Ayanna Dozier is a Ph.D. Communication Studies & Women & Gender Studies Candidate at McGill University. Her research focuses on Black feminism, film, comics, performance art, critical theory, & more.
For the upcoming exhibition Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925–1945, teaching fellow Ayanna Dozier will discuss artists associated with Mexican muralism, the Harlem Renaissance, and the New Deal’s art programs. The conversation will illuminate how artists such as Elizabeth Catlett, Aaron Douglas, José Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera, and others engaged the momentous cultural and political changes of their time. Focusing on this historical period, the talk will consider art’s social potential when it becomes public and collective.
Part of Film series Happy Birthday, Toni! A Celebration of Black Women
Programmer: Ayanna Dozier
“The pursuit of vulnerability—the effort to remain open to at-risk bodies while possessing an at-risk body—is always marked by the certainty of death from exposure. And yet, it is a line of pursuit that we, as Black women, must maintain. What my interest in Ms. Morrison and Ms. Lorde’s words aims to examine is their very determined pursuits towards emotional and spiritual vulnerability as Black women in a world that reaps profit from the neglect, harm, and death of their at-risk bodies."
“You know how the young folks are.” – woman to Ja’Tovia Gary
“Yeah, I do. They’re too crunk.” – Ja’Tovia Gary
THE GIVERNY DOCUMENT IS A NOISY FILM, full of music, yelling, screaming, crying, scratching, wailing, and laughter. But the most deafening moments unfold in silence, when viewers are left to assess what is missing, what cannot be represented. Consider the deep pauses and puzzled faces of the Black women and girls standing on the corner of 116th Street and Malcom X Boulevard in Harlem,...
A black face pressed against the window peers out; her gaze through glued-on recycled eyes confronts and troubles us. Above the silhouette of her head with tight curls is a series of vignettes laid out behind the window frame: a lion eating the sun, a brown head and brain riddled with symbols in colour-coded blocking, a daguerreotype, and in the center a pair of skeletons, one white and one black. Betye Saar uses such symbolism in her work, Black Girl’s Window (1969), to manifest an emerging ...
First and foremost, thanks again to everyone for your hard work on your proposals, and for your patience. We received some truly outstanding proposals and it was very tough to make the final call, but we are very excited with what we have planned!
We are pleased to announce the next batch of 15 books for the series. We have a great range – everything from Elvis to Leonard Cohen to Janet Jackson. Below you will find our brilliant new additions to the 33 1/3 series, which will be publishing fro...
In this way, Mahogany Too imagines our “Tracy/Mahogany” roaming through the streets of the city unaccompanied with abandoned glee. These shots are overlaid with her hand drafting garments that may shape her body and the bodies of others. We hear her hum, tap, and create sounds that make up the experimental soundtrack. The frequent tight shots of her designing hand connected with images of her applying makeup suggest that her ability to create plays an equal role in her desire to experiment wi...
Floor 8, Tom and Diane Tuft Trustee Room
These dynamic, single-session courses offer an in-depth look at contemporary art through using the 2019 Whitney Biennial as a point of departure.
This session examines the aesthetics of visibility and narrative in Black women’s contemporary art practices. We will look closely at work on view by Simone Leigh, Tiona Nekkia McClodden, Autumn Knight, and others. This session is led by Ayanna Dozier, Joan Tisch Teaching Fellow.
Ayanna Dozier: Softest
Evening Hours presents Softest: an evening featuring Soft Waves, a photo installation with a 1930s DuArt permanent wave/ing machine and a performance lecture entitled Spoken Softly: What Feminists Can Learn From Men’s Rights (ASMR Style). Please join us Saturday, June 22 from 7-9pm.
Floor 3, Susan and John Hess Family Gallery and Theater
The Critical Studies Symposium is an evening-long event during which each of the six participants from this year's Whitney Independent Study Critical Studies Program presents a short paper on their current research. Two discussants respond to these papers.
This program is free but registration is required. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Introduction by Lindsay Caplan, PhD Art History, CUNY Graduate Cen...
Heartbreak, like history and culture, persists. For the past four years, my doctoral research has pursued numerous archives in hopes of finding a history and culture around Black women’s experimental cinema in the United States and the United Kingdom. Black women’s contemporary experimental cinema (1970s to the present), like other forms of Black cultural production, utilizes film’s formal and narrative aesthetics to signify the memories and temporalities of Black bodies and their history. My...
This program examines Andy Warhol through the lenses of labor and feminist critique. As its starting point, it takes the 1964 New York Daily News headline “Actress Shoots Warhol,” which reported the attempted assassination of the artist by Valerie Solanas. In response, Solanas demanded a retraction: apart from her two appearances in Warhol’s films, she was a writer, not an actress. Join Joan Tisch Teaching Fellows Ayanna Dozier and Aliza Shvarts to explore how this mischaracterization speaks ...
Floor 3, Susan and John Hess Family Gallery and Theater
Individual, Dual, and Friend members
“I just can’t continue to move through society without asking questions about what I’m hearing, what is being said; the noise of the world.”
“People are working every minute. The machinery is always going. Even when you sleep.”
In this talk teaching fellow Ayanna Dozier will provide historical and critical context for the new exhibition Kevin Beasley: A view of a landscape....
Fucking Whiteness: Orientations, Race, and Desire in Camille Billops' The KKK Boutique Ain't Just Rednecks
Longtime wife and husband filmmaking duo, Camille Billops and James V. Hatch, open their film The KKK Boutique Ain’t Just Rednecks (1991) by stating that “We are making a ‘docu-fantasy’ about the ways racism changes our souls.” Using a cinematic narrative structure taken from Dante’s inferno, Billops, with the assistance of Hatch (who here plays a more secondary role), frames the documentary as a journey through a boutique with specific stops, each with “its own madness and its own punishment.”
Golden Age cartoonist Jackie Ormes created dramatic narratives in her comic strip Torchy in Heartbeats (Pittsburgh Courier, 1950–54) that were unique, in that they were created by a Black woman cartoonist for Black women readers. Ormes skillfully manipulated the typical strip's narrative structure to creatively depict a single Black woman freely traveling the world in the era of Jim Crow. This essay examines two specific Torchy in Heartbeats strips from 1951–52 to reveal how Ormes wo...
This guided discussion in the Whitney’s galleries questions the ways that institutional spaces such as museums are oriented around whiteness, its assumed “neutrality,” and its effect with regards to race and power.
Taking philosopher Sara Ahmed’s 2007 essay, “A Phenomenology of Whiteness” as a starting point, this program invites participants to develop a vocabulary for analyzing whiteness through close readings of works of art in the Whitney’s collection. In particular, Ahmed’s conce...