Black Tape Ebony Frame
Zachary Fabri’s Black Tape Ebony Frame celebrates the living moments of Fabri’s African American family and friends by creating a reel-to-reel analog audio recording of one-on-one conversations. Originally, the project was created to record his father’s stories as a political refugee from Hungary in 1956, but soon expanded to provide space to contemplate the heightened culture of police violence against Black people. Through these conversations, Fabri’s Session examines mortality and immortality as they relate to both remembrance and refusal.
After each conversation is recorded, Fabri will wind the audiotape around an ebony frame, sealing it and thereby preventing access to the conversation. The only information revealed from the conversation will be the name of the participants, date, and time. By intentionally complicating this accessibility to the conversations, Fabri invites viewers to consider the future problems of technological obsolescence, as well as possible ways to safeguard Black cultural content against commodification.
How do black people create and control their own content? What is the role and responsibility of cultural organizations to facilitate critical discourse? How are “Black Futures” protected? While these are valuable queries, the goal of Black Tape Ebony Frame is not data collection or in-depth interviews. For Fabri priority is placed on having organic, pedestrian, and meandering “stoop chats” where guests can discuss these questions openly. As such, the Session gallery will be transformed into a live recording studio influenced by the portrait studio photography practice of Seydou Keïta and Malick Sidibé.
About the artist
On view: November 11, 2023–January 25, 2024
Marcela Torres and Assembly
September 14–November 10, 2023
KING COBRA and Hue Hallums