“You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.” -Toni Morrison
Our lives are very often centered around our own ability to move freely within the world we inhabit. Whether that means upward mobility, the freedom to remove ourselves from a bad situation, or myriad other forms of personal movement, it is difficult to deny that a life without that essential liberty is stifled and incomplete. For too many this basic right is denied – people become mired in a life they neither built nor control, forced to toil just to stay afloat, without the ability to spread their wings. Movement is a gift that is not granted to all – it is a tool to keep some oppressed while others climb the highest peaks.
Phil Smith is a performance-maker, writer and academic researcher based in Plymouth, England. For the last 20 years or more, he has been centered on making site specific performance – artworks that are built around the practice of walking as a conscious action. Smith studied drama at the University of Bristol and, upon graduation, set up a small theater company with a fellow student. After less than a year it folded. Three years later, his co-founder called to invite him to help with the first production of a new company called TNT Theatre. In the span of a decade, the theatre grew from a U.K. specific company to an international touring company and only grew from there. The title of his new book is TNT: the New Theatre and it tells the story of this company that began as an experiment. To hear more about the theater and its history as well as a discussion about Phil Smith’s walking pieces, listen to the complete interview.
Katarina Radovic lives and works in Belgrade, Serbia. She spoke to us from lock down as the pandemic entered a second wave in Serbia. During this time she has been focusing on her own work, including previous work that she had stepped away from when life got in the way. One quarantine project involved wrapping her camera in plastic, essentially putting it in quarantine. The project itself is called Diary of a Camera in Quarantine and allowed her to record that period as it shifted from day to day. Radovic allowed the images to develop in their own way – some coming out a bit blurred, a representation of the suffocation of not only being locked down but of the effects of COVID19 on the lungs. When she looked at the photos after the project was complete, Radovic found she could not look for very long without a feeling of suffocation. For more about this project as well as discussion of another project centered around her difficult and at times traumatizing relationship with her grandmother, listen to the complete interview.
A Few Words to Keep in your Pocket:
If you have the freedom of movement, use it to seek ways to uncage those around you.
Books to Read
What are you reading? Add your titles to our reading list here. Phil Smith is reading Embodying the Dead: Writing, Playing and Performing by Claire Hind and Gary Winters. Katarina Radovic is reading The Stories of Paul Bowles.
Sanitation is a deadly issue in many parts of the world. Each year, 827,000 people die preventable deaths from poor water, sanitation and hygiene and the resulting diseases. Volume Zero Magazine is launching a competition to rethink public toilets. The Little Big Loo is open to students and architects from all walks. The deadline is coming up so consider this a flash call. There are cash prizes for first, second and third place entries. For more information, visit the website. Deadline is July 24.
Weekly Edited Grant and Residency Deadlines – review the list here.
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In these uncertain times, our first responsibility is assuring staff, their families and our entire art community is safe. We hope to turn the page on this devastating virus and return to normalcy soon. In the meantime, we continue sharing educational resources and have developed new Facebook Live events, providing an informal and intimate opportunity to meet artists and engage in topics we all love. Follow the GOLDEN Facebook page to join!
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.