“We’re each of us alone, to be sure. What can you do but hold out your hand in the dark?”
-Ursula K. Le Guin
Life, when examined in the most minute terms, is a lonely prospect. For many of us, we spend it surrounded by people – family, friends, colleagues, neighbors, acquaintances – and yet it is written again and again that in the end, we are alone. No one can tread the path precisely beside us. Our closest companions are limited to what they know of us externally, only we ourselves possess the deeper knowledge of our true hearts and minds. While this may seem an isolating concept, therein lies our deepest strength. Only we know what lies within, the depth of our own wisdom, our limits, our capacity for the very things that make us human.
Zeren Oruc spoke to us from Belgrade where indoor spaces reopened recently. Oruc recently completed an exhibition examining blaach culture, an ethnic minority in Serbia, focusing on the spirituality and connection with nature within the culture. For this show, in addition to photos, Oruc included an installation of peppers, a major crop in the region cultivated by the blaach people. There is another exhibition in line for the end of August working artists from a residency Oruc curated in Spain. The topic of this exhibition will be climate change within the area of Spain where the residency takes place as well as in Serbia. Artists will work with bio-materials including kombucha and mushrooms. To hear more about this and other projects, including more about the residency in Spain, listen to the complete interview.
Christina Mejías Gómez lives and works in Madrid, Spain where lockdown has eased and the city erupted in jubilant – if perhaps somewhat irresponsible – celebration. Gómez is working on a collaborative piece alongside a theater artist, which they have presented in Mexico. In addition, she was recently in residency in the Azores, isolated islands in the middle of the Atlantic that are an autonomous region of Portugal. There she made a number of discoveries which she is now sifting through as she moves ahead with projects. To hear more about this residency, the islands themselves (including on island that emerged and then disappeared), and other projects, listen to the complete interview.
A Few Words to Keep in your Pocket:
Do not mourn that no one can ever know us completely, rejoice that we are – each of us – unique.
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. Zeren Oruc is reading Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés. Christina Mejías Gómez is reading The Wave in the Mind by Ursula K. Le Guin.
The NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, inspired by artist Mierle Laderman Ukeles’ residency with the Department of Sanitation in the 1970s, invites artists to apply for three residencies with the Dept. of Sanitation, Dept. of Records and Information and Dept. of Design and Construction. For more information and to apply, visit the website. Deadline for applications for all three is June 27.
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.