Alyson Provax, Untitled (only one), 2017
A CITY-WIDE EXHIBITION OF EMPATHETIC VOICES AND WORD-BASED CREATIONS
“LONELINESS IS PERSONAL, AND IT IS ALSO POLITICAL. LONELINESS IS COLLECTIVE; IT IS A CITY. AS TO HOW TO INHABIT IT, THERE ARE NO RULES AND NOR IS THERE ANY NEED TO FEEL SHAME, ONLY TO REMEMBER THAT THE PURSUIT OF INDIVIDUAL HAPPINESS DOES NOT TRUMP OR EXCUSE OUR OBLIGATIONS TO EACH OTHER. WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER, THIS ACCUMULATION OF SCARS, THIS WORLD OF OBJECTS, THIS PHYSICAL AND TEMPORARY HEAVEN THAT SO OFTEN TAKES ON THE COUNTENANCE OF HELL. WHAT MATTERS IS KINDNESS; WHAT MATTERS IS SOLIDARITY. WHAT MATTERS IS STAYING ALERT, STAYING OPEN, BECAUSE IF WE KNOW ANYTHING FROM WHAT HAS GONE BEFORE US, IT IS THAT THE TIME FOR FEELING WILL NOT LAST.”
– OLIVIA LAING, THE LONELY CITY: ADVENTURES IN THE ART OF BEING ALONE
‘A LONE’ IS A SERIES OF PUBLIC INSTALLATIONS OF AUDIO AND VISUAL WORKS EXPERIENCED THROUGHOUT THE CITY OF SEATTLE DURING THE MONTH OF MAY 2018.
EXHIBITING THE WORKS BY THE FOLLOWING LOCAL AND INTERNATIONAL ARTISTS:
ALEXANDRA BELL (NY)
LAURA SULLIVAN CASSIDY (SEA)
YRSA DALEY – WARD (UK)
LEENA JOSHI (SEA)
TOMMY PICO (NY)
ALYSON PROVAX (PDX)
MARTINE SYMS (LA)
GRAMMA AND VIGNETTES FIRST CAME TOGETHER OVER A MUTUAL RESPECT FOR EACH OTHER’S PRACTICES, A SHARED LOVE OF ART AND POETRY AND A BELIEF THAT WHILE THOSE MEDIUMS ARE OFTEN DEFINED AS SEPARATE, THEY SHARE AN INTERSECTION OF EMPATHY.
OVER MONTHS OF CONVERSATIONS, THE VIGNETTES AND GRAMMA TEAMS DREAMED UP AN IDEA WHERE ARTISTS WHO THINK LIKE POETS AND POETS WHO THINK LIKE ARTISTS FIND A HOME TOGETHER IN THE OPEN CITY. WE SOUGHT ARTISTS WITHIN AND OUTSIDE OF SEATTLE, AND THROUGH FUNDING AND SUPPORT BY THE BILL AND RUTH TRUE FOUNDATION, WE BROADENED OUR SCOPE. WE ENVISIONED WORKS SKY-HIGH ON GIANT BILLBOARDS, PROJECTING THEIR MESSAGE TO AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE. WE PURSUED STRUCTURES WITHIN THE CITY THAT NORMALLY SERVE AS ADVERTISEMENT SPACES, AND OUR ARTISTS CONSIDERED WHAT MESSAGE THEY WISHED TO BROADCAST. THIS MONTH-LONG EXHIBITION OF WORDS AND IMAGE, SOUND AND SILENCE, NEARNESS AND DISTANCE IS MEANT TO CONFIRM THAT YES, YOU ARE ALONE BUT WE ALL ARE. WE ARE IN THIS LONELY CITY TOGETHER.
Image: Alyson Provax, Untitled, GIF , 2017
Alyson Provax, Untitled (only one), 2017
Leena Joshi, Will the last bad bitch leaving Seattle – turn out the lights, 2018
Martine Syms, Nite Life, 2015
Tommy Pico iLONE, 2018
Alexandra Bell, Charlottesville, 2017
Alyson Provax, Untitled (everything), 2017
Laura Sullivan Cassidy, Broken Languages, 2017
Yrsa Daley – Ward, My destiny is louder than my comfort, 2018
Special thanks to Bill and Ruth True, Cold Cube Press, Anne Fenton, Drew Scott Swenhaugan, Mount Analogue, Photographic Center Northwest, and Shoestring Press
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Alexandra Bell is a multidisciplinary artist who investigates the complexities of narrative, information consumption, and perception. Utilizing various media, she deconstructs language and imagery to explore the tension between marginal experiences and dominant histories. Through investigative research, she considers the ways media frameworks construct memory and inform discursive practices around race, politics, and culture. In her current series, Counternarratives, Bell edits New York Times articles, altering headlines, changing images, and redacting text to reveal oppressive patterns in news reportage and society at large. Her work has been exhibited at MoMA PS1, We Buy Gold, Koenig & Clinton Gallery, The Nathan Cummings Foundation, Atlanta Contemporary, and Usdan Gallery. Bell holds a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities from the University of Chicago and an M.S. in Journalism from Columbia University. She lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
Laura Sullivan Cassidy
Laura Sullivan Cassidy is an image- and experience-focused writer and editor applying experimental fiction and personal narratives to various mediums including audio, video, performance, and print. She lives and works in Seattle, WA.
