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; it consists of my text (written mostly in spring of 2019) and recycling prints into objects and having them be containers for handmade nature (as we are destroying our environment). 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.

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 (detail)

Recycled photograph.

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: starting off with premise of pain and then integrating skills/actions to combat suffering.

Wall: Domesticity

I chose domesticity as a title for this wall, as I was making some of this work during a pandemic, Covid-19, and quarantine - which meant many were figuring out their relationship to domesticity, whether feeling claustrophobic, comfort or simply gratitude for having a roof over one's head. Personally, the situation suited me, as I was in need of focus and catching up with years of being busy outside.

Domesticity wall, detail

My Instagram image, printed on vellum, depicts the curtain of the Arnold family, Nyack, who were instrumental in saving the Edward Hopper House; along with other neighbors, they prevented the house from being demolished and turned into a public parking lot (see my work for At Home at Hopper('s) House).

Wall: Public Solitude
Public Solitude wall, detail.

Container from my recycled photographs.

Wall: Ruin

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

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."

Craspedia and recycled photograph

Jeannine hanging excerpts from core text on the front of the gallery

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, detail.
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.

My fix of postcards' printing error.
Alex, Brooklyn: “My beautiful fiance and I are at a Voices protest.”

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). SAFE asked its community of asylum seekers and asylees to respond with an image to 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, and my role then consisted in converting the files into black & white, enlarge, print, hand color one part of image, make waterproof and install in the Stand4 Gallery Garden.

Celia Karina San Felipe, Manhattan

“Orgullo es no ser neutral ni invisible.” ("Pride is not being being neutral or invisible.")

SAFE Asylum Wall in Stand4 Gallery Garden

Jeannine helping me to hang the SAFE images, just as she helped me install entire exhibition.

SAFE Asylum Wall, detail
July 11, 2020

Jeannine was sitting in the Shop, while I was in gallery by window - to prevent echo. 14 people attended and the conversations continued on Saturdays in gallery for the duration of the exhibition.