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January 2013 Field Notes from You Are Not Alone*

This is a recap and also a sentence. My fear that everyone would try to mimic Gertrude Stein was false. Only I tried. Or am trying.

The economy of writing has everything to do with the words we choose and how many we use. That’s not too bad a sentence and a recap.

Curiosity is all we have, but we carry along a sense of duty in our formulas.

January participants included: Greg Amundson, Stacey Ho, Jacquelyn Ross, Tina Chern, Jules Francisco, Ada Smailbegovic, and Tiziana La Melia. Facilitated by Amy Fung.

I never knew people had such strong emotions about guava. I ate the last piece and chewed their words. The response was far more overwhelming than across the street. My review reads as this:

Tiziana should be a pilot. That’s a sentence. Not a review. Uh oh I’m doing it. I don’t want to mimic Stein but let’s go let go and see what happens?

Worschtat shapes. I see one. Worschat? Rorschach. Borschat. Patryk was talking about bortsch. No, he was talking about goulash. I was the one talking about borscht. There’s a Yuk in every corner. I never understood that joke in Alberta. I miss pyrogies. That looks like a pyrogy. Worschat strikes again. I don’t seem to care about these books and photos. I don’t have to care so much. Maybe if the work showed me something I have never seen before, never thought before, I would stop fidgeting and focus my eyes, and look.

I am being disrespectful.

the wall over here looks like it’s trying to grab my attention. It can grab, but not hold.

this is a city. looks like mountains. or a cloud. not clear enough and no the Rorschach doesn’t work here as an analogy. the colour I see now in my mind’s eye is mud. there’s bits of blue, but what is the picture?

Let’s not get a head of ourselves. I’m not asking anyone to be good here. just cohesive, or at the very least, comprehensive. No, that’s too much to ask these days, isn’t it? Apathy and laziness is a real problem. I think I just want to have a clear and open conversation.

We don’t need to speak the same language or even agree, but I’d like to know you are being sincere in your intentions and I will be sincere in mind. I am trying, but not hard enough. I would go mad if I tried hard enough each and every single time something that I see confounded me. There goes the rolling thunder. Is that a Bob Seger song? I will also work on my attention span if you work on yours. That’s a pact. I will stick to my end if you stick to yours. This is a review. A comprehensive one.

What is a review? The shattering and the cuts dictate where we breathe and what each word means. The analogy to film editing is apt. Suspending your imagination in art is the same as turning something on its head. We can’t wait around for inspiration though. We are going through a process and we are part of a community. Generosity is brought up. Why write with generosity when the exhibition has not been the least generous in return? That is a fair question, but why do we do any of this? Goes back to curiosity. And thinking about it, paying attention only to shows you like is not being nice either.

*You Are Not Alone is a series of writing and reading workshops through 221a’s 2012-13 curatorial residencies.