“Fiction became a friend as well as a safe harbor, a cocoon to protect her from the outside world and its dangers.” -Emilia Hart, Weyward
At times, it can all feel like too much. The relentless news cycle, political unrest and natural turmoil, anger and fear all piling up until the breaking point is seemingly in view. So, how do you escape? Fiction can be a tremendous release. Whether you consume live action or prose, by stepping out of your own world and into one completely different one can achieve a particular catharsis. Even when there are troubles in whatever fiction you choose, they are not yours to solve, not yours to live alongside.
Li Wang joined us to discuss his show, Fiends and Friends, running through July to at Fragment Gallery. The title derives from a Chinese idiom that translates to “the bad people” in the ancient Chinese context and refers to the gay community. On moving to New York City, Li began meeting members of the Chinese lgbtq+ community, all of whom are very good people. He decided to create this series of work focused on members of this community. To hear more, listen to the complete interview.
Elzie Williams III spoke to us about his show, Politics as Usual, at M23 Gallery through July 16. The title speaks to our current political climate while also echoing the title of a Jay-Z song. Williams intends the work as a wake-up call, speaking to the viewer in ways both anticipated and not. The work speaks in part to the ways products and technology hold us. To learn more, listen to the complete interview.
A few words to keep in your pocket
There is a lot to be said for escaping to fictional worlds.
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
Mass MoCA is accepting applications for the Studios at Mass MoCA Residency Program. Since 2015, 900 artists and writers have completed self-directed residency periods at Mass MoCA. Residency includes studio space, housing and more. For more information and to apply, visit the website. Application deadline is July 8.
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.