street art photos: for Vera who asked me why and made me think what to do with it (again)

Cross-posted from: Jacqueline Herranz

i started taking street art photos for a very urgent reason: to learn about space in this city where i am an alien (last 4 digits of alien#: 1868). i took them in the streets because i have always had a fascination with space: i have no skills to manage time. everyone knows how easy is to lash out (whatever this means) and how pragmatic could be application of self-control and focus on a project, so I tried to concentrate and think about image that “happens” through space as a rewarding result since it produces emotion. so, i took street art pictures to be able to understand my needs for visual signs. i didn’t want to mimic straight photography neither “masculinize” my flicks by rendering an (en)vision of a person in control of the process. i have always like accidents and/ or coincidental (un)coordinations. i wanted (still have no other choice) to work with accessible tools as well. at the end, everything seems to revolve around access to material, and access to time.  most of the time for these street photos i have used mass mediatized best seller mid-lower-than-high resolution bodies in a combo with plastic travel size trashy lenses that are slow and most of the time cannot get the light right: these are perfect for loosing it and make me think that i can do it.

so i took my chances and was inspired by a couple of radical readings i stumbled upon lately: Vera photography collection and interest in getting personal through urban images (basic space), Olesya’s master compositions in her presentation of T-Aviv journy (donate yourself), Artem’s classic idea of circulation and illustrated literature zines (Flores Violetas), two email messages from my friend Alejandro and his kind review of my latest novel, Moyra Davey’s essay for her limited edition book The problem with reading, and my latest communication with Margaret Vendryes, who has been working on multiplicity of signs and building fiction along with constructing memory objects.

These photos i am planning to hang on a flickr account, as soon as time allows, are part of my extra-large virtual street art collection. The one I did build with the help of streetfiles, one of the most openly democratic projects I have seen online, full of misogynistic oriented spoil vandals and homophobic kids and the best part: very serious artists and fine street art collectors from whom I have been learning about the street art esthetics. Now that streetfiles is dead, I can dwell and swell in the anxieties of withdrawal and reuse my pics.

Delancy Street. Lower East Side. Three Trucs.
Kodak tx 400 expired film.

 

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Jacqueline Herranz-Brooks is currently working on her PhD dissertation on Auto(r)fiction at theGraduate Center, City University of New York. Her most recent projects are Lyrics of the Streets, where she pastes texts onto walls or abandoned objects around NYC; and Vicious Reading, where she photographs texts anonymously placed on urban spaces where minority communities are being displaced due to gentrification. She is the author of Liquid Days (TribalSong, Argentina, 1997), Escenas Para Turistas (Campana, NY, 2003), Mujeres Sin Trama (Campana, NY, 2011) and Viaje en Almendrón (Installation book for Gallery Miller, JCAL, 2015)

 

Elizabeth Macarthur’s Quilt at the National Gallery of Victoria

Cross-posted from: Adventures in Biography
Originally published: 30.08.16

The gallery had sold out of the glossy, colour catalogue for Making the Australian Quilt: 1800–1950 by the time I saw the exhibition last week. But I had a terrific chat with the young woman serving at the museum shop while I placed an order to have the catalogue mailed out (at a discounted rate, no less).

“Isn’t it interesting,” she said, “how contemporary some of those quilt designs are. It’s amazing to think they predated modernism by decades.  But not acknowledged, of course.” She gave me a gorgeous, wry smile. “Why would women’s sewing be acknowledged as art?”

Making the Australian Quilt: 1800–1950 is a wonderful and important exhibition now showing at NGV Australia (the gallery at Federation Square, in the heart of Melbourne). Over eighty works are on display – mainly quilts and bedcovers – and they are variously beautiful, historically significant, poignant, charming and fascinating. Intricate quilts stitched by convict women en route to Australia. Depression-era blankets (called waggas) made in desperation from scrounged bits and pieces. Delicate embroidery commemorating the jubilee of Queen Victoria. 
Read more Elizabeth Macarthur’s Quilt at the National Gallery of Victoria

Vesta, Persephone, Ana Mendieta: Sacred Altars Re-visited by @rebecca9

Cross-posted from: The Daly Woolf
Originally published: 15.10.15

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I am intrigued by asteroids. Peculiar asymmetrical floating formations of carbon, stone, and metal. Piles of streaming space rubble, some astronomers conclude. There are literally thousands (and more being discovered) of these eccentric objects in orbit around the sun ranging in size from pebbles to hundreds of miles of surface. Their home is called the asteroid belt, that celestial territory between Mars and Jupiter. Astronomers conjecture that asteroids are the leftover material of our solar system, or the fractured remains of what was once a planet, but they don’t know for sure. The four major asteroids (major because of their size) are Ceres, Vesta, Pallas, Hygiea; allegorically symbolized in the astrological literature as females with mythological roots in the Roman and Greek storied timeline.

Most astrologers don’t often include the asteroids in readings, partly, I think, because so little is known about them. The Dawn Spaceprobe has been orbiting the asteroid belt for about eight years now so we can expect to hear much more about the features and mechanics of the main asteroids.

Modern astronomers with their Uranian cache of prodigious technological wizardry and mechanistic mental mainframes can’t  provide us with the links to understand the deeper meaning and signification of these astonishing cosmic asteroidal actors. We are immensely fortunate though to have in our arsenal of historical reverie and scholarship the few books that do bring the asteroids into narrative relevance. Demetra George’s The Asteroid Goddesses is most famous. Yet, hereto, once again the myths lead us around the amiable, well manicured, predictable grounds of the Father’s House. Imprinted in the psyche are the usual tractable, complimentary female, archetypically tedious characters with their patriarchal stamp of approval: Consorts, Divinely Feminine Hearth Keepers, Critical Feminine Warriors sprung from Daddy’s Head (critical of who and what we should ask), and The Steadfast Domestically Satiated Goodly Wife. Never are we let to stray too far from those  Gardens of Heaven and the often gruesome violence meted to those who stray out of bounds.
Read more Vesta, Persephone, Ana Mendieta: Sacred Altars Re-visited by @rebecca9