Exhibition
Through August 26

Lizania Cruz: Every Immigrant Is a Writer/Todo Inmigrante Es un Escritor

Every immigrant is a writer. This friend of mine, Patricia Engel, has a line in a novel of hers about all immigrants being artists, because a great part of the immigrant experience is an act of creation, or a re-creation of self. I think being an immigrant can definitely feed into being a writer. Being a writer is kind of being an immigrant in words.

-Edwidge Danticat, Haitian-American novelist and short story writer

Desplácese hacia abajo para el texto en español.

Lizania Cruz: Every Immigrant Is a Writer delves into individual and collective experiences of Black immigrants and first-generation Black Americans, culminating the artist’s five-year project, We the News. It encompasses the many creative and participatory formats that Cruz’s iterative project has taken since 2017, ranging from community story circles, a newsstand display of zines available for visitors to activate, to workshops convened for immigrants to trace their routes to get to the United States. Recurrent subjects arise about race versus cultural identity; about the sacrifices that immigrants make when they uproot themselves and their families; and the perils of seeking asylum in a new country. Visitors to the gallery will be able to peruse documentation and archival materials from previous iterations of We the News in Pittsburgh, Miami, and numerous communities throughout New York City, and view a short video of a happening of the artist activating the newsstand in Miami in 2018. They will also be invited to participate directly in the exhibition by following guided writing and drawing prompts.

Artists who work in communities are often faced with the question of how to end a project. After the funds are spent and the events have concluded, what remains can defy easy categorization. Photo and video documentation, critical texts, and ephemera from interactions are parts of the lasting presence of a social work of art, but what kind of archive can document the lived experiences of the participants? Can the tender moments, the trust forged and joy celebrated be archived for future generations to access too? As a part of this exhibition, Cruz will invite former collaborators to speak with her in recorded interviews about their story circle experiences, archiving, and the importance of publishing from an immigrant perspective that will be added to the final archive of the We the News zines. Conversation partners will include Samah Sisay, lawyer, Bertha Justice Fellow at the Center for Constitutional Rights and participant in the first We the News story circle; Yvette Ramírez, archivist and former Program Associate of The Laundromat Project; Emmy Catedral, poet and Pilipinx American Library co-founder; and Adriana Monsalve of Homie House Press.

Additional events will be announced shortly.

Lizania Cruz (she/her) is a Dominican participatory artist and designer interested in how migration affects ways of being and belonging. Through research, oral history, and audience participation, she creates projects that highlight a pluralistic narrative on migration.  Cruz has been an artist-in-residence and fellow at the Laundromat Project Create Change (2017-2019), Robert Blackburn Workshop Studio Immersion Project (SIP) (2019), Jerome Hill Artist Fellow, Visual Arts (2021-2022), and Planet Texas 2050 Artist Resident — University of Texas (2022), among others. Her work has been exhibited at the Arlington Arts Center, Arlington; BronxArtSpace, New York City; Project for Empty Space, Newark; ArtCenter South Florida, Miami Beach; Jenkins Johnson Project Space, Brooklyn; The August Wilson Center, Pittsburgh; and Sharjah’s First Design Biennale, Sharjah, among others. Recently she was part of ESTAMOS BIEN: LA TRIENAL 20/21 at El Museo del Barrio, the first national survey of Latinx artists by the institution.

Lizania Cruz: Every Immigrant Is a Writer is supported in part by Vision Fund; Hartfield Foundation; Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation; National Endowment for the Arts; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council; New York City Council District 34; New York State Council on the Arts and the New York State Legislature; Toby Devan Lewis; William Talbott Hillman Foundation; and Woodbury Foundation.

By visiting ISCP, you agree to abide by the following health and safety policies. Please make sure to plan ahead for your visit.
  • Four visitors are allowed in the galleries at a time, and appointments are required. Please write to info@iscp-nyc.org to schedule an appointment.
  • All visitors are required to maintain social distancing, keeping six feet from anyone not in their party.
  • Masks or face coverings are strongly recommended but not mandatory.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available for visitors.
  • If you have fever, chills, cough, muscle pains, headache, loss of taste or smell, or think you may have been exposed to COVID-19 prior to your visit, please contact us to reschedule.
  • An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 and other infectious conditions exists in any public space where people are present. Those visiting the International Studio & Curatorial Program voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19, other infectious conditions, and other hazards that may be present in a public space.

