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1 The Plinth 9 Raquel Nava 17 Madison Dinelle 25 Rachel Woroner 31 Ashley Garrett 39 Tom Wixo 47 Roslyn Julia 53 Rachel Jennings 63 Shanie Tomassini 73 FEEAS 87 Jamilla Okubo


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by Stephanie Preston

Three roommates, one apartment, one living room, and The Plinth. This is the welcoming, no-pressure platform that three students from the Glasgow School of Art have created. Weekly exhibitions make for a rapid accumulation of works. Although a relatively new space, their diversity of work is impressive and thoughtful. From the serious to the playful, they all share one common element: the plinth.


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We all met while studying at GSA (The Glasgow School of Art), and now we all live together.

We’ve loved seeing such different work, and it’s always exciting getting a parcel in the post (and not knowing what it is) that is for the plinth.

What were the decisions leading up to opening a living room gallery?

How does the gallery affect the dynamic of your home space and everyday life?

We wanted to do or make something that would be pressure-free for the artists and sustainable for us, so we thought of running a space in the flat. That’s how The Plinth got started. Are there any plans for growth or change? Charlotte has jokingly said she will get a plinth tattoo when we get to 100 exhibitions. We want to keep it going and make sure that the artists have a positive experience – we like the low-key nature of it. We’ve discussed curating an exhibition in which we invite the artists that have exhibited at the plinth to show. That’s a possibility.

It’s pretty unobtrusive, but some people move the plinth into awkward places (like the corridor) and some of the sound pieces we’ve had can be quite repetitive, but we like that the plinth brings that. Do you have an opening reception for each exhibition? How often is The Plinth open to the public? We don’t – but the plinth is open for anyone to come around and have a look at what’s on it that week. We do, however, have a publication that we produce of the artists that have exhibited, and we have an opening/launch for these and invite people to come around for that.

What kind of artists are you looking to exhibit?

What has this space done for the exhibiting artists that other spaces cannot?

The plinth is open to anyone. We want anyone that wants to exhibit at the plinth!

We think of it as less intimidating than other spaces and it allows for a new environment. For some people, placing their work in a domestic setting accentuates their work, or completely plays with the reading of it. I think people enjoy the challenge the plinth.

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What has been the most enjoyable aspect of having a living room gallery?

The Plinth

What brought the three of you together?


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What is the arts community like around you? Glasgow has a brilliant arts community. There are plenty of opportunities to exhibit and great independent galleries surround you. There is also a huge arts festival every two years called Glasgow International that brings contemporary artwork to the whole city. Tramway, one of Glasgow’s larger galleries, is holding the Turner Prize in 2015. Can you tell us a bit about yourselves, individually? Are you all from Glasgow? Where did you study? Do you have a personal art practice? Hamish – I’m from Kent; I used to live in a small small town, so Glasgow is big for me. Right now I’m in my final year of painting and printmaking and working towards my degree show at the end of the year. I might stay in Glasgow, but I’m also considering moving to New York, because why not? I’d quite like to get out of Europe. Freya – I’m from the borders, so also from the countryside. It still surprises me how easy things are in the city! Hamish and I are in the same class at Glasgow School of Art. In terms of my individual practice, I definitely consider myself a painter. Charlotte – Originally from Bow in East London, I studied Communication Design at Glasgow School of Art. I also spent some time in Copenhagen studying. Now I’ve graduated and I work at a design company in Glasgow, which I love. I’m into people-centered design and don’t consider myself an artist, but I get really excited

about people making art/design and people doing side projects. It’s important to me that The Plinth exhibitions are open to people who want to have mini exhibitions – they don’t necessarily have to be artists. Oh, and one other question. I was curious about your design. Can you tell us about the logo that you use? Charlotte did all the graphics, in terms of designing the logo, publication, and our plinth sign, and continues to do so. The design of the second publication has just been done and will be available in the next few months. The logo was very much collaborative and came to us quite intuitively. The idea came to us when we were chatting – it’s the floor plan of the living room, with the plinth being the rectangle in the middle super simplified version of what you’d see of the living room from above. The identity is based around the fact that the project is small and is just in our little living room. So the colours – orange, blue and peach – are colours taken from the room too. It’s nice to spread The Plinth further than just our living room but remain transparent about the fact that it is a living room gallery.


The Plinth

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The Plinth

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Friedrich II and other stories Friedrich II e outras hist贸rias


Nature loves to hide Natureza ĂŠ que ama esconder-se

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Yes, I have a dark sense of humor that is not always convenient for or understood by others. To laugh about some disappointment--over a broken heart or a difficult situation is the best way out. But, I don’t appreciate any type of humor that offends or attacks others. I had a history teacher that used to say: “Children play at killing frogs, but the frogs die for real”. She was talking about how we can cause harm perpetuating certain prejudices only by joking or fooling around.

