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Letter from the Editor GRAPHITE Interdisciplinary Arts Journal is developed by students at the University of California, Los Angeles, and supported by the Hammer Museum. Each issue focuses on a theme; past years have included Transit, Categories, Consequence, and Manual. This year, we invited artists and writers to contribute works related to the theme of Fruit. Sweet, sour, ripe, rotten, sliced, fermented, juiced, canned, harvested, preserved, refrigerated, genetically modified, and artificially replicated, fruit is presented in overwhelming abundance to consumers in grocery stores, markets, and advertising today. Everyday habits of fruit consumption, meanwhile, are shadowed by pervasive environmental degradation and exploitative labor practices worldwide. Our call for entries asked, “How do you like your fruit?,” “How can we challenge the dominance of industrial production through alternative practices of growing and foraging fruit?,” and “How have colonization and diaspora affected the way we eat?” With the guiding concept of fruit in mind, we have selected works that center anti-imperialist and intersectional lived experience and research—both historical and contemporary. When the GRAPHITE team started working on Fruit, we never could have predicted the uproar provoked by Maurizio Cattelan—both in the art world and pop culture—when he exhibited a ready-made sculpture of a banana taped to the wall at Art Basel Miami Beach 2019. Three buyers paid between $120,000 and $150,000 for Cattelan’s limited-edition piece Comedian, which came with a single banana, duct tape, a certificate of authenticity, and instructions on how to replace the work as the fruit decomposes. The disparity between the price of the banana as an artwork and as a commodity was


central to Cattelan’s conceptual premise. Comedian provided a startling counterpoint to the work in GRAPHITE. Our team wondered, Why use a banana? Bananas, the top-selling item of all time in Walmart stores, are representative of American imperialism. The three biggest corporations in the banana industry—Dole, Chiquita, and Del Monte—are all American, despite the fact that India, Ecuador, Columbia, and the Philippines are the world’s largest producers of bananas. In contrast to Cattelan’s sardonic artwork, GRAPHITE has chosen to highlight the work of a group of artists and writers who taste fruit in more intimate settings. Contributors, such as Jebila Okongwu (pg.29), Kawita Vatanajyankur (pg.59), and Kayla Tange (pg.77), draw our attention to the reproduction of colonial geographies through fruit while also challenging the disproportionate burden of these economies on women. Throughout the issue, artists repeatedly use fantasy and magical realism to address these questions. Through theatrical absurdity, they expose the enchanting and terrible histories behind the “ordinary” fruit that appears on our tables. Often symbolically linked to fertility, fruit appears in diverse social and spiritual rituals, myths, and metaphors throughout history, often in relation to women and their ever-changing roles. Considering this, it’s not suprising that many of the works here use fruit as a symbol of the cultural values attributed to women. For example, Jiyoon Kim sheds light on domesticity and patriarchy in A Tough Cake, (pg.103) a parodic cooking demonstration in which the artist creates an ersatz cake out of painting and woodworking materials, adorned with blueberries, strawberries, and decadent frosting in the shape of a penis. Opting for a chainsaw instead of a knife, she cuts the cake with difficulty and slowness to signal the painstaking everyday labor of women in her birthplace,


Korea, but also in the United States, where she currently resides. Kim’s video alludes to Martha Rosler’s 1975 video artwork, Semiotics of the Kitchen. In the video, Rosler stands behind a counter with an array of kitchen utensils, each of which she picks up and names from A to Z, in an educational style. Rosler proceeds to lead a violent and absurd demonstration of each tool, subverting both their intended use and her role as a woman in the kitchen. Rosler famously said about Semiotics of the Kitchen that, “when the woman speaks, she names her own oppression.” Speaking through sculpture and working with folk traditions that are often deemed “women’s work,” like beading, GRAPHITE contributor Kathleen Ryan (pg.17) makes massive sculptures that resemble moldy, bejeweled fruit. Though her sculptures are opulent, they appear to be rotting. Suggestive of the perils of monoculture and wealth inequality, her sculptures evoke the feeling of a civilization on the brink of decay. It is interesting to note that, Ryan exhibited her work at the same art fair where Comedian was exhibited in 2019. In opposition to the frivolity of Comedian, Ryan’s saccharine, prophetic work is giving, offering a thoughtful meditation on fruit’s many meanings. The artists and writers in this issue reflect on the complex, entangled histories of fruit as symbol, commodity, and food. In the following pages you will be confronted with all manner of magical objects including moldy lemons, a BDSM room built out of banana shipping crates, a phallic fruit cake, and an endless milk machine. We are honored to share GRAPHITE’s 11th annual issue, Fruit, and we hope you enjoy reading it as much we enjoyed making it. We’d like to give a special thank you to Hallie Scott, Addison


