Aliza enters the restaurant we agreed upon in the Meatpacking District wearing a long red blazer over a black dress, black tights and heels. Co-curator and founder of The Outlet Gallery (Bushwick, Brooklyn), Aliza is early in her career, highly ambitious and bound for success. While sharing a pitcher of “Pear Slipper”, a cocktail with vodka, pear juice, cloves and nutmeg, we spend the next two hours discussing life post our shared alma mater, various romantic occurrences, and the importance of community in the art world, which concerns the bulk of this interview: Dania Lerman - So you are an artist as well as a curator. How does your practice inform your work in gallery?
and I had very similar trajectories and goals, and Justin encouraged me to reach out and introduce myself. Julian and I collaborated on our first show that summer (an exhibition entitled „Keep In Touch“), and by October 2012, after learning how well we worked together, decided to start a more formal partnership. Our next project was opening a gallery, and that endeavor soon became OUTLET Fine Art. We talked a lot about the outlet providing a space to build a community. How has this panned out? i.e. your relationship to the artists, they‘re relationship to each other, etc. One of the most exciting things about OUTLET is its ability to connect people through creative energy. We are committed
Aliza Kelly Faragher - My practice as an artist and as a curator are nearly identical. Whether I am creating art pieces or selecting them for an exhibition, I am interested in work that is driven by questions. The overarching concept is of highest importance to me, so in curating a show, I search for artists whose work offers a unique perspective on whatever issues are being explored.
Describe your partnership? My partner, Julian (A. Jimarez Howard), and I were introduced over a year ago through a mutual friend, Justin. Apparently, Julian
Bushwick is an incredibly hospitable environment for the arts, though it does have the tendency to be a bit insular. While OUTLET makes conscious efforts to engage our community through open and cross-platform programming, we like to curate exhibitions that extend the geographic bounds of Bushwick. We have shown artwork by a conceptual Chinese artist (Yuanpu Wang), an elaborate performance piece by German artist Lulu Obermayer, and most recently, a partnered exhibition entitled „THINGS I CAN‘T DENY“ by two Chicago-based creators. As we approach each exhibit through a series of questions, we try not to limit these answers to exclusively Bushwick voices, as we believe that international perspectives are sometimes critical in exploring the full scope of a concept. Any future plans? Any ideas for future exhibits?
Can you talk about the „feel“/aesthetic/ conceptual significance that you try to bring to outlet? Aka „what you‘re going for“ The idea of OUTLET is embedded within its name. OUTLET is an electrical space to plug into, a community hub for thoughts and intrigues, a center for affordable artworks, and a means of release for creative energy. We would like for OUTLET to positively contribute to the community, operating as a local venue where people from all backgrounds and demographics can feel inspired and supported. We reject the sterile, hyperpretentious gallery stereotype, and instead celebrate our approachability and emphasize our steadfast belief in having a great time.
So in Bushwick you essentially represent the hub of striving artists in our generation. Do you see any trends? Does this affect the sorts of exhibits you choose to curate?
to forming long-lasting relationships with the other Bushwick galleries, local and international artists, and the clients and friends who faithfully attend our openings and performances. We are also extremely appreciative of the local Bushwick community that predates the emerging art scene. We try to stay actively involved with our neighborhood, offering crayons and chalk for kids to use after school, and hosting events (such as a free food sculpting workshop) that engage local residents and business owners.
photo & text by Dania Lerman
I love challenging projects. Our upcoming exhibition, „Manifest Destiny,“ looks at the relationship between the 19th century imperialist vocabulary, and the popular language that surrounds Internet usage. As we navigate the digital landscape using Safari and Explorer browsers, we recall notions of Western expansion, entitlement, authority, and ownership. I am extremely excited about this show, as I think it adds an interesting, nuanced layer to new media / new aesthetic art that has saturated the contemporary art market. Beyond OUTLET, I welcome all opportunities that enable me to try something completely new. I strongly believe that any and all experiences are invaluable, so I‘m constantly brainstorming off-the-wall ideas about future endeavors. The weirder, the better.
Published on May 1, 2013