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.
On view: November 11, 2023–January 25, 2024
Marcela Torres and Assembly
September 14–November 10, 2023
KING COBRA and Hue Hallums