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).

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: Trying

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: Action (detail)

Recycled photograph.

Ross Barkan's office when running for state senator, 2018.

The print I made as Artist in Residence (AIR) for the campaign office and subsequently recycled into containers for Trying. I made a list of all my actions as AIR to share with other artists, in order to promote the idea of collaborations between artists and people running for office.

Solidarity Space, 2019

I also turned this triptych for Solidarity Space into containers for Trying (in the photo are two members of our bike activist group, Bike South Brooklyn: Kerrin Stokes & husband and Hazem Behiry).

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 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: Flood, Drought, Fire
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.

Ruin Wall

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. One side contained wrong text and I fixed by hand instead of re-ordering.

My fix of postcards' printing error.
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 Turnstile Tours and live support by Isabelle Garbani and Elena Soterakis.

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

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
Zoom 2: first SAFE + Art community gathering
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 will continue on Saturdays in gallery for the duration of the exhibition.