Let us be honest / the world is ending but art / is still amazing.
By LA Markuson
As you all know, usually we write poetry for tech execs and media moguls. But we also love and draw heaps of inspiration from writing for other artists, and bringing poetry into other equally unexpected places like white wall art galleries. One of these such occasions will be the closing party of a show curated by Alixandra Hornyan, at 56 Bogart this Sunday afternoon. When she invited us to collaborate, I was immediately taken by the work of the two artists featured: ceramic sculptures by Jemila MacEwan and paintings by Karin Waskieicz. So I decided to ask her some questions in preparation for Sunday.
LA: Both these artists make me feel like I could fall into their work. Is that the desired feeling? How did you choose them and pair them?
AH: I firmly believe that if you feel something when engaging with a work of art, it’s successful in some way, and certainly a desirable outcome, but what to feel, I believe, rests solely with the viewer. While I have been following both artists separately for some time now, it has only been with this new body of work that I realized they were really addressing similar themes, that of displacement, transformation, and the natural world. I thought a larger conversation could be very interesting. They were both on board and we’ve been having a great dialogue so far!
LA: Why do you think poetry (or specifically haiku) should or can complement your show? Or conversely, why in heaven’s name do more curators NOT think outside the box and incorporate performance, writing, and spoken word into visual and fine art shows like this?
AH: My main goal with this exhibition and every project I’ve done with AH Arts (my independent curatorial initiative) has been to create context, conversation and access to complex contemporary work. A huge part of achieving this goal involves collaboration, not just among artists and curators, galleries and collectors, but across artistic disciplines and new audiences. Just look to some of the artists of 1960s, and it’s amazing to see the projects they realized working together. So it is surprising that more curators and cultural organizers today aren’t thinking more in these terms. For me, the programming aspects of the projects I’ve done have been truly rewarding, and I am always looking for new opportunities for exchange. In a gallery space, I’ve hosted dance performances with live music, mindfulness workshops, digital projects, artists talks, different cultural meet-ups,… and now happily, a closing party with The Haiku Guys + Gals. Can’t wait.
LA: Real talk: Do you think any super volcanoes will explode in our lifetime, and how will that effect the art world?
AH: Tough question, and probably one better addressed by Jemila MacEwan, as it is her interest to explore changes in the natural world in her work. She has traveled to Iceland, will be doing a residency there next year, and actually incorporates some of the Icelandic volcanic ash into her sculptures. Without a doubt, a super volcano would impact the art world, and throughout history, it has often been when major events happen that we turn to art and artists for meaning but who knows.
Join us Sunday to celebrate these two artists, and get a custom haiku as well. Because we are surely doomed if we can’t tap into beauty and nature in the gallery, and reemerge to bring a little of that power and peace back out into this crazy world.