we web keepers: a window exhibition by Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo

at Printed Matter / St Marks
September 21 - November 19, 2022

Join us Saturday the 19th at Printed Matter / St Marks for a closing celebration and publication launch for we web keepers! Find out more here

“we web keepers is connective tissue, baskets, nets, hands that hold, bodies that fight oppression, underground mycelium, seeds getting ready to sprout, ancestors we never got to meet, kinship so deep it reminds us of our multiplicity, chosen family, lovers, an ecosystem, a legacy of caring that holds us through the darkest days.”

Printed Matter / St Marks is honored to present we web keepers, a window exhibition by artist, activist, educator, storyteller, and curator Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo. Printed Matter will also publish we web keepers, net-workers, woven becomers, a new publication from the artist realized on occasion of the show.

Within we web keepers, Lukaza explores and interrogates the interconnected practices of collective survival and mutual aid that hold and sustain Black, Indigenous, queer, trans, non binary, people of color. Over the past two years, Lukaza has been weaving patterns, words, collected stories, brightness, modes of broadcasting and communication, and systems of organizing—all ways we need each other to continue—into a new body of work titled Roots and webs and nets and branches and bulletin boards and banners and newsletters and mutual-aid text threads and kin and caretakers and porches and poems of today and spaces of survival, published in May 2022. This project investigates shared forms of support and future-making, questions central to Lukaza’s practice that anchor, too, this exhibition.

The installation contains two layers of work: the first is a large-scale window painting depicting both written text and drawn patterns (roots, nets, webs, knots, mesh) superimposed against each other. In this overlapping there are moments of both chaos and clarity, legibility and camouflage, that invite viewers to consider the content of the text with a slowness and intentionality that honors the density of the ideas themselves.

The second layer, functioning as a bulletin board, is a series of 39 works on paper (one for each day the show is up) which will be added periodically to the St Marks Pl-facing window over the course of the installation. The works are double sided with painted text (including contributions from both Lukaza and others listed in the bibliography below) facing the street and patterns facing into the bookstore. As the window becomes populated over time, two lattices will form—one an interconnectedness of paper and shape, and the other a linguistic framework and conceptual legacy that underpins the installation as a whole.

The bulletin board is a public space where people exchange messages, share demands, and ask for help. We watch as the bulletin board’s surface evolves at the hands of our communities, and we return to them again and again. Lukaza’s unique works, affixed to the windows like flyers on a cork board, act not only as messages but also as markers of time. They invite a returning to and slow looking of this evolving site.

we web keepers, net-workers, woven becomers, a new publication by Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo realized on the occasion of the show, is forthcoming from Printed Matter in November 2022.

we web keepers is organized by Emmett Pinsky & Max Zlotsky Seiler. We’ll have an opening reception Sunday October 9, 3-6pm.

See below a selection of books curated by Lukaza to accompany the window exhibition—or check out the book table here.

Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo (they/them/Lukaza) is an artist, activist, educator, storyteller & curator who lives/works between Lisjan Ohlone Land [Oakland, CA] and Powhatan Land [Richmond,VA]. With roots in storytelling, Branfman-Verissimo’s work is informed by their commitment to craft and community, engagement with society, and interests in preserving and broadcasting B.I.Q.T.P.O.C. stories. Their work has been included in exhibitions and performances at Konsthall C [Stockholm, Sweden], SEPTEMBER Gallery [Kinderhook, NY], EFA Project Space [New York City, NY], Leslie Lohman Museum [New York City, NY], Yerba Buena Center for the Arts [San Francisco, CA] and Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive [Berkeley, CA], amongst others. Their artist books and prints have been published by Endless Editions, Childish Books, Press Press, Sming Sming and Night Diver Press, and a forthcoming project with Printed Matter Inc. Lukaza was recently included in the Corita Center’s ‘New Rules Next Week’ podcast, which invited notable artists and cultural workers to dream up the future of ‘Corita Kent’s Ten Rules for Teachers and Students’.

  1. Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo
    A Collective Survival Archive
    South Portland, Maine, U.S.: Childish Books, 2022
  2. Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo
    Slow Looking: These Views Are Our Tools
    South Portland, ME: Childish Books, 2021
    Out of stock
  3. Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo
    We Are All Speaking at the Same Time
    New York, NY: Endless Editions, 2020
  4. Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo
    Love to Black Bodies Always
    New York, Baltimore, Los Angeles, NY, MD, CA: Printed Matter Inc. and Press Press, 2020
  5. Paul Soulellis
    resting reader
    Providence, RI: Queer.Archive.Work, 2022
    Out of stock
  6. Alisha B. Wormsley and nan collymore
    There Are Black People In The Future [Regular Edition]
    New York, NY: L’habillement, 2021
  7. BlackMass Publishing
    Jazz Glossary
    New York, NY: BlackMass Publishing, 2022
    Out of stock
  8. Morgan Bassichis
    The Odd Years
    Brooklyn, NY: Wendy's Subway, 2020
    Out of stock
  9. Nontsikelelo Mutiti
    Endless Braid
    N. Mutiti
  10. Troy Montes-Michie
    Rock of Eye
    Los Angeles, CA: Siglio Press, Rivers Institute and CAAM, 2021
    Out of stock
  11. Nicole Killian
    Mobile Messages
    Richmond, VA: Nico Fontana, 2019
  12. Jaamil Olawale Kosoko
    Black Body Amnesia: Poems and Other Speech Acts
    Brooklyn, NY: Wendy's Subway, 2022
    Out of stock
  13. Yusuf Hassan
    constellations for innerlight projections
    New York, NY: Printed Matter Inc., 2022
  14. Kameelah Janan Rasheed
    An Alphabetical Accumulation of Approximate Observations
    New York, NY: Endless Editions, 2019
    Out of stock

  15. Sanctuary Posters
    Press Press, 2020
  16. Peter Schumann
    The Foot
    Glover, VT: Bread & Puppet Press, 2002
  17. Cecilia Vicuña and Camila Marambio
    Slow Down Fast, A Toda Raja
    Berlin, Germany: Errant Bodies Press, 2019
    Out of stock
  18. Malena Pizani
    An Artist
    Mexico City, Mexico: Gato Negro, 2017
  19. Legacy Russell
    Glitch Feminism
    London / Brooklyn, UK / NY: Verso Books, 2020
  20. Mathias Zeiske and Sarah Shin
    Carrier Bag Fiction
    Leipzig, Germany: Spector Books, 2022
    Out of stock
  21. sonia louise davis
    slow and soft and righteous, improvising at the end of the world (and how we make a new one)
    Los Angeles, CA: CO-Conspirator Press and Women's Center for Creative Work, 2021
    Out of stock
  22. Louise Barry, Lani Hanna, Charlie Morgan, Vero Ordaz and Patrick Rowe
    Mobile Print Power
    New York, NY: Interference Archive, 2016
  23. Gabrielle Civil
    Experiments in Joy: A Workbook
    Los Angeles, CA: CO-Conspirator Press and Women's Center for Creative Work, 2019
    Out of stock