Georgia’s Writ Crit
The first piece consists of a series of black and white etchings and graphite drawings on paper laid out sequentially. All the etchings are monotone aquatints depicting text, figures, and sparse scenery. There is a wide range of tones from pure white to pure black and they are all generally the same size, except for one. The drawings are the same ones we saw last semester, there are figures, text, and scenery with a fair amount of rendering and realism. All the images are displayed in a single line at eye level across the wall. The content of the work suggest that it should be read as a narrative from left to right. Some of the drawings from last semester have been transformed into etchings, and some have been deleted all together.
The second work is also laid out in two long horizontal lines composed of many smaller images that are all printed in color on regular printer paper. The upper line of images is comprised of photographs of the artist in various situations. The photos are sourced from the apple photo-booth program, and are commonly referred to as selfies. The lower line of images shows screenshots of word processor documents. Each one is titled “Untitled 2” and contains blocks of text. The images are all rectangular shapes and vary slightly in size.
Georgia’s artist statement very effectively explains the concept of her work and the way it means to address the plethora of issues mentioned and I actively searched for these elements as I observed the work. In the etchings the viewer really gets an idea of the realness of oppression and the struggle to deny inheritance. The development of a symbol (Lilith’s weapon/token bunch of reeds) is a huge step forward from the symbols we were introduced to last semester. This work is particularly strong in comparison to the other; it has a distinctive clarity of idea and tone that the second piece lacks. The second work represents a brave new direction for Georgia where she has taken real ownership of her writing and has left behind the safety of her classic drawing style. There are some lines and narratives that can be followed through the diarist-type entries but it is difficult to find a continuous thread. For some of the images their accompanying text makes a lot of sense, some of the others seem less purposeful. There are so many issues that are mentioned in the text: queer, trans, people of color, coming out, political deaths, autonomy, mental health, gay/straight perception, agency, hetero-normalcy, etc. While the subjects make perfect sense with Georgia’s statement, collectively they begin to feel like a political rant and it is easy to lose the successful moments where she has shared something deeply personal and relevant.
Historically discussions of Georgia’s work have come to the difficult fact that the people outside of your focus feel alienated by the work. There needs to be a dialogue that addresses this feeling which may also have to do with a fear of critiquing something that is not part of your own life. However, the very specific and personal stories very effectively assuage these feelings. We really need to move beyond the generalizations of movements and themes; they hide what we really want to know about: you. Your experience makes us, even forces us to understand.
1. In the first work, it is significant that some of the images are etchings and some of them are drawings,
· Do the drawings represent moments that require more sensitivity of mark?
· Is this how they will be displayed?
2. Text has is suddenly playing a major role in both works, is the placement/word choice working?
3. Do the less serious selfies/confessions (friend tattoos and fuck the patriarchy) work with the rest of the series?
· Do the selfies end up parodying themselves?
4. What are you trying to say about these issues?
· What’s YOUR issue/who keeps YOU down? (ex. Adam keeps Lilith down, this is very clear, the other work would benefit from the same clarity on your side of the equation)
Georgia’s Artist Statement:
My work is focused on the subjects of lineage, trauma and mysticism with a queer and feminist lens. I take the stories of dissenting and mythic women such as Lilith, Judith and St. Teresa, and claim them into a contemporary archive through the literal re-drawing of their mythologies into comics, zines and prints. My work makes use of instant archives such as webcams, blogs and cell phone pictures alongside more traditionally made prints and art historical images in order to insert these mythologies into ordinary life.
The concept of “queering” something in academic contexts means to come at something from the side, horizontally; to attempt analysis without binaries and to tease out the layered complexities of a subject that may sometimes contradicts itself. I am interested in queering as a methodology that is connected to and rooted in lived experiences of structural oppression that force one to live in contradiction and survive anyway. In the same vein, I am interested in the qualities of what I have termed “the terrible inheritance” - a history that oppresses women and people of color, requires patriarchal tools for their liberation and renders queerness invisible. What are we to do with this history? Short of renouncing what we cannot truly renounce, in what ways can we use and claim these stories to build our own myths? My work attempts to locate and document spaces of resistance and illuminate the complexities of my contemporary identity: as a woman and a queer person, but also someone who benefits from inherited power.
1. Francisco Goya