I'm excited to share my new space at OSU.
This new work, titled Harambe, can be seen at CAM from now until the end of August.
So far I've read the first chapters of Vogel's latest book. In this book which was recommended via Frieze, Vogel wrestles with a lot of questions that come up in my own work. He is thorough. He backs up into philosophical origins of opposing ideas and he is cautious to define terms before handing the reader his own ideas. The foundation of which these ideas originate is that "Nature" (the binary of human society) never existed, and therefor cannot be lost. Wilderness is a place that can never be found. And until we come to see our own influence in the environment that effects us and which we produce, we will not be able to change negative behavior. For me this book has started to answer several questions: why do we idealize the otherness of nature? What happens when we commercialize products of nature? How does this alter our relationship with our environment?
In the studio I've been trying some different drawing practices to give my mind space to decompress. As I'm currently receiving news on grad school, interviewing and making decisions related to big changes in the next months of my practice, I wanted to focus on something small and without a planned purpose. That brought me to a form of making I never worked in much before, drawing.
I am very excited about Tedd and I's work together at Artspace. The unintended correspondences between our similar use of color and form seems to be the driving force in the show. I have always loved his approach to drawing and the way he navigates drawing with a imaginative technique. Joining our work together has really caused me to look back on the formal decisions in my work and see the relationships between the vastly different subject matter.
My 9 things I favor from this year in no particular order.
1. "The Nothing that Is: A Drawing Show in 5 Parts" curated by Bill Thelen and Jason Polan
Participating in this show was by far my favorite opportunity of 2015. The other artists, the curators, and employees of CAM Raleigh made the experience engaging and formative. I got to work with eager interns and student docents on representing and maintaining the living work. The show got a generous amount of attention from the publications such as Frieze Magazine. However, the most beneficial outcome was observing the public interact and respond to the work.
Google walkthrough: https://www.google.com/maps/place/CAM+Raleigh,+409+W+Martin+St,+Raleigh,+NCfirstname.lastname@example.org,-78.6457377,3a,66.8y,273.6h,82.24t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1shfmbw1bJ9N8AAAQuoLy-og!2e0!4m2!3m1!1s0x89ac5f7a9e7b2335:0x82d5b022db957d03
2. Residency at Artspace in Raleigh, NC
The space and support to build my recent body of work is what led to the exhibitions I had this year. It was incredible to walk a couple blocks to my beautiful studio at Artspace. Chatting with other artists and visitors about my work taught me to become more approachable for a general audience. During my 6 month residency I was able to organize a performance, make 5 wall-based sculptures, produce 2 video works, write 4 articles, build one large scale kinetic sculpture, and work many other exercises without end products.
3. The Emerging Art Writers Mentorship Program at BURNAWAY
Afted completing the Mentorship program in the last 6 months my writing has gained voice, nuance, direction, as well as efficiency. Driving to Atlanta, being hosted by artists, and being introduced to the art scene was a bonus.
4. Raleigh community
In February I was invited to join a crit group mostly made up of UNC MFA grads. Now I can't imagine what I would do without their input and friendship. The art community is supportive and collaborative here and I am grateful for the way the participants have included me.
5. Giving Attention
In January I was invited to participate in a show at Georgia State in Atlanta. At the time I had few connections there and this show was the first of regional out-of-state shows. My work was in conversation with other sculptures in the show that similarly dealt with concepts of nature and culture.
6. How to Feel Real at Kingston Gallery in Boston
This show gave a space for a few new works and a recontextualization of old works. Traveling, installing and meeting the great people at Kingston was a lot of fun. I had never been to Boston and I enjoyed the brisk walks and exploring the city.
As I am dyslexic, writing has been the perfect challenge. Engaging with other artists and exhibitions has helped me formulate my own ideas and consider and outward perspective.
8. The local landscape
Growing up in Kansas City, Missouri can cause one to have low expectations of a landscape. Since moving to North Carolina, I cannot get enough of it. Sometimes I pack up and drive 2 hours to the beach just because I can and I enjoy the quiet car ride. My husband and I have collected backpacking gear and take off at any opportunity to hammock in the mountains. My flexible job and fortunate geographical location has built a lifestyle to be creative in.
9. The work
Nothing changes me like the materials I change. Some runners get runners high and I seem to term with euphoria after a day in the studio. I'm thankful for the way that my work as been faithful to me and for the opportunities I have to engage it.
While we were wandering around paths outside our cabin, we heard a humming mechanical sound in the distance.
Before we could see the snow machines we found bits of snow in the woods.
The lack of wind and spontaneity in the imitation snow covered the ground in a way I had never seen before. Evenly with perfection.
Our Christmas travels made this destination a good stopping point on our way from Kansas City to Boston. The experience was equally as strange as Dollywood or Disneyland with the surplus of Rainforest Cafes and minigolf. The falls are suffocated by city lights and tourist industry in a way that is like no other place. Magnificent has been made pathetic.
It's hard to imagine this space before civilization. What would it be like to hear just the falls and not the closophobic chatter and Christmas music radiating into one's mind.
The worst of it is that at night, they shine colorful lights into the falls and animate them with fluorescent red and blues. The real has been lost in these transformations.
Installing always takes longer than expected. It does not get easier with time (somehow). Why do I keep telling myself otherwise?
We had a pretty seamless install. Brett drove up to Boston with me from Raleigh and as always, he was incredibly helpful. I couldn't do it without him. We brought our pup Axel with us on the 12 hour drive and he also took it like a champ.
Installing the work I do and also installing it in a different city poses a lot of challenges. From locating local garden stores to remembering you left something behind 700 miles away, there's just less forgiveness in the process.
I was excited to see how nice Kingston Gallery is. We found great little pockets to place the work and we starting drilling
Another drawback of being so far away is that if something happens I can't just run there and figure it out myself. Letting go of control with kinetic work is not easy.
The most fantastic part of installation art is that you are just as surprised as your viewer. Although I installed the work in my studio ahead of time, the work isn't the work until it's found its home and seeing it come together makes all of the work worth it.
The visual connections between the four of us artists' brought the show together cohesively.
For example, Shana Dumont Garr paired my work with works by other artists to really engage a conversation between the works.
I was invited by Shana Dumont Garr to participate in a group show at Kingston Gallery in Boston. The show opens Dec. 5 so stay tuned for install shots and some follow up.
It's been 38 years since Berger's essay "Why Look at Animals?" was published, but his commentary on the current state of things is even further a prediction into today. Berger describes the relationship between animal and human through the medium of the gaze. (A topic the writer and thinker is well-known for.)
Berger describes the how a wild animal may look at in the same way as they look at another animal-wary and without comprehension. Meaning that their view of us didn't set us apart, but rather it was our view of them.
Throughout history animal has been related to nearly every creation story. They have a spiritual prescence in the human identity. They also have offered mankind service by being made into transportation machines, agriculture machines and so on. Our own comprehension of their lack of comprehension makes us interested. This is where Berger explains the human relationship to "pet".
With the introduction of our own machinery, animals have been replaced by the inorganic. No longer are they servers, but products.
This is where Berger couldn't be more right. Now animals are not longer raw material, we have modified their existence to something beyond that even.
After outlining the disappearance of animals in our society, Berger explains our replacement of them in zoos. He geniusly circles back to the topic of the gaze. He says it cannot be found at the zoo. The captive situation is so unrealistic that now man does receive a different look than other animals. He is set apart.