a bitter thing to be
the disposable animal,
a bitter thing.”
-Louise Glück, The Wild Iris
A friend had mice in her house. For weeks, she let them stay, listening to their minuscule scratches as they scrambled through their lives in the darkness of rafters and crawl spaces. Eventually, the damage began to appear, and it became clear – like a punch to the stomach – that something had to be done. It put me in mind of this quote from Louise Glück, who the world lost in mid-October. And it forced me to consider that for every tiny, destroyed organism – each mosquito we slap, mouse we trap, raccoon along the side of the road – there was a birth and a life, a day-to-day, connections to the world around. And it is only because in this world we have established a hierarchy of importance if you will, that their loss is no more than a tiny ripple in our day before we forget and move along.
Marleen Sleeuwits joined us to talk about her participation in a recent group show, Radical Intervention, at Sous Les Etoiles Gallery. Most of her work consists of site-specific installations in which she alters a space and then photographs it. Typically she visits a space many times, noting what stands out to her before she constructs her installation. In the case of this show, with Sleeuwits living in Europe and the installation being in New York, she worked mainly from photos and she began with concrete, a generic material found all over the world. To learn more, listen to the complete interview.
Anna Berlin has a show entitled Sisters on view at Olympia Gallery until December 2. Her inspiration for the works in this show was varied. One driver of the work was that right before the artist herself relocated to Berlin, Germany, where she is studying under a Fulbright Scholarship, her own sister moved to Hawaii. She began contemplating the profound distance between them, flung to almost opposite ends of the planet. To learn more, listen to the complete interview.
Join me at Tibor de Nagy Gallery to view Shari Mendelson’s Chasing the Deer
A few words to keep in your pocket
Do you contemplate the hierarchy of living things?
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.
More Books to Read
Ours is a community of readers. Add your titles to our reading list here. Praxis user Sandi is unsure about Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, which she just finished reading. Meanwhile, Praxis user Jane is close reading, with a pencil in hand, The Ambassadors by Henry James.
The Newberry offers on month of support for someone working in the visual and performing arts. This $3,000 stipend is intended to offer the opportunity for advancement in artistic practice. For more information and to apply, visit the website. Deadline for applications is December 15.
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.