Woolsey, and Theresa Sotto in Academic Programs at the Hammer for their steadfast encouragement and support. With their help, this issue has been made possible! Bisous, Haley Penn, GRAPHITE Co-Head p.s. I’m allergic to bananas


Table of Contents Kellen Hatanaka Kathleen Ryan Adrian Martinez Chavez Jessica Pham Jebila Okongwu Paola de la Calle Casey Jex Smith Megan Pobywajlo Anna Kovel Sam Fox-Helprin Rachel Lester-Trend Kawita Vatanajyankur Jenna Bao Hyangsook Kwak (Sookie) Kayla Tange Bob (Pascal) Viera Diego Leon Marcella Prokop Ellie Wessel Alex Grove Jiyoon Kim Amanda Ba Melissa Merryweather Jackie Amezquita Leonard Greco Laura Soto Melanie Luna Hea-Mi Kim Molly Gorelick Arden Surdam Peter Hess

11 17 23 27 29 37 41 45 49 51 55 59 67 71 77 81 85 89 93 97 103 109 113 119 125 129 135 145 151 153 157


Timo Menke Kristine Roan Frances Cocksedge

161 167 171


Kellen Hatanaka Don’t Let Them See, 2018 Oil on canvas

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Kellen Hatanaka

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Kellen Hatanaka (left) Noguchi Table, 2019 Oil on canvas (right) Blueberries, 2017 Oil on canvas

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Kellen Hatanaka

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Kathleen Ryan Bad Lemon (Soft Spots), 2019 Amber, agate, labradorite, garnet, citrine, turquoise, malachite, quartz, sesame jasper, rhodonite, red malachite, smoky quartz, carnelian, italian onyx, pink lepidolite, brecciated jasper, serpentine, amethyst, magnesite, aventurine, lapis lazuli, ocean jasper, pink tourmaline, tektite, glass, steel pins on coated polystyrene 19.5 in. x 28.5 in. x 17.5 in. Photo credit: Lance Brewer

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Kathleen Ryan

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Kathleen Ryan Green-Eyed Monster, 2019 Aventurine, amethyst, labradorite, ching hai jade, sesame jasper, serpentine, freshwater pearl, mother of pearl, marble, lodolite, smokey quartz, grey agate, clear quartz, magnesite, tree agate, citrine, amazonite, bone, grey feldspar, yellow quartz, forest green serpentine, jasper, pink opal, czech glass, steel pins on coated polystyrene 19.5 in. x 28.5 in x 17.5 in. Photo credit: Lance Brewer

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Kathleen Ryan

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Adrian Martinez Chavez Limรณn, 2019 Photograph

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Adrian Martinez Chavez

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little sàigòn sailor five the nhãn tree in the backyard grazes every inch of sky it swallows the sun whole so on humid afternoons you can spread out beneath its saccharine canopy.

Jessica Pham 27

fifteen you’re face down fresh dirt pressed to your cheek your back is an inkpad the underside of a boot stamps down. you kiss blood then watch it leave you, inside baby sister wails past soldier-speak in the back of your mind you’re there with her, rocking her in a crescent moon cradle. you should’ve left when the neighbors did. sixteen all you know is saltwater, it wakes you and bathes you and you clutch the hand of a brother who eventually sinks, weighed down by a hollow stomach. when you look up to pray, even the sun seems ragged and lonesome.


thirty-nine at the dinner table your kids speak a foreign tongue, when you ask why they’re laughing, the joke isn’t funny anymore. forty-five you buy nhãn from the exotic fruits section in sprout’s, 4 dollars a pound but they just don’t taste as sweet over here.

