I’ve worked on three main projects during our many months of quarantine and they’ve all involved collage and altering existing materials. The first one, which is ongoing, involves Betty Crocker recipe cards. I’ve been turning them into drawings and sending them to friends and friends-of-friends. My impulse throughout quarantine has been to make things to give away. The second project I’ve called “Moon_Moire,” a collaborative project with Carsten Nicolai’s Moire Index, his playful and useful reference book of moire patterns from 2013. I painted on the pages, rubbed graphite into them, scratched and burnished them, and occasionally used scotch tape to make prints of the handmade stencils I used. The book was transformed into a series of 156 pieces. The most recently completed project is a similar collaboration, this time with the pages of Kenneth Grahame’s “Dream Days,” a small collection of children’s stories first published in 1898. This book was added to the pile of raw materials at a collage class I taught at the Camera Obscura Art Lab in Santa Monica during my studio residency there a few years ago. I’d held onto the book and decided to start marking the pages on the new moon in August. Again I used graphite, watercolor, colored pencil, and scotch tape. Some of these pieces have poems on them. There are 154 pieces in this series.
I have also been making collages, felting lladros, and writing the occasional poem. I’ll be adding the new work to my website as I document it.
If you’d like a recipe card, email me your address and I will send you one. If you have a particular food group that you’d like me to choose, send that along too.
I’m showing an embellished quilt for Agnes Martin (Friendship) and two new felt pieces for Joseph Beuys (a felted lladro and Reliquary for a Future Ritual) with the marvelous work of artists Joanne Aono, Sherri Denault, Holly Holmes, Jeffley Gabriela Molina, and Gwendolyn Zabicki in a show about slowing down curated by artist/curator Karen Azarnia. This will be a beautiful show! Here is the announcement:
Slowly, With Care
O’Connor Art Gallery, Dominican University
Joanne Aono, Sherri Denault, Holly Holmes, Kate Ingold, Jeffly Gabriela Molina, Gwendolyn Zabicki
Curated by Karen Azarnia
January 29 – March 6, 2020
Opening reception: Wednesday, January 29, 4 – 7pm, artist talk at 4:30pm
The artists in Slowly, With Care deal with notions of slowness, caregiving and meditation. Empathy and tenderness permeate the work. With attention to craftsmanship achieved through a dedication to meticulous labor, the work is made slowly, by hand, with care. Nostalgia, longing, loss, domestic labor, relationships, motherhood, meditation, and the history of craft are among some of the themes addressed. A range of materials are incorporated, including traditional oil painting, ceramics, sculpture, sewing, and fiber-based installation. Questions this show hopes to raise include how have we arrived at a socio-political moment in which tenderness has become radicalized? How can we collectively develop strategies to slow down, be present, and take time to care for one another?
I’m excited to be included in this show of poets who take photographs curated by poet/photographer Joshua Edwards, at Woodland Pattern Book Center in Milwaukee. To Sight’s Limit features the photography of Suzanne Doppelt, Jibade-Khalil Huffman, Emily Hunt, Eileen Myles, Anthony Robinson, Andrew Zawacki, and four of my Highway Dreams’ pieces. Highway Dreams are drawings on original photographs. I print each photograph once then scratch the surface of the photograph with a sewing needle. Opening reception is Saturday, December 8, 2019 and features performances by Joshua Edwards and Jibade-Khalil Huffman.
I was invited by my good friends Cara Megan Lewis and Alejandro Figueredo Díaz-Perera to participate in Cantos Comunes, a day of Fluxus and Fluxus-inspired happenings at the Blockhouse in Havana, Cuba during the 13th Havana Biennial.
The day included performances of known Fluxus scores, including June Nam Paik’s One Violin Solo (performed by Yasmany Guerrero), Alison Knowles’ An Homage to Every Red Thing, and a number of new Fluxus-inspired scores, including works by the performance collaborative Research for the Bermuda Triangle (Regina Mamou and Lara Salmon), two works by Balas and Wax (Susy Bielak and Fred Schmalz), solo works by Alejandro Figueredo Díaz-Perera, Benjamin Del Castillo, Carmina Escobar, and Alberto Aguilar, and my day-long performance, Franz Kafka’s 15-Minute Workout.
Just weeks before I was invited to participate, I’d read about how Kafka had been an adherent to an early 20th-century fitness craze, “My System,” developed by Danish athlete, JP Muller, that consisted of daily calisthenics, a method for proper bathing, and a series of post-bathing skin-rubbing exercises.