Lizania Cruz: Todo Inmigrante es un Escritor es una exposición individual del trabajo de Lizania Cruz que profundiza en las experiencias individuales y colectivas de inmigrantes negros y Negros- Americanos de primera generación, culminando el proyecto de cinco años de la artista, We the News.

La exposición incluye los distintos formatos creativos y participativos que ha tomado el proyecto iterativo de Cruz desde 2017, que van desde círculos de historias comunitarias, una exhibición en un quiosco de revistas disponibles para que los visitantes las activen, hasta talleres convocados para que los inmigrantes trazan sus rutas para llegar a los Estados Unidos.  En estos espacios han surgido temas recurrentes sobre raza versus identidad cultural; sobre los sacrificios que hacen los inmigrantes cuando se desarraigan ellos mismos y sus familias; y los retos de buscar refugio en un nuevo país.

Lizania Cruz (ella) es una artista y diseñadora participativa Dominicana interesada en cómo la migración afecta las formas de ser y pertenecer. A través de la investigación, la historia oral y la participación del público, crea proyectos que resaltan una narrativa pluralista sobre la migración. Recientemente, formó parte de ESTAMOS BIEN: LA TRIENAL 20/21 en El Museo del Barrio, la primera encuesta nacional de artistas Latinos realizada por la institución. Lizania Cruz ha exhibido trabajos en el Bemis Center For Contemporary Arts, Omaha; El Museo del Barrio y CUE Art Foundation, ambos de la ciudad de Nueva York, entre otros.

Imagen: Lizania Cruz, Happening, We the News, 2018, intervención pública, dimensiones variables. Foto de Neha Gautam

Opening Reception: Apr 08, 2022, 6–8pm
Open Hours: By appointment Monday–Friday, 10:30am–5:30pm.
Download Press Release (PDF)

Participating Residents

Event
April 7, 2022, 6:30–8pm

ISCP 2022 Spring Fundraiser: Meleko Mokgosi and Antwaun Sargent in Conversation

Tickets are now available for purchase for ISCP’s 2022 Spring Fundraiser: Meleko Mokgosi and Antwaun Sargent in Conversation.

Meleko Mokgosi, artist and Yale University Associate Professor of Painting and Drawing will discuss his art practice, career trajectory as an artist from Botswana and the value of artists’ residencies, with Antwaun Sargent, writer, curator and director at Gagosian Gallery.

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100% of the proceeds from this event will be dedicated to the Dennis Elliott Founder’s Fund, in support of residencies for artists from Africa at ISCP. This Fund, named after ISCP’s founder and Trustee, Dennis Elliott, sponsors residencies for artists and curators from culturally underfunded parts of the world.

In addition, ISCP is pleased to announce that all ticket purchases and donations to the Dennis Elliott Founder’s Fund, up to $20,000, will be matched thanks to the generosity of Adjani Okpu-Egbe.

Hors d’oeuvres and wine by Ali to You will be served throughout the evening.

About the speakers:

Meleko Mokgosi is an artist and Associate Professor at the Yale School of Art. His large-scale, figurative, and often text-based works engage history painting and cinematic tropes to uncover notions of colonialism, democracy, and liberation across African history. His recent body of work, Democratic Intuition (2013 – 2020), poses questions about ideas of the democratic in relation to the daily-lived experiences of the subjects that occupy southern Africa. Touching on the often-contradictory notions inherent in the concept and practice of democracy—the individual in the face of the collective, intuitive versus inscribed behaviors—Mokgosi probes the idiosyncratic ways in which democracy is reciprocated and unfolds across time. Mokgosi has been exhibited widely both nationally and internationally, including recent solo exhibitions at Pérez Art Museum Miami, Williams College Museum of Art, Rochester Contemporary Art Center, and Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester. His work is included in museum collections throughout the United States.

