This fall my friends from Posterchild Art made me an interesting offer. After moving my primary practice and address to NY this summer I have missed this space that became home for so many of my creative explorations in the past 5 years. They found themselves with a month of open space in their gallery calendar after booking some work in Latin America and wanted to know if I'd like a return for a 21 day residency...in Chicago...in January. I am a rare lover of urban winters and was bemoaning the loss of our shared courtyard that would each year fill with snow and ice, like a sensory deprivation tank. I thought yes here I can think.
This prompted the ask, what would I do with 21 uninterrupted days? And I decided to double down, to make it a shut-in's residency. I shopped on day one, prepared menus for how I might eat for 20 days, came home, locked the door and had at it. I also went to Home Depot where I purchased a few supplies including 2 palm trees, and 2 american flags. I stopped at my Chicago studio which I still utilize, and collected some items that had been living on the shelf for months. Slides, a photo of my mother from before I was born, a blue tarp, a spray bottle, a slide projector, tape recorder, newsprint pad, charcoal. No required sleep schedule, no live contact with anyone (I lied and ended up with 2 visitors, one which was a silent stay for 2 days).
In the days that followed I found myself up in the middle of the night working, talking to myself and an ancient cat who was my main contact, listening to music, drawing, painting, singing, dancing, making videos. Disjointed working for works sake, no single goal, but patterns emerged. I cleaned the palm leaves on the first day, it woke up memories of my childhood home, of Miami, of the large scale contradiction of snow outside and palms inside, of what the last decade of my life had been. I continued to do this every day on and off camera for the remainder of the stay. I started to write, I began to imagine. A new world of work has opened from this discursive creative rambling. And I find myself grateful for the reminder that to make the work we must come to the work, be willing to meet it, dare to sit in unknowing, and listen to what comes from following our own curiosity in the doing.
Thank you Temple, thank you Winter, thank you Chicago.