“Knowing how to be solitary is central to the art of loving. When we can be alone, we can be with others without using them as a means of escape.” -bell hooks
In some parts of the world, the pandemic is beginning to subside. Throughout the last year and a half, many people found themselves suddenly in a position of isolation like never before. There is a unique struggle to being along, particularly as a species that thrives on community. Many, though, discovered rich ways of being alone and learned a whole new way to connect with themselves or with just a few people rather sparingly. Knowing how to be with ourselves, how to feel fulfilled when we are on our own, is a major step in the journey to building good relationships. Perhaps, in a very minute way, the pandemic brought with it gifts we may not have otherwise received.
Dara Haskins spoke to us from Philadelphia where she reported that lockdown continues to some extent. Haskins participated in a few online exhibitions over the last year or so, one titled Nomenclatures of Invisibility. She has her first solo exhibition coming up in which she will show pieces from her Havana Time series as well as others from a quarantine series she has been working on. This will be the first time she has been able to show this work in person. Haskins created a residency for herself in Havana, Cuba during which time she began the Havana Time series. To hear more about this endeavor, and why Haskins refers to the recent years as “panini time” listen to the complete interview.
Alethea Pace was in the Bronx when we spoke where, as a performer and choreographer, she reported that it suddenly feels like things are ramping up again. She expected the change back to normal to be more gradual, however, the shift has occurred quite quickly and she finds herself busier than she has been in a long time. Despite the return, she feels compelled to remember the lessons she learned over the course of the pandemic including slowing down, appreciating the moments she is given and taking stock of things including the work she is creating. In terms of her work, there is one project in particular that affirms some of her learning. Here Goes the Neighborhood involves walks through neighborhoods with residents who share stories and memories, which Pace records and creates site specific movement performances to accompany these recordings. To hear more about this project, including Pace’s hope to expand to all five boroughs of New York City, listen to the complete interview.
A Few Words to Keep in your Pocket:
In every difficult time, there are always lessons to be gleaned if we are open to receiving them.
Interviews are available on iTunes as podcasts, and for Android please click here. All weekly essay pieces in a shareable format are here. The full archive of interviews here.
Books to Read
What are you reading? Add your titles to our reading list here. Dara Haskins was too busy prepping for her exhibition to involve herself in a book too deeply, but has been slipping through poems from The Black Interior by Elizabeth Alexander. Alethea Pace is reading a lot for her MFA program but one title, Teaching to Transgress by bell hooks, stands out at the moment.
Columbia Law School invites artists to apply for residency to take place between September 2021 and May 2022. The selected artist will have access to a small workspace on the campus of Columbia Law School and is expected to complete at least on piece while in residence. This residency is intended to highlight the vibrancy and diversity of the school and broaden representation among artists, media and subject matter within the art collection. There is a $15,000 grant for the selected artist as well as a $5,000 budget for materials and supplies. For more information and to apply, visit the website. Deadline is June 15.
Brainard Carey is an author, artist and educator. He is the director of Praxis Center for Aesthetics. He has written six books for artists; Making it in the Art World, New Markets for Artists, The Art World Demystified, Fund Your Dreams Like a Creative Genius, Sell Online Like a Creative Genius, and Succeed with Social Media Like a Creative Genius. His forthcoming book, Making it in the Art World, is available for pre-order with bonus content here.
From 24 June to 20 August 2021, Marian Goodman Gallery and Holt/Smithson Foundation will present the first exhibition of Robert Smithson’s work in the gallery’s New York space. The exhibition, Abstract Cartography, will focus on a crucial five-year period in Smithson’s development: 1966 to 1971, a time when his “inklings of earthworks” began. This careful selection of artworks will trace Smithson’s radical rethinking of what art could be and where it could be found.