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Sarah Stolar, The Grief Mother / The Grief Club performance for video 2020 photo credit Audrey Valentine

“Don’t buy masks.” -United States Center for Disease Control

Information travels quickly in our connected world, for better or worse. This means that we have near instant access to news that can help keep us safe and prepared, but it also means that often, news travels before all the facts are confirmed, unleashing a tsunami of half truths and outright falsehoods. It is up to each and every one of us in this new world of constant access and open knowledge, to ensure that the information we disseminate is useful and accurate. The citizenry of the world are responsible for the integrity of truth and we must, each and every one, fight the thrum of dubious fact.

Natasha Ria El-Scari lives and works in Kansas City, Missouri. Natasha spoke to Praxis once before about her work and curatorial projects. This time around we spoke about a nonfiction book she wrote which came out in October of 2019. Natasha says returning to writing, her first love, sparks all the other creative projects she does in her life. This book is her first foray into nonfiction. Titled Mama Sutra: Love and Lovemaking Advice to my Son, the book delves into 15 years of conversations she has had with her son about lovemaking. On the eve of his 20th birthday the two had a conversation in which Natasha’s son encouraged her to write the book because he was certain that most men do not have conversations like these with their mothers. To hear more about this project from the heart, as well as more from Natash Ria El-Scari, listen to the complete interview.

Sarah Stolar spoke to us from Santa Fe, New Mexico where she lives and works. She is currently ending a multi-year interdisciplinary project and looking forward to starting fresh. Moving forward she envisions an interdisciplinary project exploring the five stages or grief, death rituals and keening women, women who are either hired or, of their own accord, mourn on behalf of a grieving family. The tradition can be traced back to the Greco-Roman era. Stolar was about to embark on a trip to Ireland to research keening women there when we spoke. Her interest lies in the evolution to the merry wake, a jovial party that happens in the presence of the deceased that includes rich foods and sex. Stolar imagines this project as a seedy dark underworld and her working title is The Grief Club. To hear more about her vision as this project takes shape, listen to the complete interview.

A Few Words to Keep in your Pocket:

Now more than ever, it is incumbent upon you and me to set aside the pull of instant gratification in favor of the drawn out pace of evidence.

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. Mama Sutra by Natasha Ria El-Scari can be found here. Sarah Stolar spoke about The Power by Naomi Alderman.

Deadlines

Entries are now open for the World of Wearable Art Competition. This annual competition draws artists and designers from around the world to create the unimaginable. Finalists are showcased in “a spectacular show that takes over New Zealand’s vibrant city of Wellington in an explosion of creativity.” Over 60,000 viewers encounter the finalist works of wearable art. For more information and to enter, visit the website. Deadline for entries is March 30.

 

Weekly Edited Grant and Residency Deadlines – review the list here.

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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