Jessica Pham

eighteen i’m sorry, i don’t understand you. can’t you speak a little louder? can’t you try a little harder? i’m sorry, this college isn’t for you. this job isn’t for you. maybe this country just isn’t for you.

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Jebila Okongwu Five Banana Boxes, 2019 Acrylic on marine ply, BDSM equipment, wood, glue, screws, installation with variable dimensions Each box 35.5 in. x 73.5 in. x 57.75 in.

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Jebila Okongwu

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History Painting (After GĂŠricault), 2011 Enamel on banana boxes 51.5 in. x 69.5 in.

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Jebila Okongwu (left) Untitled (study), 2016 Archivally treated banana boxes, fiberglass, pigment 11 in. x 15 in. x 7.5 in. (right) Paddles Nos. 1 & 2, 2013 Archivally treated banana boxes, fiberglass, bamboo, pigment 64.75 in. x 7.75 in. x 2 in.

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Jebila Okongwu

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Paola de la Calle Banana Still Life (Who Stole the Banana), 2019 Ink on paper, Chiquita Banana advertisement, acetate 12 in. x 15 in.

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Paola de la Calle

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Casey Jex Smith

“This fruit is a mixture of two mythologies related to Mormon culture in Utah. The first refers to the fruit of the tree of knowledge in the Garden of Eden and in the Book of Mormon in Lehi’s vision. The second refers to a fruit made manifest by vision to the founder of a multilevel marketing company in Utah formerly named ‘Tahitian Noni’—a fruit with magical healing properties that is processed and bottled in Utah.”

Noni Fruit, 2010 Colored pencil on paper 8 in. x 6 in.

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Casey Jex Smith

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Megan Pobywajlo Cherimoya, Driftwood, 2018 Still life

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Megan Pobywajlo

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Into the Unknown Cherries in Cardamom Black Pepper Syrup Cardamom is a fragrant spice used in Indian, Pakistani, and Middle Eastern cuisines, among many others. Black pepper cuts through the sweetness of the cherry syrup. Serve these cherries and syrup as a topping for your favorite cake; pink Sno Balls and canned whipped cream are a little girl’s fantasy.

Anna Kovel 49

They will also make a delicious base for the refreshing drink called Sharbat-e-Albaloo in Farsi; just top with ice water.


2. Combine the cherries, sugar, cardamom, and peppercorns in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stir once gently. Cover and cook until the cherries soften, 8-10 minutes. Lift the cherries from the liquid with a slotted spoon and transfer them to a bowl.

Anna Kovel

8 green cardamom pods 1/4 tsp black peppercorns 1 pound fresh or frozen sour cherries, pitted 1/4 cup sugar 1. Heat a dry skillet over high heat and toast the cardamom pods until fragrant, 1-2 minutes, tossing once or twice. Place in a mortar and pestle and press on the pods to crack them open (or do this with the side of a chef’s knife). Pick out the cardamom seeds and crush them coarsely along with the peppercorns, using a mortar and pestle, the side of a knife, or even the bottom of a skillet.

3. Return saucepan to stove and cook the reserved cherry liquid over medium high heat until bubbling and thickened, 5-7 minutes; it should be syrupy when you turn off the heat. Pour the syrup over the cherries and let cool before serving.

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Sam Fox-Helprin Staying Home from School because You’re Sick on Your Birthday, 2019 Silicone and Michael’s lap tables 1 ft. x 2 ft. x 9 ft.

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Sam Fox-Helprin

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Rachel Lester-Trend (left) IMG_2166.jpg, 2019 Photograph (right) IMG_0647.CR2, 2019 Photograph

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Rachel Lester-Trend

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Kawita Vatanajyankur 61

In Kawita Vatanajyankur’s candy-colored video performances, the artist hangs and contorts her body, testing its limits, lifting foods, fish, fruits, and plastics via strange balancing acts. In restricting the scope of her physical activity through bondage, her body becomes an extension of the food and tools she holds. Her performances are rooted in the political history of laboring bodies in her birthplace, Thailand. To make her artworks, Vatanajyankur has interviewed many farmers about their experiences. Through her research, she found that a common way to commit sucide in Thailand is through the use of agricultural materials. An ode to these lost souls, her works share imagery that liken her body to a martyr.


