I had been making up stories and telling them to myself since I was five or six. Because my mother, in an effort to make me read, refused to tell them to me. I did read. We were lucky enough not to be able to afford a television at the time, so I read everything… — Octavia Butler
“PUBIC SPACE, an online reading and conversation, features one of my favorite poets in the world, CedarSigo, and the mind-boggling sculptor Oscar Tuazon. Oscar and I collaborated on a major exhibition in 2016 that combined poetry and monumental sculpture in unusual ways. We all know what a portentous year 2016 was. It was also a time I was healing from severe PTSD. (Long story—which we will go into in due time.) Oscar and Cedar have known each other since childhood and are longtime collaborators.
“I thought it would be useful for us three, and all of you, to talk about just what constitutes public space on stolen land, about the true function and meaning of monuments, about the sexuality of totalitarian and anarchist aesthetics, about grief and its relationship to objects, about the speed of poetry and the slowness of space, about what language builds, about poetry’s relationship to structure, and more.”
ELEMENTS OF ME—Adam Pendleton’s installation now on view in Boston—”considers the relations between (geometric) abstraction, blackness, and languages of collectivity,” utilizing what the artist describes as “radical juxtapositions, to disrupt established history and open up new potential associations.”*
Pendleton has created an artist’s book-exhibition catalog for the show. See links below for details.
One of the things that some of us said over and over again is that we’re doing this work. Don’t expect to receive public credit for it. It’s not to be acknowledged that we do this work. We do this work because we want to change the world. If we don’t do the work continuously and passionately, even as it appears as if no one is listening, if we don’t help to create the conditions of possibility for change, then a moment like this will arrive and we can do nothing about it. As Bobby Seale said, we will not be able to “seize the time.” This is a perfect example of our being able to seize this moment and turn it into something that’s radical and transformative. — Angela Davis
Join Angela Davis and Isaac Julien for an online discussion about the influence of FrederickDouglass on contemporary movements for racial justice.
The talk will be moderated bySarah Lewis—associate professor of history of art and architecture and African and African American studies at Harvard University—and coincides with Julien’s exhibition Lessons of the Hour at the McEvoy Foundation for the Arts in San Francisco.