“Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.” -Marcus Aurelius
Humans look ahead. We are imbued with the skill of forward thinking and planning – and with that comes the curse of worry. We know the fate that awaits us and those we love, and we are denied the details of how that fate unfolds. How, then, can we be expected to carry on in our daily lives without the constant anxiety that this partial knowledge brings? For the most part, humans are tremendously adaptable and assimilate circumstances quite quickly. What may seem treacherous at first eases into nothing more than background noise in a short matter of time. This, too, is both skill and liability, allowing us to carry on while perhaps muting the true nature of perilousness that lies all around us.
Masamitsu Shigeta joined us to discuss his recent show, Dancing Plants, at Situations in New York. The exhibition of small works was his first solo show at the gallery, having previously participated in a group show there. The theme of the show is drawn from Shigeta’s first trip to L.A. in July 2022 where he encountered the cactus for the first time and found they looked as though they were dancing. The works themselves are created on shaped canvas, and often Shigeta begins with a small work that he transfers to a larger shape. To hear more about this show and other aspects of his art and career, listen to the complete interview.
Jessi Reaves recently closed an exhibition at Bridget Donahue in New York. Titled At the Well, the show explored themes of expansiveness, dark associations like addiction, endless striving and more. One work, Small Girl Table, examines the chaotic nature of a bedside table, where the surface can be unpredictable when one goes to blindly set things on it. Reaves also unpacked the surreal associations between furniture and the human body, confronting people’s tendency to anthropomorphize her works. To hear more about this show, listen to the complete interview.
A Few Words to Keep in your Pocket
Finding balance between worry and wonder – this is truly human.
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 is here.
Books to Read
What are you reading? Add your titles to our reading list here. Masamitsu Shigeta read Spring Cannot be Cancelled by David Hockney.
Fogler Institute invites artists to apply for Artistic Research Fellowships. Applications are open to artists in all media who could benefit from significant primary research. Fellowships can be virtual for one month or as a residential fellowship at the Fogler for one, two or three months. For more information and to apply, visit the website. Deadline is January 15.
Brainard Carey is an author, artist and educator. He is the director of Praxis for Aesthetics. He has written six books for artists, most recently Making it in the Art World.