Kawita Vatanajyankur (left) The Carrying Pole, 2015 Video still (right) Carrier Fish, 2016 Video still

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Kawita Vatanajyankur

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The Scale 2, 2016 Video still

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Jenna Bao (left) Sandeep’s Fruity Aquatic Chocolate Bars, 2019 Mixed media 14 in. x 11 in. (right) Exquisite Nipple Mountain, 2019 Mixed media 14 in. x 11 in.

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Jenna Bao

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Fruits of Our Labor (II), 2019

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Hyangsook Kwak (Sookie) Fruits of Our Labor (II), 2019

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Hyangsook Kwak (Sookie)

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We both enjoy the same fruit And you left us to die When we lacked use for you. Massage brings sugar to the surface. Six of these fruits represent enlightenment. Persimmons, a Buddhist symbol of transformation.

Kayla Tange

“The Hachiya persimmon is a fruit highly regarded and enjoyed in both Korea and Japan, yet it can hardly escape the history of these two countries. This performance explores the dichotomy between mutual enjoyment/free will and complete destruction/possession inspired by/recalling the horrific histories of the comfort women of Korea. There are different and similar ways the Japanese and Koreans hang the persimmons to dry. Hoshigaki is a Japanese process where the persimmons are hung and massaged daily. This piece illuminates how a country that shares the love of a fruit with another country could commit such crimes.�

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Kayla Tange

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Bob (Pascal) Viera Doomtown, 2019 Paper, matte medium, gesso, graphite, oil/dry pastel

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Bob (Pascal) Viera

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Diego Leon (left) Untitled 1 Mixed media 28 in. x 38 in. (right) Untitled 2 Mixed media 50 in. x 55 in.

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Diego Leon

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Conviction December 6, 1928, Ciénaga, Colombia: Following demands of U.S. Secretary of State Frank Kellogg, thousands of Colombians are murdered in the town plaza by their government for striking against Boston-based United Fruit Company. Although accounts of the massacre vary, telegram wires run hot between US and Colombian officials for days after the massacre, verifying the United States’ role in the incident.

Marcella Prokop

Curled peels of shrapnel alight on the streets given power by gunmetal tunnels the machines of death make haste ...Colombian government would give adequate protection to American interests... stop. Erasmo Coronell invites his mother to wait in the plaza after church and listen for the official address from el gobernador Señor Coronell, union worker, leader of plantation strikes, believes in the people and their rights He believes the conflict is now ending His brothers, the police, have come to their senses and will riot against the gringos if necessary ...the character of the strike has changed... the disturbance is... subversive... stop Erasmo waits in the plaza with his mother, her face radiant as a saint’s mamá, he says, gracias por creer siempre en mi

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For one to have faith in something unseen Something greater than oneself faith must also be given When the first lava of machine gun fire boils down from above, Erasmo cannot believe his government’s duplicity

holding his mother’s cold hand to his heart he dreams the purple dream of banana flowers while around him fall the black seeds of his people’s strength No matter the lies or where they grow, the will to flourish is a promise for tomorrow ... I have the honor to report that the Bogotá representative of the United Fruit Company told me ...strikers killed by the Colombian military exceeded 1000...stop

Marcella Prokop

...Situation outside Santa Marta... very serious... in revolt...military... orders “not to spare ammunition” ...killed and wounded about fifty strikers...troopships now on the way arrive early next week...stop

90


The Low Cactus I. Cactus was our safe word. We didn’t pick a word you could scream with ease or gasp in one breath. We could have picked “red,” or a number, maybe “three.” Something simple. Cactus was a mouthful, but you laughed when I said it, so it stuck. That was how you picked things: if they were funny, or helped you maintain a certain stature, you used them. Used. Them.

Marcella Prokop 91

II. Looking back, I’m sure that’s why you dated me: I helped you fit in with your men. Not Jones or James or Smith, but Jorge, de Jesus, and Rodriquez. I added a honeyed bronze to the blanched landscape of your Texas. I added picante to the white boy persona you fought against as if still in Afghanistan. I knew it the way I knew even a cactus would brighten the days of the dying. III. Thelocactus bicolor, better known as the Texas Glory, is hunkered down against its harsh environment. Small in stature, round as two fists cupped together in a four-inch claw of frustration, its delicate tongue of blossom hisses up from the cracked ground. The purple petals are like liquid silk, outlined with fine white threads that resemble your award ribbons. IV. We are running along the edge of your barracks when I see the small plant. In it, I see an excuse to pause, and you see an opportunity to prove yourself. You tell me its scientific name—Thelocactus—trying to impress me with your botanical knowledge. But you pronounce this Latin name like you pronounce all words in Spanish, with a choppy rise and fall.


