Ulysses Glove Project: Page 244.
This morning I read The Week In Review. It takes a certain amount of masochism to want to see the news of the week in print and up close. There is no hiding from it after that. After last week’s budget fight, this McCoy/Hatfield fight in Congress, doesn’t everyone feel a little bruised?
Meanwhile, I drove on Tuesday to New London to deliver artwork for a show called Time In. I think it’s meant to connect to a women’s prison population. My contributions are two pieces, of women sweeping, like Muybridge photos, only the women are not nude, but are rather scantily dressed. On the sides of the women are notations of how much cleaning I did that day or recently, and as the drawings progress there are more bits about the news events of the day or the week, like the BP oil spill, and the downfall of Mubarak. It’s supposed to indicate that while most of us are taking care of daily chores, doing what we must, big things are or are not happening. I mean they are, but in the case of the budget, did anything really happen, or is there now a void where there had been intellectual discussion? These drawings are as close as anything I have ever done to putting on paper what I want others to see. I had trouble finding anyone to show them, any of my regular venues. Nobody seems to find them as compelling as I do. So, when I was invited to be in this show, and the gallery (Expressiones) only asked for a small artist statement, I decided to go ahead and be part of this. I had the work framed beautifully, brought it to Guido Garaycochea, the man in charge.
The space is smallish, but not tiny. The building is one you would pass without thought, with a mish mash of art, objects, crafts, and ephemera in the window, like every other struggling, urban, non-profit space I have ever seen. It’s on a street across from a big non descript building. There is a quaint eatery near it, but the street looks a little unused, like a forgotten block almost. I don’t have any idea what the quality or content will of the other artworks in the exhibit, but I know I instantly treasured this man, Gudio. He is an artist too, and a teacher, and a liaison for the Latino community in New London. Within moments of meeting we talked of the scary tone of tea party radicals, the disappointment of Obama’s presidency, the invisible but despised immigrant community. He was in a hurry so he showed me the space with equal parts pride and apology and when I left to return home he gave me a big bear hug. This won’t be the sort of show that will garner a review, or even be likely to be seen by my friends,or by practically anyone, except on opening night. But I felt really happy leaving my sweeping women in Guido’s hands and very glad that I’ll be sharing space with invisible people who matter a great deal to their families. I bet some of those people will like my sweeping women, and understand their message. If not, that’s okay too, really.
Now I am going to try to figure out where to put all the opinions from Week In Review in my cluttered brain. There’s already too much anger in there, too many fears, a lot of helplessness. I want these stories to fuel the fight in me. I don’t want to walk away…I want to argue and demand normalcy and reason. I don’t want Paul Ryan to have his budget approved. I don’t want to see Rand Paul get applause for his ideas. I want to see someone fight for the underdogs, for the sweeping women, for Guido’s friends and students.