Sim, sou inclinada a gostar de um certo tipo de humor negro que nem sempre é conveniente ou compreendido pelos outros. Rir de desilusões, de um coração partido ou de uma situação triste e difícil (depois que passou) é o melhor remédio. No entanto não aprecio certo tipo de humor negro que ofende e ataca os outros. Tive uma professora de história que dizia: “ as crianças brincam de matarem as rãs, mas as rãs morrem de verdade.” Ela se referia a como podemos perpetuar preconceito e valores nocivos a sociedade com uma piada ou uma brincadeira.

Do objects hold memory and emotional value for you? Does standing in the same place someone long ago once stood connect you to them, to that time?

Os objetos podem ter uma memória e um valor emocional para você? Será que estar no mesmo lugar que você esteve com alguém há muito tempo conectá-los e transportá-lo para aquela época?

Yes, I believe objects hold memory and emotional value… I have already destroyed a few objects for just that reason… I think it depends on the degree of affection, romanticism or mysticism one feels that will create the connection. I like to believe I’m connected to people and the universe.

Sim, acredito que os objetos possam ter uma memória e um valor emocional… Já quebrei alguns objetos por causa disso. Acho que depende do grau de romantismo e misticismo que uma pessoa tem para se sentir conectada. O pragmatismo pode romper com esta conexão material se for necessário. Gosto de acreditar que estou conectada com as pessoas e com o universo.

What do the walls in your spaces look like?

Como aparentam as paredes em seus espaços?

Nails everywhere, but I like to keep the walls in my room, where I sleep, empty.

Pregos e parafusos por toda parte, mas gosto de manter o quarto onde durmo vazio.

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Algo triste / difícil / obscuro pode ser engraçado para você?

Raquel Nava

Can something that was sad/hard/dark ever be funny to you?


th-ings coi-sas

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Raquel Nava

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life is like a sponge a vida ĂŠ uma espuma


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Do you create spaces/circumstances for your work to be shown/seen? What do you do?

Você cria espaços / circunstâncias para o seu trabalho ser mostrado/ visto? O que você faz?

I have already participated in a few events organized with/by groups of friends. In these situations, we use public spaces. I also occasionally submit my work to open calls. I have a website at: www.raquelnava.net!

Já participei de alguns eventos organizados por ou com grupos de amigos. Nestas ocasiões nos apropriamos de espaços públicos. Eventualmente também envio propostas para editais. Mantenho também um site na internet: www.raquelnava.net !

How do you feel about Pop music?

O que você acha sobre a música pop?

My younger brother is in a Pop music band in LA! WALLA!!

Meu irmão caçula tem uma banda de música pop em LA! WALLA!!

I definitely don’t listen to the radio or watch TV, so I’m not up to date on Pop music. I have never listened to Lady Gaga, but I saw a few images of her dressed with meat like Zhang Huan. When I was a kid my uncle took me to a Michael Jackson concert in São Paulo. At the end of the show, he was singing “We are the world, we are the children,” and then he held a tear between his thumb and forefinger, all the cameras zoomed in and the image appeared on the screens. It was so dramatic! I think Michael Jackson is quite an icon. Through the years he passed through a series of transformations to make his image fit certain standards. Each person is an entire society.

Não costumo escutar muita rádio ou assistir televisão, portanto estou por fora do que está acontecendo na música pop atualmente. Nunca escutei Lady Gaga, mas já vi uma foto dela vestida de carne com o performer Zhang Huan. Quando criança meu tio me levou a um concerto do Michael Jackson em São Paulo. No final do show ele cantou “We are the world, we are the children” e segurou uma lágrima entre o dedo polegar e indicador. Todas as câmeras deram zoom nesta imagem que estava sendo projetada nas telas. Foi tão piegas! Acho que o Michael Jackson é um grande ícone! Ao longo dos anos ele passou por diversas transformações para se adequar a certos padrões sociais. Cada pessoa é uma sociedade inteira.


Raquel Nava

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Friedrich II


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Everything’s a matter of perspective, so yes, of course. Aside from exceptional situations, I usually think it’s better to see something as funny rather than sad. Do objects hold memory and emotional value for you? Does standing in the same place someone long ago once stood connect you to them, to that time? In some ways, for the first; not really, for the second (except maybe, again, in exceptional situations). But I don’t think these questions really relate to me or my practice. What do the walls in your spaces look like? Well, I’m subletting a recently renovated apartment right now, so: white, empty, and covered in a light film of chalky dust. Do you create spaces/circumstances for your work to be shown/seen? What do you do? I haven’t had a proper solo exhibit yet, but the idea is kind of similar to any regular gallery, or to my website. Clean, clear, without frills or distractions, with focus only on the pictures, which, in turn, are trying to be clean, clear and without frills or distractions.

