Artists Space

Adjua Gargi Nzinga Greaves:
The x in florxal is silent when spoken

March 20 – May 1, 2021

Four books are arranged in the center of a color photograph in a grid-like formation, their edges meeting. Handwritten notations surround the books.
Adjua Gargi Nzinga Greaves, INDEX, 2021, C-trans print mounted on lightbox, 41 1/2 x 41 1/2 x 5 inches [Four books are arranged in the center of a color photograph in a grid-like formation, their edges meeting. Handwritten notations surround the books.]

Emerging on the Northern Hemisphere’s vernal equinox, the works comprising The x in florxal is silent when spoken center the marginalia and material traces of ongoing research inspired by language, machine aesthetics, documentation, systems analysis, radical education, investigative performance art, and Blackness. Functioning as a prologue to Greaves’ The Florxal Review, they augment and emerge from her spacious investigative praxis of ethnobotanical literary criticism in the forms of daily drawings, annotated photographs, collages, and site-specific installations. Greaves asks: “What becomes possible when we begin to center and attempt responses to the slow and silent, active and occluded voices and spirits of the plant life we live alongside? How might what emerges on the page, in our minds, from our mouths, and out of our hearts parallel what we already know? In the futures that follow, what might verdancy feel like to all of Earth’s beings (and to all of cosmos’s material and immaterial bodies) when so-called weeds are on the mantle as well as in the crevices?”

The artist would like to acknowledge the Rauschenberg Residency, where one of the works in this exhibition was printed.

Adjua Gargi Nzinga Greaves writes ethnobotanical literary criticism, and collages detritus into heraldic devices engaging ever expanding networks of reference through the granular analytics of poetic inquiry. She is author of Close Reading as Forestry (Belladonna*, 2017), Of Forests and of Farms: On Faculty and Failure (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2020) and is anthologized in Letters to the Future: Black Women / Radical Writing (Kore Press, 2018). Greaves has most recently been published in The Brooklyn Rail. She performs frequently across a broad spectrum of venues and educational contexts and has begun working with video in response to a Spring 2020 commission from Issue Project Room for their Isolated Field Recording Series. Formerly a Monday Night Reading Series curator at The Poetry Project, site director for Wendy's Subway reading room, and an artist-in-residence at Rauschenberg Residency, Greaves is currently based in New York City where she is Young Mother of The Florxal Review—an emerging platform of literary criticism and network science centering floral language, its instances, applications, implications, and possibilities. In Fall 2021, Greaves will enter the Literary Arts Program at Brown University as a candidate for the MFA in Poetry.

Support is provided by Lambent Foundation Fund of Tides Foundation, The Cowles Charitable Trust, The Cy Twombly Foundation, The David Teiger Foundation, The Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, The New York Community Trust, The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, The New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, The Stavros Niarchos Foundation, The Willem de Kooning Foundation, The Danielson Foundation, The Fox Aarons Foundation, Herman Goldman Foundation, The Destina Foundation, The Luce Foundation, May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation, The Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, VIA Art Fund, Arison Arts Foundation, The Chicago Community Fund, The David Rockefeller Fund, The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Foundation, The Jill and Peter Kraus Foundation, The Richard Pousette-Dart Foundation.