June 5 - August 29, 2020
curated by Valeria Federici

The title, Trying, comes from my Artist Statement (since 2010), that in turn comes from my text for Faceless Portrait, 2007.

The exhibition is about the continuation of a variety of struggles in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles, from irrational political actions to a global pandemic. The work consists of my text (written mostly in spring of 2019) and recycling prints into objects and having them be containers for handcrafted nature. I made these prints when I was Artist in Residence in the office of Ross Barkan's campaign for State Senator (that subsequently turned into a short-lived community space, Solidarity Space, 2018-2019 - see Political Office, 2018-2019).

June 5, 2020

Public Zoom opening with gallerist Jeannine Bardo and curator Valeria Federici (participating from Rome), during pandemic, anti-racist demonstrations and curfew - moderated by Doug Chapman of Turnstile Tours and live support by Isabelle Garbani and Elena Soterakis.

Core text

I dispersed my text throughout the gallery space - from two large scrolls to one sentence on a pencil: "We spend our days repairing, under the indifferent sun."

Gallery layout: I named each of the walls and created a "shop" in the room that usually functions as a bar for openings.

Wall: Action

"KILL PAIN" is the only text in exhibition that is not my own; I saw it on the window of the El in Chicago, going to a friend's memorial service in January, 2017. It reminded me of Buddhist cognitive instructions: start off with premise of pain and then integrate skills/actions to combat suffering.

Wall: Domesticity
Wall: Public Solitude
Wall: Ruin

Excerpts from core text, along with fragments of the recycled photographs.

Craspedia and recycled photograph
Shop: grid

Framing of core text as a grid, along with images of birds I saw during Women's March, DC, January, 2017; I made these images look like forest fires, as the 2020 Australian forest fires were raging when I was making them.

Grid, detail
Shop: text + pencil
Shop: postcards

Postcards with double sided printing of entire core text. I discovered that one side contained misplaced text after I received cards from printing company, and I fixed this by hand instead of re-ordering cards.

Excerpt from my Trying text written on wallpaper above my photo in restroom at Stand.

July 11, 2020

In addition to making work for the gallery, I also organized a collaboration for the gallery garden with SAFE (assistance to people who are asylum seekers due to gender identity and sexual orientation) to make a SAFE Asylum Wall. SAFE asked its community of asylum seekers and asylees to respond with an image to the following question: "What does Pride mean to you?" I had access to these images (19 total), as well as the text that accompanied some of the submissions; I converted the small files into large black & white images that I printed and then hand colored part of each image.

Jeannine Bardo, helping me install the SAFE prints in the Stand Garden.