Believe

VLM, MARBLE PONYTAIL I, 2019, Sculpture, Marble, string, 20″ x 4″ x 20″

“Remember, a fact is a fact, no matter how hard the liars amongst you might try hushing it up.” -Billy Childish, My Fault

Truth is a funny thing. It can, in turn, be both subjective and objective. What is true for some may not be for others in some cases, but neither of these sides may negate the others’ experiences. And then there are the truly objective truths – those which can not be disputed. Scientific truths and historical truths. But even these hard and unyielding facts are often inextricably linked to the subjective truths of individuals. The objective truth of a thing might be that indeed it produces a different outcome for some than it does for others. Whether this is a physical outcome, a societal outcome, an economic outcome, the truth spoken by those who live it must be honored.

Caren Beilin is the author of Blackfishing the IUD, a nonfiction about gendered medical gaslighting. She is also an assistant professor of creative writing at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. It was there that she began work on this book. Life as a professor, she says, is one where you work alongside students. Six of her students at MCLA helped produce a podcast with the same title. The book talks about the copper IUD, a very popular birth control device, and her own story of the device making her very ill. When this happened she stumbled upon a world of others who also had terrible experiences with the device. To hear more about this and livve readings by the author, listen to the complete interview.

VLM is a Houston, Texas native where she has been quarantining since the onset of the COVID19 pandemic. Ordinarily she is an artist in constant motion, moving around the country and being “perpetually flexible” when it comes to making artwork. VLM misses traveling. As someone accustomed to living out of a suitcase, she finds the practice of settling in – hanging her clothing in a closet, for example – somewhat unsettling. While Texas was slow to be hit with the pandemic, when VLM spoke to us the state was reeling with a peak in illness. During all this, she continues to return to the studio where she is preparing a new video and a new series of sculptures to exhibit in the autumn in NYC. The working title for the show is Dream Cocoon. The film features luna moths she has been raising as well as sculptures rendered in marble that she calls marble ponytails. To hear more about her upcoming work and more, including what compels her to work with marble, listen to the complete interview.

A Few Words to Keep in your Pocket:

Truth is a complicated matter – at once universal and individual.

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. VLM recommends Caliban and the Witch by Silvia Federici. Blackfishing the IUD by Caren Beilin can be found here.

Deadlines

Submissions for the STARVD Art Prize are now open. Emerging artists, particularly those working in painting, drawing, collage, print and photography (or a combination) are encouraged to apply. Selected artists will have their work promoted in a selling exhibition on ARTSY.net in addition to cash prizes and other promotional initiatives. For more information, visit the website. Deadline for submissions is July 20.

 

Weekly Edited Grant and Residency Deadlines – review the list here.

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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.

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