How do you feel about Pop music? Well, I love the idea of accessibility, and even mass accessibility, but only as long as it’s accompanied by some degree of depth. As long as the artist is facing something, or working toward something, or stepping outside of themselves in some way, pop music can be great. My problem with massively accessible pop music is that every song is in 4/4; every project has a vocalist; every vocalist is the same as the last; every song is the same as the last; every song repeats the same parts over and over, and every song is played over and over. And all this at an exponential frequency. I think (although this is a major simplification…) that evolution happens when one recognizes a pattern or cycle and makes a conscious choice not to repeat it – and in that sense, pop music can be really dangerous. The more diversity people are exposed to, the more open and understanding they become; and so growth can take place more easily. But the more people see and hear the same things over and over again, the more closed they are to any that’s new or unfamiliar – and this is especially true for people who don’t know how or where to look for alternative sources of culture and entertainment. It’s understandable: people can’t appreciate things they have no way to relate to. But of course, I do believe this phenomenon stunts our growth as individuals and as a whole, and I do believe it makes it increasingly difficult to justify devoting yourself to something like, in my case, taking pictures of “nothing”.

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Can something that was sad/hard/dark ever be funny to you?


Madison Dinelle

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Madison Dinelle

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Madison Dinelle

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No. Do objects hold memory and emotional value for you? Does standing in the same place someone long ago once stood connect you to them, to that time? I am very easily attached to objects and have a hard time letting go of things that hold value. Perhaps this is also why I am so drawn to photography as a medium, because it allows me to freeze important moments in time, and to capture objects and experiences that I do not wish to lose. I am sure I’ve stood in countless places where people once stood, but I have never felt any connection to anything that way. What do the walls in your spaces look like? I try to surround my spaces with things that are important to me, objects I have collected over time and find inspiring. I’ve got a large fabric poster from a market in Berlin with a variety of detailed illustra-

Do you create spaces/circumstances for your work to be shown/seen? What do you do? The internet is a magical place in terms of having work seen. After graduating with my BFA degree, exhibiting has not been at the top of my list, but I do make sure to continue sharing work online and plan to exhibit work in person in the coming year. How do you feel about Pop music? I am actually really into Taylor Swift's new album.

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tions of a mole, including a mole digging, a mole in its tunnel, a mole with its mouth wide open, as well as three different views of its skeleton. Sometimes, I am drawn to things that are bizarre and grotesque. Otherwise, my walls are predominantly covered with art given to me by friends and old photographs of all the important women in my life.

Rachel Woroner

Can something that was sad/hard/dark ever be funny to you?


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Rachel Woroner

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Forget Good

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Rachel Woroner

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Tundish

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Can something that was sad/hard/dark ever be funny to you? I think the only constant thing is change and transformation. Something that is sad and heavy or heartbreaking has every possibility to become anything at all, given enough time. Often things can change pretty quickly with attention and sensitivity. Do objects hold memory and emotional value for you? Does standing in the same place someone long ago once stood connect you to them, to that time? Yes, but the connection itself is the recognition of that distance between the past and the present. Meaningful objects capture and hold small parts of our lives, and we carry the image of those particular objects forever in memory. What do the walls in your spaces look like? The walls in my spaces are melting, merging with objects, infused with or reflecting light, recording sound, mapping texture and emotion. Some of the walls are leaving the canvas, some are peering into the spaces between the objects and the surface of the canvas.

Do you create spaces/circumstances for your work to be shown/seen? What do you do? I create spaces and circumstances within my work. The spaces are always holding the tension of conflicting emotions, positive and negative experiences, and contain specific narratives from my life. I’m interested in the convergence of the narratives that trigger the work and the viewer’s own unique narratives that are stimulated by the work. I always enjoy when someone can see what is going on in the paintings, and also if someone has a completely different reading of what’s happening! How do you feel about Pop music? Yes to 80s pop music. Some 70s and 90s pop is good too. As for today’s pop, I prefer songs with lyrics that have a storytelling aspect and come from the singer’s personal history. The less generic the better. Although, I’ll probably always be into 90’s breakup songs. Is Prince considered pop? His recent SNL performance - those eight minutes – was so amazing!


Ashley Garrett

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Field Day


Flood

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Ashley Garrett

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Forget Good

Zach

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Ashley Garrett

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Jelly


Casual Friday

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For me, I think the only things that really make me laugh are usually dark. There is something about failure that captivates my sense of humor. If you look back in history, even all the best comedians from Charlie Chaplin to Louis C.K use their own failures and mistakes as humor. Do objects hold memory and emotional value for you? Does standing in the same place someone long ago once stood connect you to them, to that time? I think objects hold more of a weight than an emotional value. It’s as if they supplement the memory more than contain it. Same with places--they help strengthen moments or memories from the past, but simply sitting in one place for a long enough period of time won’t connect you to anything. For me, it’s all about stories. Whether they are true or not, a good story seems to connect me to a person or place from the past far better than objects or locations. For example, I have seen quite a few Andy Warhol paintings and prints and been mildly captivated by the aura of them, but the first time I really connected

What do the walls in your spaces look like? The walls in my space are corkboard that’s been painted white. I have things tacked all over the walls, and tons of paint lines all over. For some reason, when I don’t know what to paint I just mix paint and test it on my walls. I also keep one whole wall to hang recently finished work on as a way to allow myself to process it or see how it looks for a while before it gets shown. Some other items of note include a large poster of a man holding a gun to a woman’s head that was left by the previous resident (I’m told it came from an old shooting range), a poster of Ricky from Trailer Park Boys, photos of friends, and a bunch of old ads from 1970s National Geographic Magazine.

