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Jessica Baran

Jessica Baran is a poet, curator, critic and Associate Director of Curatorial and Program Development at Barrett Barrera Projects and projects+gallery.

The author of three poetry collections – most recently “Common Sense” (Lost Roads Press, 2016) –  she is the former art writer for the Riverfront Times(2008-2012), Assistant Director of White Flag Projects (2008-2011), and Director of fort gondo compound for the arts (2012-2016). She also lectures intermittently at the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Art and St. Louis University’s Prison Arts & Education program.

She holds a B.A. in visual art from Columbia University, NY and an MFA in poetry from Washington University in St. Louis – where she lives with poet Nathaniel Farrell and their dog Benny.

The artist project mentioned in the interview by Catalina Ouyang’s can be seen here:

“Overview is a place,” March 6 – 12, 2018 at the SPRING/BREAK Art Show (New York City). Artists included: Lyndon Barrois, Jr., Addoley Dzegede, Jen Everett, Kahlil Irving, Basil Kincaid, Katherine Simone Reynolds, WORK/PLAY. Image: Samuel Morgan.
“XOXO,” February 8 – March 10, 2018 at the Des Lee Gallery (St. Louis, MO). Group exhibition including work by Zoe Buckman, Nicole Eisenman, Fantich & Young, Chantal Jaffe, Terence Koh, Marilyn Minter, Toyin Odutola, Mickalene Thomas and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, among others. Image: James Byard.
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  1. […] Jessica Baran works as poet, curator, and critic. Recently, she has been curating shows for Barrett Barrera Projects as well as other shows through local and national galleries. She credits writer Kathy Acker with much of her inspiration for some of these exhibitions. ms are created using the erasure style in which words are erased from an extant text. Baran says she has never found that her three roles happen simultaneously. Now that the exhibitions are complete she is hoping to slip back toward writing. Baran says that since the 2016 presidential election she has been trying to “reassemble her relationship to language.” Rather than finding inspiration in that moment, she felt shut down by the election results. Baran’s most recent book of poetry is titled Common Sense. She describes it as a collection of lyrical incidents. Much of the book came out of the dissolution of her marriage as well as social unrest around her. Baran’s work touches on difficult issues such as the Title IX assault of an artist. Diving deep in this way puts her close to the suffering of human life. Her writing serves as a release from this. Some of Baran’s poems are created using the erasure style which involves removing words from an extant text. To hear more from Jessica including readings of some of her powerful poems and some of the stories behind them, listen to the full interview. […]


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