Naima Green

Brief & Drenching

August 31 - February 7, 2021

Naima Green’s photography conducts experiments in being. Her portrait-making begins in the form of an invitation to her sitter, to co-create a context and allow themselves to evolve within it. 

Her most recent experiment pictures the transient self at play. Through Pur·suit, a deck of 54 playing cards featuring photographs of queer womxn, trans, non-binary, and gender-nonconforming people, Green photographed over 100 sitters in 9 days to create an object through which both play and contemporary documentation cohere. In this co-collaboration with Toby Kaufmann, Green inverts hierarchies of power that often exclude stories and contributions by Black people and people of color. Green honors her community, which deserves to be seen and remembered. 

In Brief & Drenching, Green moves from a traditional photography studio into the stage of her apartment. Within this space, the artists’ short film, The Intimacy of before, upsets the comfortable domestic setting with a sequence of unnerving intimate confrontations. Further into the gallery, a birthing stool made by the artist in collaboration with Ivan Ontiveros is presented as an object of support to brace oneself against this scene of imbalance. The theme of brevity is multifold, referencing the instantaneous nature of the making of an image or a quick interaction between a group of people, and though however brief, these actions can create infinite and rippling effects, memories, and a long-lasting sense of community for her sitters. 

Naima Green is an artist and educator currently living between Brooklyn, NY and Mexico City, Mexico. She holds an MFA in Photography from ICP–Bard, an MA from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a BA from Barnard College. Her work has been featured in exhibitions at the Smart Museum of Art, MASS MoCA, International Center of Photography, Houston Center for Photography, Bronx Museum, BRIC, ltd los angeles, Gallery 102, Gracie Mansion Conservancy, Shoot the Lobster, the Studio Museum in Harlem, and Arsenal Gallery. Green has been an artist-in-residence at Mass MoCA, Pocoapoco, Bronx Museum, Vermont Studio Center, and is a recipient of the Myers Art Prize at Columbia University. Her work is in the collections of MoMA Library, the International Center of Photography Library, Decker Library at MICA, National Gallery of Art, Teachers College, Columbia University, and the Barnard College Library.