About the Exhibition

When a protest banner is held by many in the streets, it becomes a curtain. A curtain for the performance and embodiment of resistance, liberation, protest. When a piece of fabric is unrolled onto a wooden table, it becomes a tablecloth. Next come the dishes, food and people. A meal is about to be shared. A conversation is about to begin. When many strings are knotted and tied together they become a net, a basket, a holder. Nets for carrying, nets for resting on, nets to trap and transport. When the claiming of safe spaces becomes essential to survival, chosen communities, neighbors, friends and lovers come together and become that needed space. 

This web is a space for holding, for creating safety and dialogue. An invitation to work within it, around it, because of it. Becoming and echoing, forms, structures, patterns and ways that Black, Brown, Indigenous, queer, trans, non-binary, two spirit, people of color form kinship, radical community, spaces of survival and dialogues rooted in resistance. 

These-are-our-roles-tools-forms-of-connectivity becomes the banner, table cloth, holder of friends and community, a web, net, sacred space, curtain for an ecosystem of work that shares roots. Rituals Here is the stage, vessel and keeper of this work, a reminder that it takes tending to, returning again and again, repetition, the multiple, the print, the welcome back to be committed to the life long work of connectivity. I like to think of kinship as a ritual, attending organizing meetings as a ritual, tending to an altar as a ritual, reading aloud to friends as a ritual, learning from our movement elders as a ritual, painting a mural as a ritual. That rituals are not static acts but food and ingredients to our lives. Interwoven in this space, on and in patterns reaching for a hug, are five publications that question, examine, expand and add to the layered languages of survival and resistance. 

Special thanks to Camilo Otero and Center for Book Arts Staff, Ophelia Gavin, Ellen Driscoll and the seeds of Rituals Here- my collaborators Archard Aparejo, agustine zegers, Ty Little, Amarice Carreras and Ayana Zaire Cotton. 

Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo

Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo (they/them/Lukaza) 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, Night Diver Press, and most recently with Printed Matter Inc.

Visit the Exhibition

Rituals Here by Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo will be on view at Center for Book Arts (28 W 27th St, 3rd Fl) from Friday, January 13 through Saturday, March 25, 2023.

CBA is open Monday–Thursday from 11am–6pm and Friday & Saturday from 11am–5pm. Admission is free with a suggested donation.

All visitors are required to show proof of Covid-19 vaccination upon arrival and wear a mask covering their nose and mouth at all times while on-site. If you have a medical or religious exemption to the vaccine, please contact CBA Executive Director Corina Reynolds at corina@centerforbookarts.org in advance of your visit.

Exhibition Views

Gallery view, Rituals Here by Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo. Photo by Oswaldo García. January 2023.
Gallery view, Rituals Here by Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo. Photo by Oswaldo García. January 2023.
Gallery view, Rituals Here by Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo. Photo by Oswaldo García. January 2023.
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