VI. The superfine spines on a cactus are called glochids, and these small spears, when lodged in the skin, provide days of discomfort to the wounded. For months, my memories of our last days together, empty unless filled by fucking with the passion of the angry, were like those translucent spindles, difficult for me to dislodge. I should have known better than to prick my finger. VII. The fruit of Thelocactus burns up its water reserves as it flowers and then fruits. This isn’t uncommon in the cactus world, but the Texas Glory showed me what happens when the sweetest part of one’s being runs dry. After that, after you, I promised myself I would quench my thirst for love laughter only with someone who could truly appreciate me and my roots.

Marcella Prokop

V. Later, I make a joke of your botched pronunciation, pair “The-low-cactus” with your own small man complex and laugh alone. The following silence is heavy; you are pent-up thunder. Until that afternoon, you enjoyed using our safe word for any reason because it was funny. But with my barb of humor, something happened, and the seed of our love split apart.

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Ellie Wessel (left) Reclamation 6 and (right) Reclamation 9, 2019 35 mm photography

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Ellie Wessel 95

“I want to be able to study beauty in all forms; shamelessly, comfortably, and freely. I want to be able to illustrate our beauty from our perspective and to express our sexuality on our own accord.�


Alex Grove For Graphite, 2019 Photo series

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Alex Grove

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Alex Grove For Graphite, 2019 Photo series

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Alex Grove

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Jiyoon Kim A Tough Cake, 2019 Performance

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Jiyoon Kim

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Amanda Ba Family Pig, 2019 Oil on canvas

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Amanda Ba

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Melissa Merryweather Peculiar Fruit, 2019 Photo series

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Melissa Merryweather

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Melissa Merryweather Peculiar Fruit, 2019 Photo series

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Melissa Merryweather

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Mi Ultimo Suspiro (My Last Breath) Aquí en el límite, aún lejos del final En medio de dos valles desiertos que comparten el mismo cielo nublado. Aquí donde mis pies besan el suelo mientras mi cuerpo se expande como el agua que fluye Dejando por su paso el camino de la sombra De lo que fue, la huella de lo que es y el vacío Incierto de lo que nunca sé si será. Jackie Amezquita 119

Here at the limit, yet far from the end, In the middle of two desert valleys that share the same gray sky. Here where my toes kiss the soil While the rest of my body expands like flowing water, Leaving on its path the shadow of the past, the footprint of the present And the endless void of never knowing if it will be.


Note: This “masa” (dough) requires chilling. 1. Place soil in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a large bowl if using a hand mixer). Add the baking soda and mix on low speed until the mixture is smooth. Mix flour on medium speed until combined. 2. Mix in the salt, then slowly mix in the corn flour, and mix just until the batter is smooth and comes together. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl during mixing. Slowly mix in the water.

Jackie Amezquita

Tip: The rule of thumb is 1/2 cup salted water = 1/4 teaspoon salt. So, in this recipe, if you are using salted water, reduce the salt by 1/4 teaspoon. 2 cups Border Soil 1/2 tsp baking soda (to retain water) 1 tsp salt 1 1/2 cups (186g) corn flour 1/2 cups (255g) water

3. Line the ABC silicone molds and ADAPT the masa to the pre-existing mold. Make sure you don’t create any air bubbles. Spacing doesn’t matter because you will be chilling the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours. 4. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a second silicone mold. 5. Remove the chilled masa molds from the refrigerator and space them 2 inches apart on cookie sheets. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until the edges are light golden and the tops are no longer glossy. Let the words cool on the cookie sheets at least 10 to 15 minutes before removing.

