First batch of pics below, from Eyes! Knees! Groin! Throat!, Melissa Wyman’s and my self-defense activity at YBCA on April 22. This was one of the concluding events for the 100 Days Action project, whose final residency transformed YBCA’s front room into a resistance training gym.
(Note the large, tiled B&W backdrop image of Team NO SCRUBS that 100 Days Action decorated their space with!)
The “gym” was the perfect place for Wyman and I to collaborate on something physical. I presented EKGT, a pop-inspired self-defense music video/tutorial, and Melissa (who is also a BJJ instructor) handled the real self-defense tactics in depth.
My EKGT video (made with Harrison and the Wah), had actually premiered a month earlier as part of another 100 Days Action event at Kala Art Institute. While the audience there was receptive, the video made a lot more sense in its YBCA context.
EKGT is a cover version of the self-defense ditty “Target Practice,” from the amazing 1995 riot grrl women’s self-defense album “Free To Fight!.” While it had been years since I’d heard the original, it popped into my head early this year as something that I wanted to revisit, Wofford-style. It felt like a helpful message for women and anyone else feeling particularly vulnerable lately, so with Harrison’s and the Wah’s actual musical expertise, I gave it a fun, new spin.
There are 2 versions, linked below:
1: just the song
2: with a 1 minute silent tutorial (also from the original album) first.
One year later.
Spent April 21 making a new print series at Kala Art Institute, based on some of the Dearly Beloved karaoke chapel videos that I made late last year. These tests, printed on 17″ x 22″ archival matte paper.
It’s the last week of Carry On, the Faculty Triennial at USF’s Thacher Gallery. The exhibition closes April 13.
Recognizing that the artists in Carry On are educators and practitioners, USF’s Museum Studies team asked us to to respond to the question, “What piece of advice or instruction from a teacher has stuck with you and helped you throughout your creative and/or teaching career?” My response, and the work that was included in the exhibition, was about Carlos Villa, naturally.
My response, included on the wall didactic:
I am immensely grateful to Carlos for being an instructor who saw validity in making art about a Filipino American experience. For acknowledging that identity, activism and politics were valid topics for creative expression. For breaking down the boundaries between one’s personal art practice and one’s pedagogy. For making a syllabus a call to action and a work of art, all at once. For teaching so many of us what participating in, and making, a creative community really means. For modeling a more intimate, connected, alternative to this nebulous, network-y place called the “art world”; for so many of my deepest friendships, collaborators and cronies. For his uncanny knack for match-making creative colleagues. For inspiring me to teach to diversity and to stories and artists often still relegated to the margins, to question the western Canon and its terms and conditions. For always finding love and joy in this work, even on the bad days.
And my 3 works, from the CPV series:
CPV 4, 5, 6, ink and acrylic on paper, 2014
Carlos passed away March 23, 2013: since his passing, a small group of us still get together for a meal around that date to observe this anniversary, to stay connected with one another and to the legacy we’re trying to maintain for him. It was serendipitous having the Carry On exhibition, and our annual meal, fall so closely together this spring: it was a doubly-good reminder of the work that still requires our attention and our care.
Pleased to announce that I am joining the board of directors of Southern Exposure. Having been involved with SoEx over half my life in one capacity or another, it’s an honor to be able to continue my relationship to this organization in a new role.
(This is not the SoEx boardroom. SoEx has no boardroom. Pics from Manananggoogle at SJMA in 2014, to help you visualize my exciting new corporate outreach role.)