Fall 23 - Memories

Zachary Fabri


As a Jamaican-Hungarian artist, how has your identity been shaped by the intersection of these cultures?

I had to be comfortable with being different from different. I had to create my own understanding of being other than other. I had to think deeply about the nuances of what it means to be only part of a group: part Jamaican, part Hungarian, part Black, or part white. This forced me to even examine why humans need to identity in groups. I identify in multiple ways. I have found comfort in plurality. 

Hair is so very often about an identity and one of the ways we communicate who we are. When did you decide to lock your hair and why?

I decided to lock my hair in college. I was about 20 years old and started to become involved in Rastafari philosophy and lifestyle. At that time Rasta had a tremendous impact on me. It still does.    

For many people, the cutting of one’s locks is symbolic? What prompted their removal and how did the idea for this process come about?

I no longer needed a physical and visual representation of what they signified. Also, my identity and belief systems became more complicated and potentially incongruous with the Rasta communities.    

Balloons are closely associated with celebrations, joy, and youth. What did they represent here?

In this work, I am curious about weight and culture. By experimenting with helium, I am both asking questions about physical and cultural heaviness.  

What is the relationship between hair and memory?

Hair is constantly gathering information. Locks are like hard drives, amassing data from our lives. But hair is also a psychic link and historical reminder of the past.  

What books were you reading while working on this piece? Can you share 2-3 titles?

Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison 

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami

Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable

Zachary Fabri is a Jamaican/Hungarian interdisciplinary artist engaged in lens-based media, language systems, and public space, often complicating the boundaries of studio research and social practice. Based in Brooklyn, NY, his studio practice yields work that includes drawing, photography, video, performance, and installation. He is the recipient of awards that include The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award, the Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art, the New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship, and the BRIC Colene Brown Art Prize. Fabri’s work has been exhibited at Art in General, The Studio Museum in Harlem, El Museo del Barrio, The Walker Art Center, The Brooklyn Museum, The Barnes Foundation, and Performa. He has collaborated on projects at the Museum of Modern Art, the Sharjah Biennial, and Pace gallery. In 2021, he exhibited at the Ludwig Museum in Budapest, Hungary and completed a solo project at Recess in Brooklyn, NY. He recently completed a solo exhibition at CUE Art foundation in 2022 in New York City.