Writing Club: On Blur with Aimee Meredith Cox

Ming Smith, African Burial Ground, Sacred Space, from “Invisible Man.” 1991. Courtesy the artist. © Ming Smith

Apr 5, 2023

MoMA (11 West 53 Street, Manhattan), Floor 1, 1 North


Movement artist Aimee Meredith Cox leads this Writing Club on the concept of “the blur,” focusing on artworks in the Projects: Ming Smith exhibition. Those gathered will practice using their bodies to relate to Ming Smith’s artwork, and to their own and others’ writing. The conversation between the body and text, movement and language honors Smith’s artistry and will make for a generative space to explore the layers of information and creative inspiration our bodies hold. 

This workshop centers the same communities depicted in Smith’s photographs. Smith has inspired a generation of artists engaging the politics and poetics of the photographic image in relation to experiences of blackness. Through her use of long exposures, Smith dissolves the boundaries between her subjects and their surroundings, creating dreamlike, abstract images led by intuition and honed through repetition. 

This program is one in a series in support of Projects: Ming Smith that seeks to expand the discourse on Smith’s practice beyond existing art historical, curatorial, and cultural theory frameworks. In focusing on the blur, that which is just beyond the grasp of our touch and eyes, that opacity, privacy, and fugitivity characteristic of blackness, we hope to reframe how we sense and perceive image and movement as captured through Smith’s photographic lens.   

Writing Club: On Blur with Aimee Meredith Cox is a collaboration between MoMA and The Studio Museum in Harlem. Writing Club is an ongoing program at MoMA and part of the museum’s initiative Artful Practices for Well-Being, which offers ideas for connectedness and healing through art. At each Writing Club, a guest writer introduces different works of art and offers a series of creative writing prompts. The intention is to offer a calm, supportive, and welcoming environment for anyone interested in writing in response to art in the company of fellow writing enthusiasts. As part of the gathering, writers have the option, but not the obligation, to share some of their new work with others.  

Aimee Meredith Cox

Aimee Meredith Cox

Aimee Meredith Cox is an anthropologist, writer, movement artist, and critical ethnographer. She is currently an associate professor in the Anthropology Department at New York University following her appointment as an associate professor in the African American Studies and Anthropology departments at Yale. Cox's first monograph, Shapeshifters: Black Girls and the Choreography of Citizenship (Duke, 2015), won the 2017 book award from the Society for the Anthropology of North America, a 2016 Victor Turner Book Prize in Ethnographic Writing, and Honorable Mention from the 2016 Gloria E. Anzaldúa Book Prize. She is also the editor of the volume Gender: Space (MacMillan, 2018). Aimee performed and toured internationally with Ailey II and the Dance Theatre of Harlem and has choreographed performances as interventions in public and private spaces in Newark, New Jersey; Philadelphia; and Brooklyn. Aimee is also a yogi of many decades. Yoga is integral to her praxis and her overall research and pedagogical commitments. She leads yoga teacher trainings, as well as advanced study and continuing education workshops and retreats around the globe. 

American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation and CART captioning is are available for public programs upon request with two weeks’ advance notice. We will make every effort to provide accommodation for requests made with less than two weeks’ notice. Please contact AdultPrograms@moma.org to make a request for these accommodations. Printed prompts will be available in English. 


The Studio Museum in Harlem’s Learning and Engagement programs are supported by the Thompson Foundation Education Fund; Van Cleef & Arpels; William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust; Con Edison; Harlem Community Development Corporation; May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation; Sony Music Group; and Joseph and Joan Cullman Foundation for the Arts. Additional support provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and New York State Council on the Arts.