Image: Anna Delvey (neé Sorokina)
A brief affair ended with the words: “ You seem to know exactly how things are ought to be. And I need some time to figure out what I think about it all.” He slinked his tail and was out. The hope I have for the future loves is that we can remain next to each other and risk the uncertainty of seemingly knowing or not yet, what and how to do with the inherited legacies handed to us at birth in the economies and ecosystems not of our choosing.
Two years ago in New York where I lived at the time, I squeezed into an empty seat on the 7 train that takes you from Manhattan to PS1. Next to me a woman sat curled over a familiar ESL textbook, pencil at the ready in hand. On the page, a vocabulary test. A cartoon of a painter in a beret with a wide grin under a bushy moustache, a palette with swirls of paint over his thumb and a bubble to fill: “ An artist is __________. “ From the choice of 5 words she went with thoughtful. Another possibility from the list sent a jarring ping through my chest: Careful.
What happens when the bubble is right to read: An artist is careful?
This past summer, dimly lit because normalized, raids on journalists and their families in Minsk appeared to me as a background noise in a bronchitis drop shadow, while I installed a show in the post-soviet dinosaur lair that is Minsk Palace of Arts. Nacre Journal is born of recognizing the privilege of access to the free press and the opportunity for nuanced criticism afforded by my dual official and iridescently lived, citizenship. Occupying trapeze position across many contexts, a stranger in all, while uncomfortable and precarious, my vantage point furnishes eyesight that persistently highlights the unworkable. From life in autocracy to the vegetative state of repressed politésse, is a turn to the known hall of mirrors. Stationed here is imagination suspended in webs.
Align to page format or align to content?
Real estate, livability, age brackets, pedigree, nepotism, toxic cliques, trust funds butter, passports, self-exoticization, previous generation’s ideas of “paying off your dues”, persisting xenophobia and inexperienced, under-informed or fearful actions of curatorial, administrative and academic staff, often perpetuated by the peer artist community itself, preside over doling out space, support or a mentorship.
Risk, or practice of continued conversation and self-reflection across shared misaligned priorities foregrounds the works and stories gathered in this inaugural issue.
Anastasia Kolas, December 2018, Toronto.