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with him as an artist was when one of my professors shared this story about him that more than likely wasn’t true, or if it was it was highly exaggerated involving Warhol trying to sell paintings at a dinner party to buy dope. There was something about that story that humanized him, and that period of art as a whole, for me.

Tom Wixo

Can something that was sad/hard/dark ever be funny to you?


March Sun Offering

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Yes, I think it’s super important to have your work seen, and as a young artist, most of the time you need to make it happen on your own before anyone else will do it for you. I’ve done it a few ways but the most organized way was by being a part of starting an off campus student gallery for our undergraduate program at school. This has given students tons of chances to show their own work or try their hand at curating shows and events. I’ve also been a part of a few pop-up shows, usually with classmates and friends and the most successful was when a group of people from my school were graduating and moving away, so we decided to do a one night show at a studio in Saint Paul, MN. What made the show so great was that it was more about us as artists getting together than about self-promoting or building our resumes.

How do you feel about Pop music? Pop music (a term that originally derives from an abbreviation of “popular”) is a genre of popular music, which originated in its modern form in the 1950s, deriving from rock and roll. The terms “popular music” and “pop music” are often used interchangeably, even though the former is a description of music which is popular (and can include any style).

Tom Wixo

Do you create spaces/circumstances for your work to be shown/seen? What do you do?


Is Drawing Dead Yet?

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Tom Wixo

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Work Harder


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Tom Wixo

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Cop Shop


Forget Good

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Most likely not.

White walls with photographs and other art hanging.

Do objects hold memory and emotional value for you? Does standing in the same place someone long ago once stood connect you to them, to that time? Objects I know the history of tend to have emotional significance to me. For example, I wear a lot of jewelry that belonged to my mother or grandmother. On the other hand - I don't necessarily believe standing in the same spot can connect you to a person long ago. This is mostly true with one’s own memories. You can easily reminisce in a spot you have previous memories in, but it's harder to connect with a past that’s not your own.

Do you create spaces/circumstances for your work to be shown/seen? What do you do? I love my work to be seen in book form, as well as hanging on a close friend’s wall, or in a gallery show as often as possible. I'm currently working on a book project that encompasses pictures I’ve taken from 2010 until now. How do you feel about Pop music? Ehh

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What do the walls in your spaces look like?

Roslyn Julia

Can something that was sad/hard/dark ever be funny to you?


Forget Good

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Roslyn Julia

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Ma誰a


Forget Good

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Roslyn Julia

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In Memory

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I am an inappropriate laugher: funerals, catholic mass, drunk driving assemblies. It happens the worst when I am most nervous, or perhaps when the situation is most shameful to be laughing at. I guess it's how I deal with absurdity. I could just as easily give into the depression, and admittedly, I do more than I’d like, but laughing makes this world easier to navigate. Do objects hold memory and emotional value for you? Does standing in the same place someone long ago once stood connect you to them, to that time? My mother unknowingly taught me at a very young age that physical things are really important in life, and on a wider scale, physical appearance. She would scold me for touching the family heirlooms. I would take them out of storage and display them in my room, and she would in turn take them back, and tell me that they were keepsakes, and needed to be tucked safely away or else I was going to ruin them. I guess I never understood, and still don’t, why such precious, loved things should be hidden away, never to be enjoyed by

Standing in the place of those before me….it’s like if there is a tiny radio in our bodies, and someone invisibly turns the dial to a fuzzy frequency, to the snow channel. Some people walk with their heads down and don’t acknowledge the snow, and then some people stick their tongue out to try and catch the snowflake. I just moved to Minneapolis, and it was the first snow of winter a few days ago. I think that’s why I’m talking about snow, but I hope you understand what I am getting at.

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their owner. She also showed me that she didn’t trust me. The same story plays out today, just the way it did when I was ten years old. That’s probably why I collect so much stuff. I am all about the physical object. I want things, and I want them to surround me and cocoon me up inside of them. I just want to be an inanimate object sometimes, not having to think…about anything, about stifling my laughter at my great aunt’s funeral, about how I will have to eat grilled cheese again for the 5th day in a row, about how many spiders sleep in the basement with me at night. I want a tangible presence; I want to touch things. I also want to own them. I think I am trying to fill a void or something. I trust things more than people.

Rachel Jennings

Can something that was sad/hard/dark ever be funny to you?


