Stopping

Harry Moritz, Bottle Butt Plugs (April 2020)

“People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.” -Søren Kierkegaard

With freedom comes inherent responsibility. Each of us has a life with equal value and each of us has the right to live it to its full capacity. Any hindrance of this right by others who would look on their right to individual freedom of speech, movement, the taking up of arms through a lens of more importance than the freedom to carry on living complicates the very fabric of what it means to be free. My freedom to exist does not outweigh yours, and equally yours does not take precedence over mine. In freedom there is a unity that must be observed, protected, so that every one of us may live on unhindered.

Cathy Linh Che lives and works in Philadelphia. We spoke during the global COVID-19 pandemic when she was working on a poetry manuscript based on her parents experience as Vietnamese refugees. When they were in the refugee camp, they were extras in the movie Apocalypse Now. She has also been doing a daily writing practice with a group called The Grind. The work considers what beauty means in the context of someone who was sexually violated as a young person and how this colors one’s experience in their own body – there are also other tones in the writing. Additionally, she has been working on creating a project where her parents voices are heard over the famous Napalm scene in Apocalypse Now, in which they appear. To hear more from Cathy Linh Che, including further discussion about the film and how her work is a way of complicating the story, listen to the complete interview.

Harry Moritz spoke to us from Brooklyn, New York where he lives two blocks from his studio in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn. Moritz works with machinery in his studio and during the pandemic he has been making metal work for various clients including brass doorknobs. This is the first time that the artist has experienced a period of time where every day is structured the way he wants, he is able to work in his studio more and the city is quiet and shut down. Although the city itself feels alien, life in his studio feels normal to Moritz who moved to his studio and into the neighborhood about six months before the lock down began. For years, Moritz has been exploring his own gender and sexuality and is now creating work based on this exploration, rooted in queer porn images inside aluminum bottles. For a conversation about this work, listen to the complete interview.

A Few Words to Keep in your Pocket:

Value your freedom and fight with all your being for the safety and freedom of those around you, even when that means choosing a path of self-limitation.

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. Cathy Linh Che’s book Split can be found here. The poet herself just read The Chronology of Water by Lydia Yuknavitch.

Deadlines

The Ilanot Review is accepting submissions for their fall issue titled Toxic. When they chose the theme for the fall 2020 issue, they could not have imagined the rise of COVID-19. The initial intention was to shed light on climate change, pollution, even toxic relationships. They ask that submissions be in some way related to the theme of toxicity. While this is primarily a literary journal, they seek artwork for inclusion within the journal as well as for the cover. See the website for more information. Deadline is May 30.

 

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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