November 1, 2013 – 6:30 pm – 9pm
Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art will be presenting a unique performance by The Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company on Friday, November 1, 2013 from 6:30 to 8:30pm. Choreographer Carolyn Dorfman and visual artist Carl E. Hazlewood join forces for a convergence of the visual and performing arts in what promises to be a unique gallery experience. Together, the artists celebrate what Hazlewood describes as the concrete poetry of seeing, creating a personal and collective experience.
As Hazlewoods art dances on and off the walls, the dancers both observe and become the art, joining the viewers in an internal and external experience taking on physical form. From extensions of the work, to beautiful additions and commentary, the dancers illuminate both abstract
and narrative possibilities evoked by what Dorfman calls, Hazelwoods simple, yet complex, wall sculptures and visceral photography.
Hazlewoods interest lies in paring down complexities to practical ideas that concern the visual, establishing an assertive abstract image. “I want to simplify, simplify, simplify,” Hazlewood says. A great part of that simplifying is listening, noticing, acknowledging, feeling, engaging in a playful, almost innocent conversation with the world immediately before and around us, finally seeing, as it were, and therefore being.
Also on exhibit is Birth of a Cypher: Works by Terry Boddie. Boddies work explores the relationship between hair and time, as hair carries genetic traits and is an index of the time it took to grow. The work utilizes fragments of hair to examine notion
s of time and its influence on
individuals and collective growth.
Aljira has been in existence for over 30 years showcasing contemporary art in Newark. This is a well-deserved accomplishment. At the annual auction this year, I had the fortunate opportunity to speak with Carl E. Hazlewood, one of the original founders of Aljira. He is a behinds the scene kind of guy, you can see him participating in the event and observing the energy in the space. I met with Victor Davson the executive director of Aljira discussed the impact of his co-founder Carl, enclosed is what he said. First of all, I have known Carl for close to 50 years. Carl was as a genius child, when he was thirteen years old he was making art. Go to Facebook and look at his body of work, Carl has been making mature looking adult arts. Carl’s mother made art, so art was all around him as a child and he consumed it. This is how smart Carl is, Carl went to Pratt Institute in Brooklyn at thirteen. In terms of is writing ability, Carl did an essay and the professor at Pratt said there is no way you wrote this. Carl’s mother had to go to Pratt to convince of him her son talents authentic. So not only is he a good artist, he is a good writer, and extremely cultured. He comes from a cultured background. And Carl had a very important role in shaping Ajira as a co-founder. Carl knew what I did not understand; he is the breath and beat of what was going on within contemporary art medium. Art of our time, art being made now, he understood the diverse mediums. He understood the history of art; his graduate work was in the history of arts, and western art. And he possesses an incredible memory for all types of things stimulated and related to the arts, he reads non-stop, things you might think is absurd.
So he comes out high intellectually curiosity, and highly knowledgeable. So his persona is understated, that said Carl set the tone, the direction within the vision of the kind of work Aljira would focus on, he basically put that on the page for us. He built our programmatic agenda, people and artist that are outside the mainstream. Focus on people in the margin, people making good art. But those artist that could acts as a counter measure to mainstream institutions. We are not going to should your work solely because you are an activist, or LGBT community, its got to be good art at the same time.
Carl articulated that in a statement, on the page that made it clear. That is one of the things that have guided us, it was like or vision statement. It grounded Aljira programmatic language since our conception. We choose exhibition on these perimeter it is so ingrained, now we don’t even think bout it. It is like when we got our review from the New York Times William Zimmer, There was a time when everyone was into Black History Month, We did a show with a simple title, we didn’t say it was a Black History Month show, with and Without the Claim, Africa American and Latino artist. We were on Roseville Avenue in the hood, at that time, it was standing room only. We knew how to program and not be limited to a space that was defined Black. Another fortunate outcome, we won a competition in 1993, Aljira was selected by the Federal Advisory Committee on International Exhibitions to organize the United States’ representation at the IV Bienal Internacional de Pintura in Cuenca, Ecuador. The project was so successful that it was extended to ten additional countries and 12 cities. Carl’s vision helped build the foundation that play a major role at achieving this accomplishment.
About Carl E. Hazlewood
Carl E. Hazlewood, born in Guyana, South America, has been an exhibiting artist since childhood. He is also a writer and curator currently living in Brooklyn, NY. The co-founder of Aljira, A Center for Contemporary Art in Newark, NJ, he has taught at New Jersey City University and other institutions. Currently associate editor for Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art, (Duke University) he has written for many other periodicals, including Flash Art International, ART PAPERS Magazine, and NY Arts Magazine. Since 1984 he has organized numerous curatorial projects for Aljira such as ’Modern Life’ (co-curated with Okwui Enwezor). Hazlewood’s project for Aljira, Current Identities, Recent Painting in the United States, was the US prize-winning representation at the ‘Bienal International de Pintura,’ Cuenca, Ecuador 1994. As an Independent curator he has organized exhibitions for The Nathan Cummings Foundation, NY; Studio Museum in Harlem, NY; Hallwalls, NY; Artists Space, NY; P.S.122, NY, among other venues. Advisory board – FUSE Infrastructure, Allentown, Pennsylvania; Editorial Advisor – The Arts Journal: Critical Perspectives on Contemporary Literature, History, Art and Culture of Guyana and the Caribbean.
He has received numerous awards and fellowships including Triangle International Artists Workshop, NY 2012; The Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant nominee, 2010; New York City Council Citation for Community Service, 2010; The Guyana Cultural Association of NY Award for contribution in the Arts, 2010; The Wheeler Foundation Grant, NY 1997; Exhibition Grants, Artists Space, NY; Edward Arthur Mellinger Educational Foundation Scholarship, Chicago, Ill.; Max Beckmann International Award for Advanced Study, Brooklyn Museum, NY; Anco-Wood Foundation Award, Pratt Institute, NY; Rosalie Petrash Schmidt Memorial Award, Pratt Institute, NY; Award, National Art Exhibition, Guyana, SA; Human Rights Year Award, National History and Arts Council, Guyana, SA; Poster Design Award, Chamber of Commerce, Houston, TX; Awards, National Scholastic Exhibitions, Houston, TX; Awarded Commission for Public Art – Bronx River Project: —Elizabeth Grajales – Sculpture & Carl Hazlewood- Poetry, Bronx, NY, 2002.
Foundation for the Visual Arts, and many generous individual contributors.
Temporality and Objects: New Installations and Photographs by Carl E.Hazlewood and Birth of a Cypher: Works by Terry Boddie will be on view at Aljira through December 21, 2013