Rachel Jennings

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Rachel Jennings

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What do the walls in your spaces look like? My room has two walls made of cobblestone, and two that are a gross lavender color. I’m going to repaint them a nice hue of split-pea soup. It’s pretty dark down there, and I only use it to sleep when I am not at my studio. As for my studio space, I have a larger section that I use as white wall space for in-progress work, and then a couple walls that are filled with all the random residue of my life. I just got into my current studio in September, and I have changed the space about four or five times already. I am a firm believer in the notion that how things are physically arranged greatly affects my emotional connection to that space and how much time I want to spend with it. Do you create spaces/circumstances for your work to be shown/seen? What do you do? I love curating an atmosphere that my work can exist within. Usually, I am recreating the weird fantasy world I lived in as a child, growing up in an isolated rural area. But now that I am older, this inner world is being continuously influenced by contemporary society, and it turns into a strange hybrid of innocence and innocence lost. I enjoy building up these histories by building circumstances for them to live inside of. Since my work can be very narrative, I have a tendency to construct more theatrical scenes. It ranges from painting on barns to large-scale gallery installations.

How do you feel about Pop music? Sometimes it just feels nice to dip your brain in battery acid and melt away the new, cool things you learned that day, so yeah, I like to get stupid every now and then. I like to dance.


Rachel Jennings

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Rachel Jennings

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L’orange est un corps réfléchissant

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Shanie Tomassini

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Non finito

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Yes. I use humour as a tool to assimilate reality. Self-mockery allows me a lot of things. It’s a matter of perception and of point of view. With hindsight, an uncomfortable memory can reveal a comical aspect. We live better with humor. I love lightness.

Certainement. L’humour me sert souvent d’outil pour assimiler la réalité. L’autodérision permet beaucoup de choses. C’est une question de perception et de point de vue. Avec un peu de recul, un aspect rigolo peut émaner d’une situation dont le souvenir nous rend inconfortable. On vit mieux avec l’humour. J’aime la légèreté.

Do objects hold memory and emotional value for you? Does standing in the same place someone long ago once stood connect you to them, to that time?

Les objets sont-ils porteurs de mémoire ou de valeur émotionnelle pour toi? Te tenir au même endroit où quelqu’un s’est tenu dans le passé te connecte-t-il à cette personne, à cette époque?

Absolutely. Objects are mirrors. They reflect a world, a context. They tell the story of our daily existence. History is a construction that gives us a linear and chronological vision of the world. A romantic fervor urges me to stick to it and to lay a respectful glance at my predecessors. The idea that I could take part in that story both inspires me and makes me giggle.

Absolument. Les objets sont des miroirs. Ils réfléchissent un univers, un contexte. Ils narrent notre quotidien. L’histoire est une construction qui nous offre une vision linéaire et chronologique sur le monde. Un élan romantique me pousse souvent à y adhérer et à poser un regard révérencieux sur mes prédécesseurs. L’idée que je puisse moi-même participer à cette histoire m’inspire et me fait ricaner à la fois.

What do the walls in your space look like?

À quoi ressemblent les murs de ton espace?

At home, I collect artwork from my friends that inspire me. It is often stuff that I exchanged with some of my own pieces. In my studio, the walls are covered with a mix of functional objects and artwork. I make small displays of stuff. Also, I collect plinths that I use as worktables and small exhibition tables.

Chez moi, j’accumule des œuvres d’amis artistes qui m’inspirent. Ce sont souvent des trucs que j’ai échangés contre des œuvres à moi. Les murs de mon atelier, eux sont tapissés d’un mélange d’objets fonctionnels et d’œuvres achevées ou en processus. Je me fais des petites mises en scène. Je collectionne aussi les socles et les utilise beaucoup, autant comme tables de travail que comme présentoirs.

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Quelque chose de triste/difficile/sombre peut-il un jour devenir drôle pour toi?

Shanie Tomassini

Can something that was sad/hard/dark ever be funny to you?


Poste de Travail

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Shanie Tomassini

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Clous

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The displaying device and the context in which it happens fascinates me. The whole status of a modern piece of art relies on the fact that the object is placed on a pedestal in a gallery space. If the same object were to be seen on a park bench, outside of the contemporary art world context, it would lose its sense and standing. Its status would probably be demoted to the rank of garbage. I enjoy this observation a lot. Basically, the gallery space is a rather malleable material to me. For example, last year I opened a gallery in my locker at the university. I launched a call for submissions, gathered a jury, and set a punctual exhibition program. It’s still running and every two weeks there is a new exhibition. I even offer a small salary to the selected artists. It works. People adhere to it. Spaces are flexible when we play with the context.

