QUEENS, NY | Cosmic Disco
Natani Notah, John Opera, Sara Greenberger Rafferty, Kazuhito Tanaka, Pedro Vaz
July 11–August 16, 2024

Opening Reception
Thursday, July 11

Cosmic Disco

The rocking-with-wind trees
the waltzing-with-moon ocean –
Everything in purposeful motion
like the lifting lark
or the swirls of Saturn

Even the far away stars
explode on
the dance-floor of infinity –
and regrouping
into new constellations.
O see them under
the shifting disco
of the inter-galactic lights –

The gravitational boys
in their shimmering shirts.
The orbiting girls
in their luminous glad-rags –
within magnetic reach of their rotating handbags.

— Grace Nichols


DOCUMENT and Mrs. are pleased to announce Cosmic Disco, a collaborative exhibition project featuring works by Natani Notah, John Opera, Sara Greenberger Rafferty, Kazuhito Tanaka, and Pedro Vaz, opening July 11, 2024 at Mrs., 60-40 56th Drive, Queens, NY 11378.

In her practice, Diné artist Natani Notah (b. 1992, San Bernardino, CA) connects maps, bodies, and objects to reflect on the larger social issues that repeatedly intersect the lives of women and men alike. With references to political activism, including the Land Back and Pro-Choice movements, her drawings also address the encounter of different groups, forces, and visions of territory in today’s social landscape. Notah’s “soft sculptures” open an additional dialogue on the connections between human, animal, and non-living beings. These works employ materials such as seed beads, faux fur, and leather to reference the value and artistry of Native American techniques and processes.

The work of John Opera (b. 1975, Buffalo, NY) blurs the line between painting and photography in concept and appearance, while mirroring phenomena in the natural world. These images originate from analog film and are printed on canvas with color separation negatives using the nineteenth-century photographic process called gum bichromate. The effect the process has on the images reinforces a long term interest the artist has had in thinking about the nature of photographs, and the relationship between cameras and human vision.

Brooklyn-based artist Sara Greenberger Rafferty (b. 1978, Evanston, IL) crafts handmade and machine-assisted wall works, sculptures, and installations while eschewing dominant notions of masterful craftsmanship. Applying the logic of collage and assemblage to fragments of colored glass, she fuses them together in the kiln. The polychrome composite panel Magnifier I and the monochrome white panel Level III (both 2023) are embedded with images of their namesake tools.

Kazuhito Tanaka (b. 1973, Saitama, Japan) works at the thresholds between analog and digital, image-making and sculpture, and photography and painting. His Picture(s), abstract paintings and collages made of torn chromogenic photographs assembled onto the same canvases, suggest a series of dialogues emerging from their two distinct materialities.

The practice of Pedro Vaz (b. 1977, Maputo, Mozambique) is centered on the themes of nature and landscape. Personal contact with the environment is fundamental to his process, where he alternates between solitary expeditions and their subsequent memories when back at the studio. In the paintings on paper presented here, Vaz sprays and runs water over the freshly painted acrylic ink, washing the watercolor paper to create negative space.