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Jackie Amezquita Mi Ultimo Suspiro (My Last Breath), 2019

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Jackie Amezquita

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Laura Soto (left) Peach, (top right) Pomegranate, and (bottom right) Grapefruit, 2018 Resin, epoxy

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Laura Soto

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Laura Soto (left) Tangerine and (right) Honey Crisp, 2018 Resin, epoxy

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Laura Soto

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Melanie Luna’s vivid paintings feel like they are radiating heat, like you could fry an egg on them. Toying with traditional landscape and portraiture through abstraction, the artist creates works that feel post-apocalyptic, melted by the sun.

Melanie Luna 137

When the GRAPHITE team discussed Luna’s work, reader Francisco Garcia brought up the term solastalgia, which describes a form of existential dread caused by environmental change. Usually, this is in reference to global climate change, but it can also be used to describe the effects of more localized events such as volcanic eruptions, drought, or mining. A portmanteau of the words “solace” and “nostalgia,” the term also seems fitting as Luna is a proud immigrant from (but also homesick for) her native Dominican Republic. Through the swirling, plasmic language of paint, Luna, now celebrating her tenth year in the concrete jungle of New York, plays not only with her own feelings of solastalgia, but more general American anxieties and illusions. Americans today see hoaxes everywhere: from climate change to lizard rulers and aliens, all of which appear in her paintings.


Melanie Luna (left) 2k19 Hottest Summer, 2019 Oil on canvas (right) Untitled Series, 2018 Oil on canvas

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Melanie Luna

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Melanie Luna Untitled Series, 2018 Oil on canvas

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Melanie Luna

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Melanie Luna Untitled Series, 2018 Oil on canvas

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Melanie Luna

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Hea-Mi Kim Milk Collection, 2018 Milk, metal, plastic

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Hea-Mi Kim

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Hea-Mi Kim Milk Collection, 2018 Milk, metal, plastic

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Hea-Mi Kim

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Moses Gets Free Refills from the Soda Machine that is God I ate everything in my way and then ate some more until I didn’t have to look at the garbage because it was all inside me.

Molly Gorelick 151

My father wanted to name me Moses if I were a boy. Moses didn’t eat everything in his way. He forced it to make room for him, which is the difference between men and women, I think.


I can’t split a sea, but I can split a date with my two thumbs and swallow the pit whole. It is better to have a real pit in your stomach than to feel one that isn’t there.

Molly Gorelick

I am a prophet but only when I’m hungry. When I say I am full I mean it.

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Arden Surdam Picnic Photograph

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Arden Surdam

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Peter Hess (left) Dogwood Berry, and (right) Dead Dogwood, 2019 Diptych, acrylic on canvas, painted tile, digital art

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Peter Hess

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Timo Menke Cyanotype on Found Passepartout 1-8, 2017 Cyanotypes of proto-transgenic grey pea plants 18 cm x 13 cm

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Timo Menke

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Timo Menke (left) NordGen NGB4018 “Timo”, 2017-2019 Wall-projected natural scale time-lapse documentation of large indoor cultivation of Pisum sativum var. arvense (NordGen NGB4018 “Timo”) HD, 40 min, projector, information sheet from NordGen (dimensions variable). (right) Pisum, 2018 Electronic sign board 20 cm x 45 cm x 8 cm

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Timo Menke “As part of an artist residency at Coalesce: Center for Biological Arts in Buffalo, New York, in 2017, and as an ongoing project, I have investigated experiments aiming for a horizontal transfer of my human DNA to a grey pea cultivar (Pisum sativum var. arvense). Special attention was given to how we can give away or give back, or even give up whatever is human genetically, thereby positioning acts of donation at once as an egocolonial desire for other life forms and worlds, but also as an altruistic will to help, care for, and save the world. With an undercurrent of donation as dilemma present in the manifestations and methods developed, I was hoping to engage critically with post-genomics as (un)165 social practice.�


Kristine Roan (left) A Pair of Beans, (top right) Concord Dance, and (bottom right) Regaling Gourd

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Kristine Roan

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Frances Cocksedge (left) Subliminal Flu and a Feast, 2019 Oil on canvas (right) Untitled (But an Example), 2018 Oil, epoxy resin, handkerchiefs, quinoa, canvas