Oui. Je suis fascinée par le dispositif de présentation et par le contexte. Le simple fait qu’un objet soit déposé sur un prisme rectangulaire dans une galerie lui donne tout son statut. S’il était vu sur un banc de parc, hors du contexte serré de l’art contemporain, il perdrait tout son sens et son aura. Son statut se verrait probablement rétrogradé à celui de déchet. Ce constat m’amuse énormément. De ce fait, j’appréhende l’espace de la galerie comme un matériau plutôt malléable. L’an dernier, j’ai ouvert une galerie d’art dans mon ancien casier à l’université. J’ai lancé un appel de dossier, réuni un jury de sélection et élaboré une programmation ponctuelle. J’offre même un cachet aux artistes qui y exposent. Depuis, il y a un vernissage aux deux semaines. Ça fonctionne. Les gens y adhèrent. Encore une fois, les espaces deviennent malléables un fois que l’on joue avec leur contexte.

How do you feel about Pop music?

Comment te sens-tu par rapport à la musique pop ?

I hate karaoke.

Je hais les karaokés.

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Crées-tu des espaces/circonstances pour que ton travail soit vu/montré ? Que fais-tu ?

Shanie Tomassini

Do you create spaces/circumstances for your work to be shown/seen? What do you do?


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Shanie Tomassini

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Sculptures Typiques


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Taller de FEEAS is almost like a museum of new old things. It sells a small selection of vintage designer clothes, as well as unique art objects created by artist, Remedios Vincent. These pieces are created from already existing antiques, usually medical tools which are considered to be no longer useable, and are transformed into wearable pieces. Located in the neighborhood Conde Duque, Madrid, Spain, it has been open for a little over a year. “Made to Dislike” jewelry and art objects are available online at feeas.bigcartel. com/products.

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Photo by Lola Martínez

by Kylie Gava


75 Forget Good

What does FEEAS stand for? Is it Taller de FEEAS or just FEEAS?

As a child were you fascinated by old things? Did you collect anything?

FEEAS is an acronym from my art blog, Flores En El Atico (Flowers in the Attic)-the S is plural.

Well, really, when I was younger I wasn’t very interested in old things. I came from a humble family in the provinces where everything was very functional. I wouldn’t have known what to do with something antique. Like all children, I preferred brightly colored plastic things to channel my creativity.

FEEAS is the name of my collection of pieces, and Taller de FEEAS is the name of my studio/store and all physical or virtual spaces where I work and relate to them. What’s the neighborhood Conde Duque like? It is a peaceful neighborhood to live in, and it’s exciting to go out with many traditional little bars that share a space with new fashion boutiques. I lived there first, and then I visited for many years. Now it’s very trendy, which is something I honestly don’t care about. In all the interviews and articles I’ve read about you, the gender pronoun used varies between she/he and him/ her. Is this a mistake by the writers or do you have a preferred gender pronoun? Well, I try to maintain anonymity if possible and I do not like my work classified by my gender. That’s why I sometimes play with the confusion, and other times it is a translation problem, heh.

I don’t collect any material objects, although I am an obsessive collector of virtual images that I curate with care on my multiple blogs and online platforms. In the real world, I admire and value wellmade things, and all things antique usually are. Because of this, before I preserve the pieces that attract me (they are usually antique but usable), I prefer to use them in an artistic manner, with clear and bright colors. After that, I like to create and sew my own clothes. Can something that was sad/difficult/ dark ever be funny to you? I have always been attracted to all that is difficult to assimilate and removes you visually. As I told you, I collect tons of images and artists whose work covers themes related to the human body. My main inspiration for my pieces is the Czech artist Jan Švankmajer (that says a lot about my personality and interests).


FEEAS

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Photo by Lola MartĂ­nez


77 Forget Good

Do objects hold memory and emotional value for you? Does standing in the same place someone long ago once stood connect you to them, to that time? Of course, I connect most with objects that are normally for a personal and intimate use: prosthetic eyes, dentures, tools, glasses….objects that keep many records of the people who used them, of the places where they were most often manipulated by external agents and interests of every type, many times unknown to the people who actually used them. Speculation and economic interests are causing these modest objects to lose their perceived value, and for the most part, this lack of interest by speculators is where I truly encounter their essence. What do the walls in your spaces look like? The walls of my studio, the place where I work on all my projects and create my jewelry, look seemingly like a cold hospital. But as I add any number of rare objects, they also have this macabre feeling of a cabinet of curiosities, something truly strange.

How did you start making your upcycled art objects? What were you making previously? I was a publicist before, and I came to detest it. I had already studied fine arts and I didn’t think I was working on something that was very creative. After leaving this unhealthy job, I specialized in urban art and began working with artists in public spaces, which I’m still doing. I launch projects to improve the landscape in marginalized neighborhoods with the help of artists. I welcome them and obtain permits for them to work. I’ve painted with them and I’ve brought them sandwiches; I am involved in the whole process of creation. Many artists from different conditions are involved, and I’m also a part of an anonymous group where we conduct guerrilla operations. But this type of work, serving others, is very stressful and sometimes it generates a feeling of personal emptiness. So, I was urgently searching for other forms of artistic creation that do not depend on others and where no one would question me, and well...there was the broken china, then the prosthesis and tools, and in them I found my best therapy and a constant source of satisfaction. I hope that at some point it becomes a way of life.


