“Empirically speaking, we are made of star stuff. Why aren’t we talking more about that?”
-Maggie Nelson, The Argonauts
There exists within us all an untold number of binaries. We are never just one thing for very long, we flow and change to suit a place or moment – in short, we are infinitely adaptable. We leave our homelands only to strike new lives in far away places. We move forward from loss and change, and realign our lives once more when all seems lost. We are the children of the stars, imbued with the gift of ceaseless transformation.
Catalina Ouyang is currently preparing to complete her MFA in Sculpture at Yale University. Her exhibition thesis is coming up in the spring and will be a sculptural installation/durational performance. As a second generation Chinese-American, much of Ouyang’s work deals with diaspora and other issues related to displaced populations. Ouyang incorporates the concept of “Shifting Baseline Syndrome” into the piece as related to heritage, language and ancestral knowledge. Stone, plaster, Styrofoam and found materials make up pieces of varied scales.
The performance aspect of the exhibition will be made up of eight performers in the space for the duration of the event. The performers will be singing texts from songbooks that will be printed and bound for each. Each performer is responsible for certain texts from the songbook and will be at leisure to sing their text on a particular note and cycle through different stanzas through the course of the performance.
To hear more about Catalina Ouyang’s upcoming exhibition as well as her discussion of diaspora, heritage and language, listen to the complete interview. The exhibition takes place April 6 from 6-8 pm at 1156 Chapel Street in New Haven.
Daniel Wiener has a show at Leslie Heller Gallery in New York this September. A sculptor for the most part, his work of late has been essentially flat although they are made in a sculptural way. The pieces all depict faces in one way or another though they are not representative of any people and do not reflect portraiture or realism.
Prior to this series, much of Wiener’s work was abstract although there was always the sense of some object implied. There has been a shift from this kind of art to the faces he creates now, albeit a more subtle one than many people might think.
Wiener has sometimes grouped many of his faces into one sculpture creating massive pieces that offer a completely different feeling than a singular work. These flat pieces are a huge departure for the sculptor who has, after a four decade career, begun learning new things because of his foray into what is essentially painting.
To hear more about Daniel Wiener’s art, listen to the complete interview.
A Few Words to Keep in your Pocket:
We are made from the very farthest flung pieces of the universe, a culmination of billions of years all whirled into one very small package. No wonder we can shift and bend like water flowing over rocks.
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. Catalina Ouyang is reading Ghostly Matters by Avery Gordon. Daniel Wiener has just finished The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson.
Denali National Park in Alaska seeks a diverse selection of artists, writers and musicians for its 2020 residency cycle. If you decide to apply, be prepared to write an explanation of a proposed public outreach program to be completed during your residency period as well as another once returned home following the residency. For full details, visit the website. Applications open on June 1.
Weekly Edited Grant and Residency Deadlines – review the list here.
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 the forthcoming Succeed with Social Media Like a Creative Genius.
Signed and doodled copies of these books can be purchased from Praxis Center.