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Leslie Hewitt: Reading Room | Talks Series

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PERROTIN BOOKSTORE

130 Orchard Street

New York, NY 10002

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Leslie Hewitt’s current exhibition at Perrotin New York, Reading Room, is a platform for a series of intertextual, visual, and sonic events, inspired by the architectural, psychological, and conceptual space of The National Memorial African Bookstore, an iconic yet subversive twentieth century bookstore in Harlem. Hewitt was inspired by the life’s work of Mr. Lewis Michaux, a Virginia-born Harlem bookseller who maintained and cultivated a socio-political aesthetic space where art, politics, and activism converged for over 42 years. Though Hewitt never visited the store, which was open from 1932–1974, images of the bookstore have haunted her imagination to date. It is in this space of post-memory, literature, and embodied knowledge that she wanted to create Reading Room.

Throughout the duration of the exhibition, Hewitt will invite friends, colleagues, and thought partners to activate the space in a series of semi-public gestures that respond to the notion of collective archiving.

Each program is free and open to the public, however advance registration is required.

Please note that capacity is limited and seating is on a first come, first served basis. Registration does not guarantee seating.


SPEAKERS & DATES:

SHARIFA RHODES-PITTS

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 5 | 12 PM

Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts is the author of Harlem Is Nowhere: A Journey to the Mecca of Black America. The first volume of a planned trilogy on African-Americans and utopia (Harlem, Haiti, and the Black Belt of the American South), it was a New York Times Notable Book of 2011, a National Book Critics Circle Finalist and cited by BOOKFORUM as the “Best New York Book” written in the twenty years since the magazine’s founding. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Nation, Chimurenga, Bidoun, A Public Space, Creative Time Reports, Harper’s, Essence and Vogue, among many others. She has received grants and awards from Creative Capital, the Whiting Foundation, the Rona Jaffe Foundation and the Lannan Foundation.


OMAR BERRADA

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 10 | 7 PM

Omar Berrada is a writer, curator, and Director of Dar al-Ma’mûn, a library and artists residency in Marrakech. His work focuses on the politics of translation and intergenerational transmission. He has edited several books, most recently The Africans, a book on migration and racial dynamics in Morocco. He has curated exhibitions in Rabat, Marrakech, Rotterdam, Berlin, Dubai, and New York, including the ongoing Station Point with Saba Innab at ifa-Gallery Berlin, and The Power of Two Suns with Yto Barrada and Bettina at LMCC on Governors Island. His writing is included in The University of California Book of North African Literature and Poetic Justice: An Anthology of Contemporary Moroccan Poetry, among others. Currently living in New York, he teaches at The Cooper Union where he and Leslie Hewitt co-organize the IDS Lecture Series.


TARIQ TROTTER/BLACK THOUGHT

MONDAY, OCTOBER 21 | 7 PM

Tariq Trotter, aka Black Thought, is an American rap artist and MC of the Philadelphia-based hip-hop group, The Roots. Trotter, who co-founded The Roots with drummer Questlove, is widely lauded for his complex and politically aware lyrical content and his sharply live performances. The 4-time GRAMMY Awared winning artist—along with his band The Roots—are a staple of late-night television, starring as the house band for NBC's Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. As an influencer and innovator in the music industry for more than two decades, the rap lyricist has collaborated with numberous industry-leading artists. Tariq also served as co-producer on the GRAMMY Award-winning Original Broadway Cast Recording of Hamilton: An American Musical. Additionally, Trotter's fluidity as a performer can also be seen in his on-screen rolls, most recently he co-starred in HBO's The Deuce. The Roots have also announced they are developing an animated children's series in partnership with Amazon.


BRADFORD YOUNG

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 24 | 7 PM

Bradford Young is an American cinematographer. He is best known for his work on Selma, When They See Us, A Most Violent Year, and Arrival, which earned him a nomination for an Academy Award. A native of Louisville, Kentucky, 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 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’s collaborations with artist Leslie Hewitt have been exhibited at The Kitchen, The Studio Museum in Harlem, The Menil Collection, Des Moines Art Center, the MCA Chicago, and Lofoten International Arts Festival, Norway.


AYANA CONTRERAS

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 26 | 4 PM

Ayana Contreras is a soul music savant and host of Reclaimed Soul on Vocalo Radio. She is a producer with WBEZ’s Sound Opinions. She is an avid collector of vintage vinyl records. Previously, she was Executive Producer of The Barber Shop Show hosted by Richard Steele, which was broadcast from a working barber shop on Chicago’s West Side. Contreras was a 2014-15 Arts + Public Life Artist-in-Residence at The University of Chicago, and is a 2015 Association of Independents in Radio New Voices Scholar. Her book on Post-Civil Rights Era cultural history in Black Chicago, titled Energy Never Dies, is forthcoming through Northwestern University Press.

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PERROTIN BOOKSTORE

130 Orchard Street

New York, NY 10002

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