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Frances Cocksedge

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Artist Biographies Adrian Martinez Chavez is a Mexican American artist working primarily in photography and archivism. He grew up in the United States and Mexico and studied photography at the University of Hartford’s Hartford Art School. Alex Grove is an artist from Knoxville, Tennessee. Born in 1996, he began his practice in 2012 and continues to make contemporary visual work. Amanda Ba was born in Columbus, Ohio, but spent the first five years of her life with her grandparents in Hefei, China. Her work draws upon immediate personal experience, exploring the nuances of youth culture, sexuality, and her Chinese identity. Anna Kovel has been cooking professionally for all of her adult life. She is never bored by this work; to her, nothing could be more interesting than learning about people and their cultures through the foods they love to eat and prepare. Arden Surname is a Turkish American artist working in photography and sculpture. Her studio practice activates food matter through installations and still life imagery. She is interested in the material’s ability to be engaged as a social sculpture as well as a medium for sensory experiences. The work for her recent New York and Texas solo shows are focused on offal—the entrails or internal organs of newly slaughtered animals. She is drawn to the historical use of these foods, most definitively their cultural patterning and class-determined consumption. The variable value of food by society—an animal part considered precious in one century and collectively repugnant in another—is a fluctuating system of likes and dislikes that has become a focal point of her current practice.


Bob Viera is currently pursuing a BA in art at UCLA, interested in nature’s role in urban environments. Casey Jex Smith resides in Provo, Utah, with his wife, fellow artist Amanda Smith, and their two children. His art has been exhibited at The Drawing Center, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, Josée Bienvenu Gallery, Yancey Richardson Gallery, and Roberts & Tilton. Diego Leon grew up using non-traditional materials because his father engulfed the home with materials used for painting homes and construction. Diego’s work tries to imply the body and self through the support of material in relation to human consumption. Ellie Wessel is a Los Angeles-based artist focusing on experimental cinema and visual literature. She uses intense sensual imagery to extract suppressed vulnerabilities in order to evolve emotional agency. Frances Cocksedge (b. 1993) is a Los Angeles-based painter working to visualize and praise the cognitive process of existing during the end of the world. She is currently pursuing a master of science in psychology at California State University, Fullerton, and received her bachelor’s degree in visual art and art history from Barnard College, Columbia University, in 2016. Her work aims to marry the academic study of the brain with the tactile aesthetics of painting. Hea-Mi Kim is a Los Angeles-based artist working in video, installation, and sound. Her practice is akin to the idea of coercive mimeticism in which an individual feels the need to simulate their own ethnicity as a response to Western social pressure. Hyangsook (Sookie) Kwak, born in New York in 1996, is a


Korean American artist based in Seattle, Los Angeles, and Seoul. She studied fine art and sociology at UCLA (graduated 2018) and is interested in making works through video, photography, drawing/painting, and writing. Jackie Amézquita (b.1985) is a binational artist/activist who was born in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, and migrated to the United States in 2003. She holds a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from ArtCenter College of Design and an associate degree in visual communications from Los Angeles Valley College. She is an MFA candidate in the New Genres program at the UCLA, beginning Fall 2019. Jebila Okongwu is informed by the abstract geometries and striking forms of the art of his ancestral heritage, the Nigerian Igbo people. Jebila Okongwu works primarily with banana boxes; he likes how their tropicalized graphics and colors articulate an “exotic” provenance, much like the exoticization of African bodies from an ethnocentric perspective. When these boxes are shipped to the West from Africa, the Caribbean, and South America, old routes of slavery are retraced, accentuating existing patterns of migration, trade, and exploitation. Jenna Bao’s work explores identity and adulthood inspired by vibrant neighborhoods and subcultures such as kawaii culture, nerd culture, Lolita fashion, and alternative lifestyles. She received her MFA from ArtCenter College of Design with an emphasis in painting. Jessica Pham was born in Fountain Valley, California. She is currently a senior at UCLA, working on getting her BA in English with a concentration in poetry. Jiyoon Kim is an interdisciplinary artist who emphasizes


