“Goodness is something chosen. When a man cannot choose he ceases to be a man.”
-Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange
Much of our lives are dictated by necessity – the need to be safe and cared for, the need to care for others, the need to make a living somehow. And yet, fundamental to the fiber of who we are is the ability to choose, in as much as we are able, the sort of life we will lead. For many this choice is not their own – whether by the circumstances of their birth or disruptions and oppression leveled along their path. Inherent in the human condition, in each of our lives, is the drive to fight for that choice and to find the courage to seize it when it presents itself.
Simonida Rajcevic spoke to us from Belgrade where lock down has lifted but, she says, people remain afraid and life has certainly not gone back to normal even though normal routines have resumed. Rajcevic just completed an exhibition that was postponed from April and moved to August. This show, titled Fake Pain, was a combination of huge objects and five paintings – a departure from her previous exhibitions which were exclusively paintings. In this show she attempted to describe a complex social concept wherein people are victimized by only feeling the pressures of life. Her objects in the exhibition are based on a pose made by Bruce Lee in the film Enter the Dragon in which his harms are poised in front of his body, ready to take action. She explains that this represents those who are victims and ready to act. To hear more about this concept and Rajcevic’s other work, listen to the complete interview.
Carrie Moyer spoke from her studio in Brooklyn. Her experience of the pandemic so far has been a combination of things – on one hand she says it isn’t so different from an artist’s usual routine, working alone in a studio – while on the other hand the dark political atmosphere hangs heavy over her head as it does over the heads of many. Presently she is at work on a monograph that will be published in autumn 2021. The monograph will include about 100 color plates of paintings. She is also preparing for a show at DC Moore Gallery in February as well as prepping to re-install a collaborative show she created with her wife called Tabernacles for Trying Times. The exhibition first ran at the Portland Museum of Art and will soon run at Museum of Art and Design in New York in May of 2021. Despite all this work, Moyer speaks to the very surreal moment we are in and how that affects making art and the uncertainty of how art will work going forward. To hear more about these works, including a more in-depth conversation about her collaborative show, listen to the complete interview.
A Few Words to Keep in your Pocket:
Decide what choices are important to you and fight like hell for 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. Simonida Rajcevic is re-reading The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. Carrie Moyer is reading many things at once, a typical habit, but Margery Kempe by Robert Gluck.
Monmouth Museum located in Monmouth, New Jersey presents their 42nd annual juried exhibition. Artists working across all media are invited to submit their work for consideration. All selected works will be on display in the museum’s main gallery from November 13 to January 3 with an opening reception on November 14. For full details, visit the website. Deadline for art submissions is October 7.