Leena Joshi is a visual artist and writer born to Indian immigrants. Her writing and art explore the relationship between the self and structures of gender, sexuality, labor, and livelihood through negotiations of text, image, music, performance, and installation.
Alyson Provax is a printmaker and an animator. She was born in California in 1984 and lives and works in Portland, Oregon. She has shown regionally at Upfor Gallery, Bridge Productions and the Whatcom Museum, nationally at A.I.R. Gallery and The Untitled Space in New York, and internationally at the Blueproject Foundation in Barcelona. Recently her work appeared in articles about artists’ responses to the 2016 election in New York Magazine, Newsweek and ArtSlant. Her next solo show is at Wolff Gallery, opening May 4, 2018.
Tommy “Teebs” Pico is author of the books IRL (Birds, LLC, 2016), winner of the 2017 Brooklyn Library Literary Prize and a finalist for the 2018 Kate Tufts Discovery Award, Nature Poem (Tin House Books, 2017), a finalist for the 2018 Lambda Literary Award, Junk (forthcoming 2018 from Tin House Books), the zine series Hey, Teebs and the chapbook app absentMINDR (VerbalVisual 2014). He was the founder and editor in chief of birdsong, an antiracist/queer-positive collective, small press, and zine that published art and writing from 2008-2013. He’s read for New York’s iconic Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church, the KGB reading series, and Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) amongst many others, and has been profiled in Nylon, the New York Times, and the New Yorker. Originally from the Viejas Indian reservation of the Kumeyaay nation, he now lives in Brooklyn where he co-curates the reading series Poets With Attitude (PWA) with Morgan Parker at the Ace Hotel, co-hosts the podcast Food 4 Thot, and is a contributing editor at Literary Hub.
Martine Syms is a conceptual entrepreneur based in Los Angeles. Her artwork has been exhibited and screened extensively, including recent presentations at Karma International, Bridget Donahue Gallery, the New Museum, Kunsthalle Bern, The Studio Museum in Harlem, Index Stockholm, MOCA Los Angeles, MCA Chicago. Martine has lectured at Yale University, SXSW, California Institute of the Arts, University of Chicago, Johns Hopkins University, and MoMA PS1, among other venues. From 2007–11. She directed Golden Age, a project space focused on printed matter and recently founded Dominica, a small press dedicated to nowhere shit.
Yrsa Daley – Ward
Yrsa Daley-Ward is a writer and poet of mixed West Indian and West African heritage. Born to a Jamaican mother and a Nigerian father, Yrsa was raised by her devout Seventh Day Adventist grandparents in the small town of Chorley in the North of England. She splits her time between London and New York.
Gretchen Frances Bennett
Derelict, you’re not
coming back, I mean that in
the nicest way, rest.
March 20, 2017
Reading by Gretchen Frances Bennett
New drawings track faithful at-hand objects in daily life. These objects, rescued and stray, are pieced-together place holders, in an ongoing search for the things that stay for a while. A constellation of fragment drawings continually touches down on this question of what is important, yet is not overly tied to it. Artifacts are caught, as if in morning light, or Morandi non-light, just before coming into view. A glass fishing float is drawn as a small universe, tracking the containment of the studio space and objects. All questions are held in this slow drift of ephemera and photocopied parts, redrawn. An algorithm forms, following and repeating these items, which are open to changes, such as a shift in color. As I recite my devotion to these objects, I let them go.
Andrew “Lamb” Schultz
Thursday, March, 2017
Tashiro Kaplan Building
115 Prefontaine Pl S
In light of current events that threaten and unnerve, Seattle-based visual artist Andrew “Lamb” Schultz has created a series of new works with the aim of generating a soft space. Eutopos/Utopos is based upon the artist’s meditations on, and concepts of, both the good place and the place that cannot be.
Employing a mix of old and new practices, the artist employs painting, drawing, printmaking, sewing, and looping .gifs to enshrine the viewer amidst serene forms in gentle, candy-colored palettes.
New Work by Melina Bishop
February 9, 2017
507 E. Mercer Street
In the essay Folds, Fragments, Surfaces: Towards a Poetics of Cloth, Pennina Barnett writes:
“What if the poetics of cloth were composed of ‘soft logics’, modes of thought that twist and turn and stretch and fold? And in this movement new encounters were made, beyond the constraints of binaries? The binary offers two possibilities, ‘either/or’; ‘soft logics’ offer multiple possibilities. They are the realm of the “and/and”, where anything can happen. Binaries exclude; ‘soft logics’ are ‘to think without excluding’— yet one is not set against the other, (that would miss the point). And if ‘soft’ suggests an elastic surface, a tensile quality that yields to pressure, this is not a weakness; for ‘an object that gives in is actually stronger than one that resists, because it also permits the opportunity to be oneself in a new way.”
