the Advisory Board of Recess.

Leslie Hewitt studied at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, the Yale University School of Art, and at New York University, where she was a Clark Fellow in the Africana and Visual Culture Studies programs. She was included in the 2008 Whitney Biennial and the recipient of the 2008 Art Matters research grant to the Netherlands. A selection of recent and forthcoming exhibitions include the Museum of Modern Art in New York; The Studio Museum in Harlem; Artists Space in New York; Project Row Houses in Houston; and LA><ART in Los Angeles. Hewitt has held residencies at The Studio Museum in Harlem, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and the American Academy in Berlin, Germany, among others. She has recently joined the faculty of Barnard College in the department of Art History.

A native of Louisville, Kentucky, award-winning cinematographer Bradford Marcel Young moved to Chicago at age 15 to live with his father. There, he received early artistic inspiration from the works of Romare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence, and Aaron Douglas. Young studied film at Howard University, where he was influenced by Haile Gerima. He was director of photography on the feature films White Lies, Black Sheep (2007), Pariah (2011), Restless City (2011), Middle of Nowhere (2012), Ain't Them Bodies Saints (2013), and Mother of George (2013). He has won Cinematography Awards at the Sundance Film Festival twice: in 2011, for his work on Pariah, and in 2013 for his work on both Mother of George and Ain't Them Bodies Saints. Young is currently director of photography on J.C. Chandor's A Most Violent Year, and recently finished shooting on Ed Zwick's Pawn Sacrifice.

Leslie Hewitt and Bradford Young began collaborating in 2009 on a dual-channel film installation titled Untitled (Level), 2010. The project, which was commissioned and presented by The Kitchen and later acquired by The Studio Museum in Harlem, draws inspiration from Manchild in the Promised Land, a 1965 autobiographical work by Claude Brown. Their second project, Untitled (Structures), 2012, co-commissioned by The Menil Collection, The Des Moines Art Center and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, spans over two years of research and is a formal response (as a film installation and subsequent book) to the Adelaide de Menil Carpenter and Edmund Carpenter photography collection housed at the Menil. Untitled (Structures) has been exhibited at all three supporting institutions, as well as the Lofoten International Arts Festival in Norway. Curiosity and rigor towards the construction of images and their affect fuel their interdisciplinary approach to art making and ongoing collaboration.
This conversation is a part of the year-long, city-wide celebration The Year of James Baldwin for what would have been James Baldwin's 90th birthday, presented by the Vera List Center in partnership with Harlem Stage, Columbia University School of the Arts, New York Live Arts, and The New School's School of Media Studies and School of Writing.

Video documentation of this event can be made available for research purposes. Please contact to request access.