Through conversation with Alejandro and Cara, we decided it would be interesting if rather than simply performing Kafka’s 15-minute calisthenic workout, I “performed” my normal day in the house, with adding in my attempt to learn Kafka’s workout, as if I were in my home. I spent the day in the Blockhouse while the other events were happening, doing what I normally do: eating breakfast, washing dishes, meditating, working on art, doing some exercise (in this case, following the instructions in Muller’s book, just as Kafka would have done), and bathing. I stayed present to what was happening around me in the house, but did not engage with it. It was as if I were at a silent meditation retreat — not ignoring anyone around me, but simply being silent. It was as if the house were mine and it was any day of the week. The art that I made was to embroider “Motion is life” and “Save your progress!” on the ends of a red bath towel, a towel that I used throughout the day for the workout and for drying myself after the bath. Muller stresses in his book that “Motion is life,” and it felt appropriate to write that on the towel with silk embroidery thread. After I finished the day, I went into the courtyard of the house and placed the embroidered towel in one of the squares of Knowles’ An Homage to Every Red Thing to complete the piece.
Thesaurus for Ceasing War, three embroidered silk panels with a 12-part poem completed in 2009, is being exhibited in Staged Meaning/Meaning Staged: Landscapes from the the USC Fisher Museum of Art’s permanent collection through mid-April, 2019. Other artists in the exhibition include Jan Brueghel the Elder, Mary Weatherford, and Carlos Almaraz. From the press release:
“To celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Elizabeth Holmes Fisher Gallery at the University of Southern California, Fisher Museum of Art is pleased to present Staged Meaning/Meaning Staged. This exhibition features selections of Old Master and Contemporary landscapes from Fisher’s permanent collection. Through the prism of landscapes, these artworks collectively examine visual and ideological shifts in pictorial meaning.
“Each artwork embodies the aesthetic and pedagogic trends of its original historical context. As an aggregate, the works reflect changing approaches to representing and interpreting art and societal values. Staged Meaning surveys how the Old Master artists in Fisher’s permanent collection utilized landscape imagery to stage meaning prescribed by religion, history, allegory, and nationalist or expansionist ideology. The second part of the exhibition, Meaning Staged, adopts the concept of using landscapes as a vehicle for deriving individualized meaning, removed from the requirements of these historical contexts. Contemporary artists have initiated a shift by endowing the viewer with greater interpretive agency. That is, giving the viewer an opportunity to collaborate with the artist and partake in meaning-making, unburdened by conventions of the past.”
Join me for a Master Class (artist talk and interactive performance/workshop) at the Brentwood Art Center, 13031 Montana Ave., Los Angeles, January 23 from 6-8PM. I first staged this installation and collaborative artwork at Mana Contemporary Chicago in 2016. Read more about the Mending Wall Project here.
Incredibly honored to have “Warm Bones (For Agnes Martin)” included in UNTITLED (House), an exhibition of the Diane and Browne Goodwin Family Art Collection at the Illinois State Museum, Lockport Gallery. The quilt is a damaged and discarded worker’s quilt that I’ve inadequately repaired with gold straight stitches. The gold thread is old-new stock from Japan and was once used to make the shimmery gold elements in kimono and obi. It is incredibly delicate and breaks easily, as it’s made of paper with gold leaf pressed on it. The exhibition includes work by wonderful artists and friends, including Joanne Aono, Robert Burnier, and Sherri Denault, and is curated by Lauren Ball, Erik Wenzel, Gwen Zabicki, and Robin Dluzen. Opening reception is October 28, 2-5PM.
Honored to have a studio residency at Santa Monica’s Camera Obscura Art Lab, April 25-August 1. I’ll be leading image/text collage workshops nearly every week during the residency and will have the studio open to visitors on the days I’m working there. Here’s a nice little q+a the director of the program posted recently:
My work is included in Altered, a four-artist show at Prairie State College’s Christopher Art Gallery curated by Beth Shadur, featuring work by myself and Katsy Johnson, Javier Chavira, and Rose Camastro-Pritchett. I’m showing Last Fisherman and Dark Waters, two image/text pieces from the Dream of Water project and series. If you attend the show, let me know what you think!
I’m honored to have two poems from my Ruins of Modernity series published in The Magazine Santa Fe. These poems were extracted from an essay by Dr. Shannon Lee Dawdy, “Clockpunk Anthropology and the Ruins of Modernity,” about the aftermath of Katrina in New Orleans. Shannon is an archaeologist, filmmaker, theorist, and exceptional thinker, who I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know after meeting her in Oaxaca. Many thanks to editor Gabe Gomez for including my work.