the afterwords

She Who Carries Weight by Alexandra Eregbu  debuted new work at the Ralph Arnold Gallery.  I'm still gaining mobility from after the surgery, but I can walk. I need to walk. We walked together, reviewing a particularly difficult day of our homeschooling co-op. Age nine has been a hurricane during a year like quicksand. I feel silly for celebrating the beginning of a new year so joyously. I had no fucking clue. No. Fucking. Clue.

We wait around for the performance in the gallery surrounded but a few subversive pieces. Me quietly hoping nothing sparks my sons desire to talk politics. He wants to understand, inserts himself into conversations, listens to NPR even. I am not in the mood for that weight. Any weight really. I have earned a life of leisure that is not coming. I needed to see another black woman conceptualizes "the weight."


I headed to the closing of Janice Bond's Be Careful with Mother exhibition at Filter Photo alone the next night. I'm not sure my Virgo son would have survived all the exposed breasts and bare asses.  The word "careful" stood out to me. It means "don't take risks" when I attach it to goodbye. I didn't get any of that from the exhibit. It was full of the peculiar risk emotional vulnerability and nakedness simultaneously provides. I had to rush back to my car to write down a few things said during the talk and because I had a flight at five in the morning (tragic story. I'll tell you later). One of the things I wrote down was a story about trademarking and women harvesting salt. You're going to have to ask Janice if you want the full story I wouldn't do it justice, so I will not try. But it made me think of a quote from This Bridge Called My Back, my current nonfiction read.

"'Invisibility is an Unnatural Disaster'; and visibility, the most effective strategy to quell the rising tide of discrimination."

Trademarking facilitates theft. 

Later. My flight got canceled, but I got to spend the day looking at art and being with cool people We went to three museums and a gallery. By the time we got to the gallery I just sat on the floor and edited the pictures on my phone. I'm going to have to circle back to that one. I'm only going to talk about Cauleen Smiths exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago. It's a call to action. Got me thinking about what we do with what we know and what we have. In the forward to This Bridge Called My back Toni Cade Bambara suggest that it's the Afterwards that matters. All this reading has made Cauleen Smith a dangerous woman. This Bridge Called My Back is on the reading list, so is African Fractals which was a part of Janice Bonds' exhibit the night before. Whenever I begin to notice a thread weaving back and forth like that I know to follow. There is a single thread that runs through everything. 


she who carries weight  // ralph arnold gallery 


human 3.0 reading list  // art institute of chicago 


be careful with mother // filter photo