Using Barnett’s “soft logics” as a conceptual backbone, this body of work by Portland-based artist Melina Bishop seeks to compress the space between binaries such as flexible/structural, domestic/institutional, conceptual/formal, traditional/contemporary, personal/universal, discarding the “either/or” and adopting the “and/and.” Using handwoven and embroidered textiles made while on residency in Blönduós, Iceland in combination with found materials and traditional “fine-art” media, Soft Logics is a site-specific installation of sculptural forms and artifacts. It requests a stretching and folding of preconceptions and imposed limitations, and provides answers not to the question of “what is?” but “what could be?”
new work by Joey Veltkamp
January 26, 2017
This is a show about memory: how such an easily corrupted phenomena shapes our truth and defines our reality. The way we remember the things that happen directly determines how we perceive reality. And since we cannot agree on what constitutes our shared reality because we all remember differently, how is existence and interaction with each other anything more than a practice in grief; a cycle of coming together only to come apart when the temporary truce of a shared reality breaks down? Are we at the dawn of the creation of our own reality as futurist Elon Musk suggests? Or are we at the end of times, as death cults have believed for centuries? In either case, this unbridgeable distance between truths, reality and shared memory traps us all in the prolonged division of a heartbreak simulation.
Detail from “ARE we real?” Simulation (Elon Musk says our reality is a simulation and I find that oddly comforting) Fabric and THREAD, 2017
January 11, 2017
My fondness for aging (the deeper, softer, squelches of my own hand reaching inside my thoughts to withdraw the good stuff) is sharpened by how growing up means now understanding sadness. It’s time for an art show; my heart is broken and I’m at my most depressed. By the time I’ve rinsed the sleep off of me and pulled my aching body out of bed it’s night already. I’m still fixated on an egg, a palm leaf, my hands, an avocado seed. The pads of my fingertips stretch out looking for the texture that feels most like comfort, the fraying line of a silk piece. I had a hold on place once but I’m losing that grip. My parents were the first to show it: Rani right now you lack a place. Stop feeling sorry for yourself, you aren’t the first. The way ahead is long and far, yet I will search far and wide. Perhaps to move on forever is the trick.
As a child I thought my nation was my state of being. I drew on sidewalks welded with government wealth. the grass was always greenest. I visited the country where my parents came from and there I saw lack, and mass far beyond me. upon each return I examine the mass of my birth and the birth of the country I live in, watching it carve a very long dark tunnel. someone else is responsible for its state of ripeness. from there I felt my own somewhere complicate, but I was not yet fully stretched. where was my origination? people always ask. you must tell others where your allegiances lie, to whom you are an ally, and that implies the fact that you know yourself. at some time when in between on a plane over the atlantic I got stuck. my skin stretched over the whole earth, thin with distrust.
IMAGE: Test site for liminality, digital composite, 2016
November 29, 2016
“It does not take many words to tell the truth”
― Sitting Bull
There is a river within each of us. An endless flow of matter and molecules, a perpetual cascading of ideas, hopes, transgressions, and fears. We Enter Earth through water, and without clean water we will Exit.
These are the water protectors.
Since April, over 200 indigenous tribes have gathered at the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota to protest against construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The pipeline, if built, will cross beneath the Missouri River through sacred burial lands, threatening the water supply of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, as well as tens of thousands of people downstream.
The pipeline was originally planned to cross the Missouri River north of Bismarck however during an environmental review The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers discovered the pipeline posed a threat to Bismarck’s water supply, among other issues, and rerouted the project to run downstream.
These photographs were made at the Oceti Sakowin camp in Standing Rock, North Dakota in November, 2016 and printed in Livingston, Montana using the gelatin silver process. All proceeds will go to support the Mni Wiconi Women’s Health field clinic at Oceti Sakowin.
October 13, 2017
Crushing Sensation is a one night exhibition of new images and sculpture by Max Cleary that is rooted in the relationship between the industries of residential development and film production.
I’ve had a long standing fascination with the built world and its relationship to the roles of construction and labor within art and film making as well as how both industries are ultimately the business of the spectacle. In both cases the spectacle is a point of culmination as well as what is being sold to us; it is the holy grail. Development and real estate depend wholly on the finished structure. Without it there is nothing to desire, build, market, sell, or have. Film making occupies a more open space where a finished, physical thing is not necessarily its end point. Instead, it is the viewing of a film and the experience one derives from it that make up its apex.
The work in Crushing Sensation is about the structures and equations under girding these two industries of spectacle. Each piece uses the visual languages of contemporary modern home design and stage production to generate fictional spaces in perpetual states of incompleteness. Similar to behind the scenes documentation, they offer a view into a skeletal architecture where notes and tools meant only for the crew’s eyes are left unhidden and the tableau is forced to fight with its own process for the spotlight. It is an investigation of how the things that affect us are made and the effects of a constructed authenticity.
Stage 3: 150 Tons of Silent Air, archival pigment print, 24″ x 36″, 2016
Authors, Publishers and Readers of Independent Literature (APRIL) and Vignettes unite for a group exhibition inspired by the poetry and words of Jenny Zhang’s Dear Jenny, We Are All Find