“Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.” -Howard Zinn
Stand up and speak. Sit down in protest. Use your voice, your presence, your art to change the world. Create the future you want to see, do not let the future happen around you. Make your moments count, engage your mind and raise your fist in the air. Fight. Show up and stay put until they listen, continue to speak until you are heard. Do not let others make you afraid to follow what it is you feel is right.
Kathranne Knight lives and works in Ames, Iowa where she grew up. After graduating high school she left Ames believing she would not live there again. Almost 30 years later, family pulled her back to her hometown where she continues her artistic career. Presently she is working on a group of drawings based on air mail envelopes. She says that as soon as she put the red and white chevron pattern of air mail around the edge of a paper it began immediately to read as mail. Much of Knight’s work centers around ideas related with correspondence.
Air mail envelopes, when folded, become a container. As they are opened their shape changes and they become something else entirely. Knight explores this transition as well as other aspects of the object both physically and in the ways they are used.
Shortly after her father passed away, Knight found a rock while on a walk with her daughter. In her grief she attached great meaning to the rock and decided to trace it to understand the form. This led her to do the same with other, more recognizable shapes. Knight traced her own head creating what she refers to as an “absurd self portrait.” The tracing speaks to the difficulty with self knowledge as well as the long history of self portraiture in art. Knight fills her tracings with patterns, juxtaposing the simplicity of the tracing with the complexity of the pattern.
A friend from New York sent Knight some handmade paper while she was still grieving for her father. While she worked one day she began to cry. Not wanting to spoil her drawing, she caught the tear on a piece of the handmade paper and watched as the tear caused the paper to rise up. She caught more tears on the paper and included them in an exhibition along with her drawings.
Knight has been teaching in an interdiscplinary design program for the last three years, a position she finds envigorating. She also publishes poems and visual work under a press called Correspondence Project.
To hear more about Kathranne Knight’s work, including some of her other tracings, listen to the complete interview.
Vasiliki Antonopoulou lives and works in London where she is working on a video imagining a future where glass has taken over the landscape. Antonopoulou’s work focuses on ideas of displacement and for this work she considers what may come next in a world where there is a push toward uniform urban identity. In this work, Antonopoulou examines how “the other” may fit in with an increasingly conservative, homogenized landscape.
Antonopoulou’s work is heavily influenced by her upbringing in Greece and Saudi Arabia. In Saudi Arabia her family was considered ex-pat and lived in gated compound communities. As a girl, there was not much mingling with the city and culture of Saudi Arabia and Anonopoulou does not speak Arabic even though her brother does. Their experiences were vastly different based on their genders.
As a child in Saudi Arabia, Antonopoulou’s experience shifted. On the compound she felt at home among other Greeks who lived there. But the moment she left there was an awareness of being the other. Because she was so young when she arrived, this feeling felt normal to her. It wasn’t until she started meeting kids who moved there when they were older that she began to realize that her lack of freedom was out of the ordinary.
The video she is working on now mixes architecture and metaphor. For her work, Antonopoulou writes and performs for the camera. The main narrative in this work shifts between a present but future time when glass has become the landscape and the past when heat and friction is creating glass out of sand on the beaches, moving the world toward this inevitable future.
To hear more about Vasiliki Antonopoulou’s work and her upbringing in Saudi Arabia, listen to the complete interview.
A Few Words to Keep in your Pocket:
The time is now for you to be the change for if everyone assumes the next person will do it, nothing ever gets done.
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. Vasiliki Antonopoulou is reading Queer Phenomonology by Sara Ahmed. Kathranne Knight is reading To the Letter: A Celebration of the Lost Art of Letter Writing by Simon Garfield.
The Gladstone Hotel invites artists to submit their work for Grow Op 2019. The Gladstone is a highly respected art, design and cultural hub in Toronto. According to the description of the call for submissions, “The Gladstone invites a diversity of proposals from collaborative teams, collectives and individuals that engage with landscape, species and habitat through installation, sculpture, performance, digital media and more to create a provocative experiential exhibition.” There are multiple ways to participate including room installations, site-specific installations and more. Collaborations and individuals are welcome. For more information and to better understand why Gladstone is a great place for artists, visit the website. Deadline is October 30.
Weekly Edited Grant and Residency Deadlines – review the list here.
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