Hold It All

Philosophy/Poetics/Politics

Category: Arts

Weiwei-isms

Later I became very involved in writing. I really enjoyed that moment of writing. People would pass around my sentences. That was a feeling I never had before.  It was like a bullet out of the gun.

I always have an attitude. Even if there are no plans, I have an attitude. Perhaps I answered imprecisely before, saying that I am just a person. I am actually a person with an attitude.

Expressing oneself is like a drug. I’m so addicted to it.

I don’t really care that much about if I want to be more successful or less successful in art, because I never think life and art should be separate. What’s life if you don’t have conversation and joy and anger? Read the rest of this entry »

Share the Wealth with Claire Peterson: Dancing Joy in the Eternal Ephemeral (Or—Why Everybody and Their Mother Should Take a Dance Class)

“Every faculty, every nerve is bent on communicating a definite idea. Not one iota of energy is wasted in fear.” -Agnes de Mille

This Sunday, I will share what I have learned on my journey with non-professional dance as a lover of story and beauty. Between classical ballet, Lindy Hop, improvisational brimmings-over, and running away from and into dance in El Salvador, I invite you to enter into the joy of movement as holistic, free, and human.

Claire Peterson is a junior at Saint Louis University majoring in English, Spanish, and International Studies.

Join us Sunday 10 April
Potluck dinner begins at 6:00 p.m.
Claire begins sharing at 6:45
At the home of Savannah Sisk
1817 Thurman
Apartment B
First floor, door on the left
Saint Louis, MO
63110 Read the rest of this entry »

My name is Strong: Art for Social Change and Healing

I’ve had the amazing opportunity of leading this year’s My name is Strong, an anti-violence community arts initiative and awareness campaign uniting people in creative protest and healing in response to power-based and intersectional violence. We encourage people to use expression to heal, resist, and connect with one another, and in doing so, seek to turn a single room into powerful exhibit of human strength. This Sunday, I will share my personal experiences and perspectives on the potential for art to create social change, heal, and humanize. After a discussion on the power of art and the My name is Strong project, we will engage in some art and expression-making ourselves!! No experience is necessary — creating is about the process, and we are committed to providing spaces for people to create who might not otherwise. Participants will have the opportunity to have their works featured in our art show, opening at Yeyo Arts on November 6. Feel free to bring supplies and any sources/photos for inspiration!

Rachel Sacks is a social work student at the Brown School, focusing on social justice through community engagement, organizing, and the arts. She has had some experience in arts teaching, painting, and doing social media/marketing for non-profits. She is currently organizing congregations in West County around police reform for Metropolitan Congregations United. She gets most jazzed about building community and empathy to combat social and racial injustice.

Join us Sunday 18 October: Potluck begins at 6:00 pm and Rachel begins sharing at 6:45. We gather at the home of Lacey Burchett and Savannah Sisk, 1817 Thurman, Apartment B, first floor, door on the left, Saint Louis, MO 63110. People may need to park along DeTonty because Sasha’s usually takes all street parking in the evenings.

Rachel

Back and Forth

Vermeer Katie

Joys of Correspondence

Lockhead Mail

It’s Michelle Yeoh’s Face

A skeptical friend asked why I like Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon so much… so the following, off the top of my head, even though I recognize de gustibus non est disputandum

Why is it the best (for me)?

It’s the music
It’s the two love stories
It’s the Zen
It’s China, one of my current obsessions
It’s the fight scenes of breath-taking brilliance Read the rest of this entry »

Share the Wealth with Katie Lochhead: A Life in Art

Stop thinking about art works as objects, and start thinking about them as triggers for experiences…because we say, ‘Art is something that happens, a process, not a quality, and all sorts of things can make it happen.’ … [W]hat makes a work of art ‘good’ for you is not something that is already ‘inside’ it, but something that happens inside you — so the value of the work lies in the degree to which it can help you have the kind of experience that you call art.

–Brian Eno

In Billy Collin’s Introduction to Poetry he describes a classroom of students who want to strap the poem they’re reading to a chair and torture a confession out of it. They even begin beating it with a pipe in order to find out what it really means. I would love to share with you the story of how I accidentally became an artist, what my creative process looks like (including the important role of crank calls, sketchbooks, secret projects, legal stimulants like coffee, instructions on how to write well, the sometimes indistinguishable difference between lying and creating artwork, children’s books, and the occasional stifling environment), what all artists secretly desire out of you, and how to establish a friendly relationship with an artwork so that it serves as a trigger for experience (and you don’t have to metaphorically beat it with anything). I will be sharing images of my work and bringing sketchbooks for you to peruse.

Join us

Sunday 19 July
Potluck dinner begins at 6:00 pm
Katie begins sharing at 6:45
at Sophia House
4547 Gibson Avenue
Saint Louis 63110

On Diane di Prima (Again)

for
Lindsey Trout
Danielle Mackey
Katie Madges
Katie Consamus
Magan Wiles
New Yorkers all

 

As some of you know, I have recently taken to the writing of Diane di Prima. You know this because I’ve called your attention to one or another of her poems that I love (Life Chant, Where Are You, Clearing the Desk, Keep the Beat) and her incendiary collection, Revolutionary Letters. This week I want to call attention to her memoir, Recollections of My Life as a Woman. Over 400 pages, it covers her early life to the later 1960s (she’s still alive, but I doubt that there’s a volume two coming). For my younger women friends who’ve grown up thinking “I can do whatever I want,” di Prima’s book will give you some historical perspective. For anyone in the various fields of art, Recollections will inspire you on your path (her sheer tenacity). For writers in their 20s or in their 70s, di Prima will remind you of what you need to hear.

Di Prima is calmly blunt, reminding me of Allen Ginsberg’s maxim, “Candor ends paranoia.” On male violence: “When I got older, what I heard from lovers, was that I was a controlling or castrating bitch. But—the assault was universal and ceaseless. You would have to be dead not to try to stop it for a minute.” Her Italian father: “If you were Italian, growing up in my house, your father handed you Machiavelli to read. To help you understand history, he told you. One of the only books he had besides Shakespeare and the encyclopedia. He read you Julius Caesar to show you how Mark Antony manipulated the crowd. What propaganda was. You never forgot.” On college: “I have no problem with leaving school. It is a hated and unfulfilling place, where I am studying nothing I care about. Where there are no powerful women teachers. No powerful teachers at all. No ideals, intensity of intellectual life. Nothing I’d hoped for. I am more than ready to leave, to get on with my life. Wherever it might take me.” What she never said to her mother: “Dear Mom … When are you going to tell me what was stolen from you? When will you name your oppressor?”

Read the rest of this entry »

Pass It On

A work of art is something you make, something you give to other people. It’s an object for use, and people can make many different uses of the same work.

Susan Sontag

Sontag and her books

Practice

An awed interviewer once exclaimed
To the jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker,
“You do amazing things on the saxophone, Mr. Parker.”

The musician replied,
“I don’t know about amazing—
I practiced for fifteen hours a day for a few years.”

–Adapted from and quoted in  Michael Dirda, Book by Book: Notes on Reading and Life