Skip to content
Recess homepage


Lavendra/Recovery Project

E. Jane

Due to the process-based nature of the Session program, this project will undergo constant modifications; the features of this page provide accruing information on the project’s developments.

March 7–April 19, 2024
Thursdays-Saturdays 12-5 pm

46 Washington Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11205

Visitor info
Drop-in Hours - No RSVP needed

Either the artist or a Recess docent will be available to view the project in process.

Lavendra is a brown dwarf. Like planets, brown dwarfs lack the mass to ignite and produce starlight. Like stars, they are often found alone in space. MHYSA is saving the brown dwarf by bringing the magic of the Black diva to it. With the help of MHYSA, the Black diva’s voice acts as an audio technology that both stabilizes the surface for humans and helps the brown dwarf become more of a planet, though still alone without a parent body to orbit.

Lavendra, however, is out of reach at the moment, but the work must continue. MHYSA takes time from her own career to prepare these offerings for the almost-planet-in-training. We don’t know when she’ll be able to get back there with these videos, showing her love and care for the R&B divas upheld on Lavendra. Her voice blends in and out of theirs, she is not quite of their world, and her world is still coming into being. She hopes to get back there someday.

Expanding upon Lavendra (2015-)—a fictional proposition envisioning a brown dwarf's quest for planetary realization fueled by a reverence for the artistic legacy of Black American R&B divas—my Session delineates itself into two distinct realms: a secluded space for personal ideation and creation, and a communal viewing space.

Image 3_E. Jane_Press.png
Image 3_E. Jane_Press.png

E. Jane, Sittin’upinmyroom-mhysa.mp4 (video still), 2017, video. sound. 4:50 sec.

The first half of the Session will serve as a production studio that blurs the line with the domestic, referencing the comfort, invulnerability and logistics of the live/work spaces in which the video works that riff off the Lavendra (Recovery) Archive are set and reinterpreted. The activity of this environment will be unveiled through discreet means, resisting the spectacle that often characterizes access to Black divas. Frustrated with the hypervisibility and surveillance of the black femme body, my recent installations and performances have questioned how and when the Black femme body is displayed, sometimes intentionally distorting and hiding the body, and, asking the viewer to work to see it.

Within this setting, MHYSA, my performative persona, reckons with the residue of the 90’s R&B diva, reinterpreting these works and embodying these figures as a gesture of posterity and personal fortification. My process will expand on experimental uses of consumer cameras and software, like Apple Photo Booth, OBS Studio, and cellphone footage, to include video formats such as VHS, DV tape, and digital video. Through experiments with greenscreens, I will key in off-site and found footage to complicate and expand the world of the studio. The videos will be presented in the second phase of the Session.

To nurture engagement with the beautiful depictions of Black women and iconic stills directors generated from the music videos in the Lavendra (Recovery) Archive, as well as the associated research that responds to it, I will make zines throughout the first phase of my Session. As the Session moves into its latter stage, these zines will be released to publics, marking a transition of the production studio into a shared forum.

I will also invite a cohort of artists to meet to create and review a co-authored syllabus focusing on various formal elements of existing film and video works. Emphasizing process and methodology as they facilitate cinematic content, the notes I take during these meetings will be released to the public in a newsletter available on Recess’ website. Summaries will detail what I learn in relation to how it is informing my new self-directed video works that remix the Lavendra (Recovery) Archive.

  • E. Jane

Ways to experience the project


About the artist

E. Jane


E. Jane is a multidisciplinary artist and musician. Their practice includes images, videos, performances, installations, and sound. They are interested in the future of Blackness and queerness, and the interiority, perspectives, and labor of Black women and femmes, exploring how they navigate networked culture and surveillance through digital archives.

Jane has developed the persona MHYSA, a queer underground popstar performing sometimes in their installations and worldwide. This Gesamtkunstwerk project engages Black music culture and divadom through embodiment.

E. Jane (b. 1990, Bethesda) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. They have an MFA from the University of Pennsylvania. They have participated in the Studio Museum's Artist-in-Residence Program (2019-2020), and (as a part of SCRAAATCH) the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2022) and Bemis Center Artist-in-Residence Program (2023). Jane is also the author of the NOPE Manifesto, published in 2016. They were awarded the Wynn Newhouse Award (2017) and an FCA Emergency Grant (2022). Recent solo shows include Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2023), The Kitchen, New York (2022), OCD Chinatown, New York (2021), Glasgow International, Glasgow (2018) and American Medium, New York (2017).

Group shows include Kai Matsumiya, New York (2023), Progetto, Lecee (2023), Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2022), The Green Gallery, Milwaukee (2022), The Swiss Institute, New York (2022), EFA Project Spaces, New York (2021), Company Gallery, New York (2020), MoCADA, New York (2020) MoMA PS1 (2020), Anonymous Gallery, New York (2020) Shoot the Lobster (2019), American Medium (2018), Glasgow International, Glasgow (2018), Museum Of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago (2018), Gallery 400, Chicago (2017), Dawid Radziszewski Gallery, Warsaw (2017) IMT Gallery, London (2016), Edel Assanti, London (2016) and Visual Arts Center at University of Texas, Austin (2016).

Artist Website


See all

On view: July 16–August 18, 2024

The Forever Museum Archive: Circa 2020_An Object 

Onyedika Chuke and Assembly

May 9–June 19, 2024

The Meeting Place

Helina Metaferia

A site for transformative gatherings by and for Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) women (cis and transgender)

November 11, 2023–January 25, 2024

Session & Assembly Collaboration: BARRO

Marcela Torres and Assembly

Torres in collaboration with Assembly will explore the history of New York through its soil and natural clay deposits.