FEEAS

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Photo by Lola MartĂ­nez


Forget Good

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FEEAS

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Photos by Gosia Janik


81 Forget Good

Made to dislike--Are your pieces made to make someone feel uncomfortable? I feel like you think of the objects as precious with a lot of history. I would think your pieces attract people who fall in love with them and want to take care of them. Well, I know for sure that some of my pieces make a lot of people feel uncomfortable, especially at first. They are shocked by seeing what they are, particularly if they are aware of their old use, but when viewing the objects abstracted and carefully, they tend to accept them and even get to appreciate and covet them. You have every reason to believe that; I like objects with history, and it’s even better if you can see the history on the surface. I respect virtually everything I find in the pieces and try to intervene with them in a delicate and reversible way, so if anyone wishes to use them differently at another time, they can. I do not care to display the parts I have added. The way I’ve assembled the pieces is not that of a skilled jeweler. I work with my hands the crafty way, so the pieces I make do require some care and maintenance by those who possess them, more so than objects made to use. I like to think that they are objects to adopt, and even transform the taste of each user.

Where do you find the objects you work with? Are there a lot of thrift stores in Madrid, or do you go out of your way to search for interesting objects? I never buy things in Madrid because I can’t find the things I look for in antique shops that sell usable items. They are old things of course, but the objects cannot be considered coveted or valuable. They are the kind that stay in drawers because nobody knows what to do with them; they are looked at and saved, but not used. So, I take trips to other cities with more traditional markets to find them. I also browse the Internet. Have you collaborated with other artists? Do you mostly work alone? As I mentioned, I work all day with artists, but the jewelry is my personal territory. I do not share it with anyone, for now. It seems like you’re passionate about sustainable practices. FEEAS upcycles past objects into wearable new items and sells vintage designer clothes. How important is sustainability to you? Is there anything else you do to try to maintain sustainability? It’s not that it’s important, so much as it’s vital for my survival as a person and a creator. A universe where everything is created from scratch, where you abandon and reject everything that has already been done, does not seem very sustainable. We can use acquired knowledge like rungs in a ladder to brings us higher with each evolution of thought.


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Photo by Gosia Janik


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universe adapted to their surroundings, and according to popular belief, is a fundamental part of the world around them. I like knowing that I am no more than a small particle in the universe and that I have to work really hard to get ahead. I am not complacent and I like to feel like a small part of a huge gear that improves the world.

In your interview with So Catchy, you said you regularly check up to 500 publications per day. It seems like you’re constantly looking at art and updating your personal blogs, as well as making and running the FEEAS store. Do you ever feel exhausted trying to stay updated with the art world? I’m kind of addicted to art; it is not because I’m student, but simply a collector. I like knowing that there are others who are working on similar things and knowing whether or not they’re doing it better than me. They create things that I’ve never dreamed of. Once I know of them, I cannot live without them. The artist is kind of a strange species living in the center of a

What kind of work intrigues you? Anything that I can interpret in my own way...

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Photos by Lola Martínez

In creation and design, I believe I should view things in the same manner. I create from what already exists; I could not conceive of my work without the input of those masters of their work who created beautiful, useful objects that I would be unable to create. But, I can take these objects and transform and convert them into other things, projecting a new and contemporary gaze onto them.


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Photos by Pablo Martinez Muniz

Forget Good


FEEAS

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Photos by Pablo Martinez Muniz


We the People of Diaspora

by Tara Mahadevan

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Okubo is a senior at Parsons The New School for Design, where she studies integrated fashion design. She primarily draws and works with textiles, and her work often deals with racial, cultural, and socio-political themes. Her concentration allows her to build her own major and explore her own study. Before Okubo enrolled at Parsons, she attended a predominantly black public arts high school located in the Washington D.C. metro area — the Duke Ellington School of the Arts — for her junior and senior years. But before that, she wasn’t making art. She grew up in a largely white community, and, before Duke Ellington, studied at largely white schools. “I didn’t think about my identity as a black female in this white space, even though I obviously had issues growing up, like as ‘other’ or just getting picked on for certain things. It was like I was categorized as African even though I didn’t grow up in an African household or really know anything about that side of my family. It was really weird growing up like that. [At Duke Ellington,] most of my teachers were black and they really focused on black culture. That was when I learned

about my culture. I took an art history class and my teacher showed us this DVD of all the black contemporary artists who are famous now. I had no idea; I didn’t know there were black artists making work about our culture. It was just amazing to me. That’s when I started to explore my identity as a young girl of color. I don’t think I was really making art before [Duke Ellington]. I was just like really involved in community organizations back home, just working with other artists on murals around the city. I don’t really remember making my own art,” she says. Okubo’s paternal grandmother is Kenyan and paternal grandfather is Trinidadian, but Okubo’s father grew up in London. Her mother’s side of the family is from Greensboro and Raleigh, North Carolina, where Okubo was born; she spent her formative years in D.C. Although her Kenyan heritage plays a large role in her work, the American side of her family informs her art as well. Okubo’s three-part print series “We The People of the Diaspora” allows her to confront both sides of her ancestral history and culture. The first image, “The Alphabet is an Abolitionist,” is an ode to Ruby Bridges, the first African-American to go to an all-white public school in the South. Okubo’s illustration is based on the Normal Rockwell painting “The Problem We All Live With,” which portrays six-yearold Bridges en route to her 1960 all-white school in New Orleans. But beyond that, Okubo’s print has many layers that tell a tale about civil rights and black culture in the past and present.

