“There are many causes I would die for. There is not a single cause I would kill for.”
To live on earth is to be aware – all the time – that violence exists all around us, much of it in the name of politics and beliefs. We go through our daily lives doing mundane tasks, eating, sleeping, working – and all the while, somewhere, someone is perpetrating violence. Somewhere, someone is the victim. Humans are nothing if not adaptable, and so we look away, put up a shield, pretend the violence does not have to do with us. But in the dark recesses of the mind, we know that every act of violence in some way erodes the very fabric of the human race. We quietly understand that in some way we are all complicit.
Julia Kunin spoke to us on midterm elections day in early November to discuss her work, exhibitions and the threat to American democracy, among other things. Kunin has been traveling to Hungary since 2009, and has watched as their nascent democracy has crumbled. Her travel to Hungary came about when she discovered a residency there. During her research, she visited The Strand bookstore where she was introduced to ceramics from the Zslonay Manufactory, sparking a quest to discover all she could about the medium. To learn more, listen to the complete interview.
Huidi Xiang joined us to discuss her recent show, Neither Here Nor There, at Lydian Stater Gallery. The title arose from discussions with the show curators as a way to reflect the connections – and the disconnections – between the physical and virtual worlds, the latter becoming more and more common in our daily lives. What’s more, Lydian Stater occupies both a physical gallery space as well as a virtual one. To hear more about this show and other aspects of Xiang’s life and career, listen to the complete interview.
A Few Words to Keep in your Pocket
Is it enough to simply know – and willfully forget – about the violence in the world?
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. To learn more about the work discussed in our interview with Julia Kunin, check out Hungarian Ceramics From the Zsolnay Manufactory, 1853-2001 by Éva Csenkey. Or, if you’re looking for a novel, Huidi Xiang recommends The Vegetarian by Han Kang, translated by Deborah Smith.
The Moniker Foundation in collaboration with Creative Debuts invites digital artists to apply for the Digital Artists Grant. This unrestricted grant of 500 GBP is awarded to a selected artist each month for use on whatever the recipient chooses. For more information and to apply, visit the website. Applications open in January and deadlines are rolling until July.
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.