The Art of Zipping Up (2015) Some Arms Carry Things. Some Arms Are Carried in Pockets (2015) Fighting with Feathery Sheets and Fluffy Duvet (2015)
These drawings represent everyday experiences of an artist who has been living with rheumatoid arthritis since her teenage years. Over the course of 20 years, the disease has damaged a series of joints in her body. Pain and inflammation accompany the most mundane of her movements and gestures. Fatigue and side effects of medications are routine parts of life. None of her impairments are publicly recognized and duly accommodated, as she is not (yet) visibly disabled. Asking for a seat on the bus, for instance, turns into a thorough social negotiation, as does having to constantly remind people that she actually is disabled. Lacking visual signs of disability, she is often accosted for “evidence”—an authentication, a reminder of “her” disability. With these drawings, each of which describes the artist’s daily negotiations with pain, inflammation, and fatigue, she seeks to render visible what remains locked up within the boundaries of her skin.
This drawing is one of a series entitled Confetti Divinations and functions as a map for interpreting the positions of tossed confetti. It is part of a body of work that combines everyday party materials, such as birthday candles and confetti, with esoteric symbology and forms of ritual magic. The drawings, which visually echo sacred geometry charts or map orientation lines, rely on the inherently-ordering nature of geometry to imbue a sense of containment and order, while failing to provide a key to their interpretation. The star-shaped confetti sprinkled across them acts as a star-chart waiting for an astrological reading.
Press and Release no. 1-5 (2017), 11 x 17 in. (series of 5 prints)
This series of prints explores the tension between presence and absence. These prints oscillate between legibility and illegibility. The pressure of my hand inking the matrix parallels the pressure of the press inking the paper. Both mechanisms produce an image. In order to create the latter image on paper, the image on the matrix is removed. Identity circulates in different contexts, becoming more pronounced in some instances and receding in others. The prints create a narrative that attempts to decipher the relationship between marked identities housed in the same body.
Emergence and Transformation out of Linearity (2017) Block ink prints 17 x 11 in. (Five prints)
An imagined primate protagonist, an amalgam of Kafka’s character Red Peter, and the chimpanzee subjects of experiments in artmaking and language usage, addresses his human interlocutors on the subjects of art, identity, and desire.
Monkey Painting (for Desmond Morris) Red Peter, with assistance from B. Anthes
Hands me a thing
For to see what I will Oh! Good monkey
Thing makes a shape
From my mind I distill Oh! Good monkey
To be speaking for me Oh! Good monkey
Hear my address
To the academy Oh! Good monkey
Create signifiers Oh! Good monkey
Make shapes to show
What in my heart desires Oh! Good monkey
Isn’t what my art is for
Categories are all yours, doctor
Don’t call me monkey
I’m not your monkey
I read a news story that quoted Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia speaking about an opinion he had written on disability as saying “twelve miles is twelve miles for everyone,” and thought, that is not true. Of course, it is true in the sense that a mile is a standard of measure. But it is not true experientially. The traversing of distance is always configured by matters of physical, political, economic and social capacities. When I went to make the piece, I looked for the article that prompted it. I couldn’t find it. Now I wonder if he ever said this sentence. I imagine him as someone who would have. This modest manifesto made out of masking tape patterned to look like measuring tape asks us to value experiential knowledge, to hold open its contradictions with standard measures, and to build our worlds in different ways than those championed by Antonin Scalia.