performance, film, and installation. She is currently an MFA candidate from the University of Southern California’s Roski School of Art and Design. Kathleen Ryan (b. 1984) lives and works in New York. She creates sculptures using the materials and iconography of nature, industry, and popular culture. Kawita Vatanajyankur’s continuation of performative video work explores the effects of modern consumption from behindthe-scenes, examining the products we consume every day. In her performance, Vatanajyankur uses her body as tools or machines to represent how laborers are perceived by society, how they are usually overlooked and mistreated by the consumers. Kayla Tange was born in South Korea and adopted at age six months by a Japanese American family residing in Lemoore, California. After she moved to Los Angeles, her love for photography slowly progressed into a conceptual performance practice where boundaries, sexuality, and identity are recurring themes. Kellen Hatanaka (b. 1987) is a Japanese Canadian artist from Toronto currently working in Stratford, Ontario, Canada. His work explores ethnicity and identity, and speaks to the search for belonging associated with being mixed race as well the effect of inherited trauma, specifically that of Japanese internment, on identity. Kristine Roan is a multidisciplinary artist who lives and works in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Her cardinal medium is dried gourds, which she adorns with found plastic objects that often evoke the sexual organs of both plants and animals, pointing toward a kind of queer animism.


Laura Soto is a mixed media sculptor living and working in Los Angeles. While her practice centers mainly on large forms built of fiber that transform under the weight of media amassed, she also produces small Subjects formed of the sediment and ephemera harvested from the aforementioned large forms. Leonard Greco is a visual artist, working in various media. His recent body of work has been an attempt to re-contextualize the artistic narratives of Western European Christendom. Marcella Prokop is a Colombian writer who lives in Minnesota. Her creative work has appeared in print or online in The Brooklyn Review, Ploughshares, The Christian Science Monitor, The Fourth River Online, and PANK, among others. Megan Pobywajlo is a photographer, educator, and organizer from San Diego who currently works in Kansas City, Missouri. She is a 2019 Charlotte Street Foundation + Andy Warhol Foundation Visual Artist Award recipient and teaches in the photography department at the Kansas City Art Institute. Melanie (Mel) Luna, born in the Dominican Republic in 1997, is based in the Bronx, New York. 40°50’59.46” N -73°51’59.08” W. In a teething state, she finds herself focused more on process rather than thought. Celebrating 10 years in the US, she finds herself a very lucky immigrant pursuing the arts. Melissa Merryweather (b.1961) is a sustainable building expert, architect, and photographer born in the US, and based in Ho Chi Minh City and London. In her photographic practice, she explores themes of urban change, displacement, and globalization. Molly Gorelick is an artist from Pennsylvania. @mollygmollyg


Paola de la Calle is an artist and educator interested in exploring themes of identity, belonging, and memory framed by social justice. Her artwork honors the resilience of marginalized communities and through it, she advocates for justice by tackling themes like migration, food justice, neocolonialism, and gentrification. Peter Hess’s earliest recollection is occupied by art. His work has been exhibited at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Coagula Curatorial, Long Beach Museum of Art, Autry/ Southwest Museum, Avenue 50 Studio, Laguna Art Museum, Purdue University Galleries, Armory Center for the Arts, and many other venues. Rachel Lester-Trend is @kingtr3nd Sam Fox-Halperin is a second year at UCLA. Fox-Halperin is non-binary and uses they/them/theirs for their pronouns. Timo Menke’s practice is research based, and his work examines how cultural identities, social relations, and biopolitical issues are charged with concepts of desire, power, and history.


GRAPHITE 2019 – 2020 Editorial Staff GRAPHITE Interdiscinplinary Arts Journal is published with support from the Hammer Museum. CoHeads: Haley Penn Louise Buckley Michelle Jihyon Kim Readers: Ashley Kim Audrey Harrison Bradley Bell Carlos Cadena Christina Roh Dario Apodaca Francisco Garcia Gwen Hollingsworth Moses Mascuch Noella Kim Sarah Chess Shari Wei Sonia Hauser Tiernan Hugh O’Neill Content does not reflect the opinions of GRAPHITE editorial staff or Hammer Museum. www.graphitejournal.com graphitejournal@hammer.ucla.edu


Issue No. 11 Š 2020, Los Angeles, California Designed by Qiang John Wang Printed by Typecraft All rights reserved. May not be reproduced.


Profile for GRAPHITE Journal

Graphite 11, 2020  

Graphite 11, 2020  

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