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“In Kenya, the child identifies with where the father comes from. It’s weird — I feel like that’s kind of followed me. Like, people always identify me as someone from Africa because of my last name and features. But I really felt disconnected from that because I didn’t know my father and like, I didn’t really know anything about Kenya. I just knew my last name was Okubo,” Jamilla Okubo explains as we look through her paintings and illustrations.


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Jamilla Okubo

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The Alphabet is an Abolitionist

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Jamilla Okubo

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At first, it might be difficult to peel away — or even see — the layers in Okubo’s print. After all, it is quite aesthetically pleasing. First, your eye might be drawn to the black silhouettes around the border. Those figures are the US Marshals who protected Bridges while she was in school. Beneath the US Marshals is a repeated pattern evocative of the confederate flag, and layered on top of that pattern is an image of cotton, which represents agriculture in the South. The black girl in the patterned dress is Bridges, who is surrounded by her white female classmates, and beneath the girls is a newspaper article on segregation’s ban in public schools. Though the print harkens back to a moment in time from over 50 years ago, Okubo doesn’t need to prove that her layers of history are still relevant and valid in our current social landscape.

The second print bears the title of the series, “We The People of the Diaspora” in Swahili, “Sisi Watu Wa Agenini.” “[This image] is a celebration of our culture,” Okubo says, “And about not always thinking so negatively of ourselves. There’s a lot in our history and culture itself that we should be proud of.” “[The last illustration] ‘When There’s a Will There’s a Way’ talks about slavery and the importance of agriculture in our cultures, both in American culture and African culture. We lived off that.” The main thing to draw from Okubo’s work is that she is celebrating herself and her culture. She continues to celebrate her race and identity in her series “Black Love,” which depicts black men and women embracing.

“[In “The Alphabet is an Abolitionist,”] I was “It’s kind of just washed away, our history. really talking about like the importance We don’t learn about our history really, all of education within the black communithe time. And it takes making an effort ty, and just like the struggle of trying to to actually want to know about that; you hold onto that--really grasp that it’s really have to dig for it, or ask other people, or important to have.” else you are going to be in that same position of not knowing. The borders for each print also double as Okubo’s interpretation of a kanga fabric, Sometimes my grandmother would tell a traditional fabric from East Africa that me things like, “I used to pick cotton in shares African knowledge and symbolic the fields.” She never really talked about scriptures. “This project was really like ex- the bad side of it. She has very different ploring where I come from, so I used the beliefs and is a church woman. format of the kanga fabric, and how they have the saying at the bottom. For the And I see that it’s very different for evfabric, they have sayings that are either eryone because everyone grew up difa proverb or it tells you about the person ferently and has different values. Like who wears it.” my grandmother, I feel like she sees opportunity in America. She’s a makethe-best-you-can-of-it kind of person. But my mom is the white-supremacy-is-ruining-the-black-community kind.


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Even though she has a rocky relationship with her father, Okubo keeps in touch with her family on her father’s side, which helps her stay connected to her Kenyan culture. One of her first garment collections explores her relationship with her parents. “The theme was anti-hero and hero project. So, identify someone that’s a hero in your life--I chose my mom. I just chose my dad as my anti-hero because I felt like we had such a disconnection.” It seems like Okubo has only begun to really delve into her concept, using historical, ancestral, familial, and cultural vantages as her context. “I want to create a new set of prints and illustrations and bring them to life. I know it’s a process, but that’s what I want to do. I kind of have this set ideal of how I want my art to be, or how I want my designs to be. I want to be a designer and an artist, so I want to design all my prints, and use them in my paintings, illustrations and garments. I’m into afro-futurism, but I haven’t really delved into it. It’s a mix of creating this new identity of what it means to be black. That’s what I’ve taken from it. I still feel like I have a lot to create, a lot that I want to explore.”

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My mom just started to really get into researching how our community is affected. She wants to bring the community together and try to be self-sufficient. I feel like my work kind of inspired her to follow this thing she’s doing now.”


When There’s a Will There’s a Way


Jamilla Okubo

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Founder/ Editor-in-Chief Kylie Gava Designer Tuan Pham Editor Laura Stamm FEEAS Interview Translation Verenis Gallarzo, M’tep Blout, and Jessy McMillen Cover FEEAS Photo by Gosia Janik

FORGETGOOD Winter 2015  
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