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Željka Blakšić

A photo of BROUHAHA
A photo of BROUHAHA

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.

November 3–December 23, 2016

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On November 3, Željka Blakšić and Brujas will begin work BROUHAHA. Blakšić, an interdisciplinary artist, and Brujas, a revolutionary feminist collective of native New Yorkers that uses skateboarding as a means of community engagement, will work collaboratively to transform Recess into a shape-shifting habitat, with a sculptural skate ramp positioned in the space as its physical anchor. Throughout this two-month project, the organizers will host skate sessions, workshops, musical events, screenings, and conversations that reflect their commitment to nurturing networks of support and platforms outside of established societal norms. Additionally, the organizers will use their time at Recess to produce an experimental documentary and zine that capture the collective’s stories and ethos.

The collaboration between Blakšić and Brujas is rooted in Blakšić’s longstanding involvement with counterculture, beginning in the 1990s with activities related to the punk, anarcho, and eco movements in her home country of Croatia. As a result of her background, Blakšić’s artistic practice frequently draws inspiration from the way that these alternative social groups can give voice to new expressions of democracy, justice, and free speech, and her projects often involve sustained, cooperative work with likeminded partners toward these values. Brujas (a Spanish word that translates to “witches” in English) embody countercultural tendencies on all levels of their collective’s identity: from their composition as a group of primarily women of color in the mostly-male, predominately-white arena of skateboarding, through to their use of skateboarding as a mode of resistance toward the dominant forces of gentrification and privatization of public space.

BROUHAHA will be the organizers’ largest joint undertaking to date, and it will be an occasion to bring together a range of practices, both within and beyond skateboarding, that are central to the Brujas’s community-building endeavors, including education, screen printing, herbalism, and musical production. Over the course of the Session, the products and traces of the workshops will remain in the space and intermingle with the works-in-progress related to the documentary and zine. Together, these related pieces will amount to a material representation of not only the Brujas, but also of the community that emerges around them during their time at Recess.

Session invites artists to use Recess’s public platform to combine productive studio space with dynamic exhibition opportunities. Sessions remain open to the public from the first day of the artist’s project through the last, encouraging sustained dialogue between artists and audiences. Due to the process-based nature of Session, projects undergo constant revision and the above proposal is subject to change.

About the artist

Željka Blakšić

Željka Blakšić is an interdisciplinary artist based in New York and originally from Zagreb, Croatia. She works across multiple disciplines but the constants in her practice are performance, 16mm film and video, and sculpture. Recent exhibitions and commissions include Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art, IL; Fabrica de Pensule & Artizen, RO; Gallery Augusta, FI; AIR Gallery, NY; Urban Festival in Croatia; SESI, Sao Paolo, BR; The Kitchen, NY; and The Khyber Centre for the Arts, CA. She was also a recipient of the 2014/15 AIR Gallery Fellowship in NY; The District Kunst Award 2013 in Berlin; the Paula Rhodes Award in NY; and many others. Blakšić received her MFA from the School of Visual Arts, Video and Related Media Department in 2010. Learn more about Blakšić here.

Brujas is a freeform, urban revolutionary feminist collective that expresses community through skateboarding and political organizing—mainly in the form of services and programming designed for urban youth of color. Comprised entirely of young born-and-bred New Yorkers who care deeply about the wellness of their community, Brujas has made an impact on cultural politics with their work so far. Femme skate dates at their local park, legendary parties such as Anti-Prom & Sucia, and their improvised “Fuck Summer Camp 2016” are a few of the notable programs Brujas have launched in their 2 years of operation. This Fall is Brujas Season!


artist website


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