In this self-portrait series entitled syzygy, the vision, I am observing the straight-line configuration of our pasts, presents, and futures. This multi-dimensional contemplation considers vast dimensions of intersectional disadvantages, cultural conflicts, and unsettling legacies. Heavy on my mind is the horror of America’s mass incarceration and the question of breaking free. Can our truth-seekers lead us to the place where we are superhuman—shedding our Black bodies of institutional “isms”? My soul is hopeful for a divine future where we are finally able to run anew, far away from hashtag chatter, and into a narrative of pure joy.
Working at the forefront of genderqueer visual politics for more than three decades, Lola Flash’s photography challenges stereotypes and gender, sexual, and racial preconceptions. Her art and activism are profoundly connected, fueling a life-long commitment to visibility and preserving the legacy of LGBTQIA+ and communities of color worldwide.
She received her bachelor’s degree from Maryland Institute and her master’s from London College of Printing. In 2008, she was a resident at Light Work and in 2015, she participated at Alice Yard, in Trinidad. In 2019, she was a resident at Center for Photography at Woodstock. Flash has work included in public collections such as the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Brooklyn Museum, the Whitney, and MoMa. Pen + Brush Gallery’s inaugural exhibition for 2018 featured a 30-year retrospective of her significant photographs.
Flash’s practice is firmly rooted in social justice advocacy around sexual, racial, and cultural difference.
The mission of Friends of the East River Esplanade is to restore and reinvent this spectacular, though forlorn, section of the Esplanade from 60th to 120th Streets. We work with our partner community groups, elected officials, and private enterprises to complement the NYC Department of Parks maintenance and repair of this public space. Our goal is to improve and enhance the quality of the running paths, boating access, fishing piers, and bike paths, with our group’s focus on the Esplanade north and south of Carl Schurz Park’s John Finley Walk. Friends of the East River Esplanade’s values are: advocacy, gardening and landscaping, public art, programming, and fun along the river.