Antwaun Sargent is a writer, curator and Director at Gagosian Gallery. He is the author of The New Black Vanguard: Photography between Art and Fashion (Aperture 2019, the editor of Young, Gifted and Black: A New Generation of Artists (DAP 2020), and the May/June 2020 issue of Art in America magazine. His writing has appeared in The New York Times and New Yorker, and in museum and gallery publications for artists Mickalene Thomas, Arthur Jafa, Meleko Mokgosi, Nick Cave, Yinka Shonibare and Ed Clark, among many others. Recently, he was curator of Social Works, The New Black Vanguard and Young, Gifted and Black.

ISCP is grateful to the Board Fundraising Committee: Patricia L. Brundage (committee co-chair), Yng-Ru Chen, Karyn Issa Ginsberg-Greenwald, Karen Karp, Sophie O. Riese (committee co-chair), Lena Saltos, Arthur Zegelbone; and speakers Meleko Mokgosi and Antwaun Sargent for their support of the Dennis Elliott Founder’s Fund.

Can’t attend? Please consider sponsoring a ticket for an artist or making a donation through GiveLively here. Pledges of $1,000 and above towards the Dennis Elliott Founder’s Fund will be acknowledged both on ISCP’s website and announced at the event.

Please note:

  • This event will take place in the Upper East Side, Manhattan. Exact address will be provided upon registration.
  • Capacity is limited
  • $175 of the ticket purchase is tax deductible
  • Proof of COVID-19 vaccination will be required upon entry
  • Further COVID-related protocols will be shared closer to the event
6:30–8pm
RSVP

ISCP Talk
March 29, 2022, 6–7:30pm

Lizania Cruz and Zachary Fabri in Conversation with Alison Kuo

For this in-person artist talk, ISCP 2022 Vision Fund residents Zachary Fabri and Lizania Cruz will give presentations about their recent work and engage each other in a conversation. They will be joined by Arts Residency Manager Alison Kuo. A Q&A with the audience will follow.

Register here to RSVP. Spaces are limited and proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required for entry.

Zachary Fabri is an interdisciplinary artist that complicates boundaries around studio research, performance, and socially engaged practice by immersing himself in environments such as Target stores, the Trump Hotel, and the streets of Brooklyn. Employing conceptual strategies and context specificity, he utilizes drawing, photography, video, performance, and sound to create discourse around issues of equality, representation, justice, and the dismantling of systemic oppression. Fabri has exhibited work at Sharjah Biennial 2019, United Arab Emirates; Museum of Modern Art, New York; and The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, among others.

Lizania Cruz uses audience participation to investigate notions of being and belonging within the public sphere. Using objects such as books, zines, installations, happenings, video, and photography, she invites a diverse range of communities to co-create collaborative artworks. Through research, oral history, and active participants, the projects she develops aim to highlight pluralistic narratives about migration and race. Cruz has exhibited work at Bemis Center For Contemporary Arts, Omaha; El Museo del Barrio, New York; and CUE Art Foundation, New York City, among others.

By visiting ISCP, you agree to abide by the following health and safety policies. Please make sure to plan ahead for your visit.
  • Visitors to ISCP are required to show proof of vaccination for COIVD-19 and to wear face coverings at all times.
  • All visitors are required to maintain social distancing, keeping six feet from anyone not in their party.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available for visitors.
  • If you have fever, chills, cough, muscle pains, headache, loss of taste or smell, or think you may have been exposed to COVID-19 prior to your visit, please contact us to reschedule.
  • An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 and other infectious conditions exists in any public space where people are present. Those visiting the International Studio & Curatorial Program voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19, other infectious conditions, and other hazards that may be present in a public space.

This program is supported, in part, by Hartfield Foundation; National Endowment for the Arts; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council; New York City Council District 34; New York State Council on the Arts and the New York State Legislature; Toby Devan Lewis; William Talbott Hillman Foundation; and Woodbury Foundation.

6–7:30pm
RSVP

Participating Residents