A job for the artist which no one else does is to dismantle existing communication codes and to recombine some of their elements into structures which can be used to generate new pictures of the world.
- Victor Burgin: Work and Commentary (1973)
A year and a half of research, travel, photographing, interviewing, and thousands of dollars in four little cardboard packs. Fin. (at Corcoran Gallery of Art)
Marijuana from the “Gumbo” strain for sale at the Denver Relief marijuana dispensary. Shot for the Guardian Weekend Magazine.
Denver, CO (2013)
A story I shot for the Guardian on the pot business in Denver ran this weekend.
[excessively sentimental post about post-graduate life and how much I love my best friends]
I am so supremely lucky to have had these two by my side through a great deal of shit over the last four years. I am indebted to them forever for dealing with my persistent negativity, stubbornness, bad haircuts, constant whining about people I was/wanted to/am dating, burnt grilled cheeses, impromptu road trips, driving an hour and a half for the best tater tots in the world, and so on.
Art school has been a wild, bittersweet ride for me and I can’t say that I’m sad to be leaving it. The Corcoran afforded me a select few pleasures over the years, and among them are certainly the friendships I’ve formed.
If I hadn’t stuck it out, I wouldn’t have Ella & Joan in my life to the degree I do now, and they mean the world to me. Thank you both for keeping me in check, keeping my attitude in perspective, telling me when I’m wrong, celebrating with me the moments I’m happy, writing me postcards while y’all were overseas and I was being a bum on the couch at home, reminding me that I am a good artist, reminding me that I’m not as cool as I sometimes convince myself I am, staying up until three in the morning trading stories and waxing poetic about the meaning of relationships. Dealing with me crying in the backseat because I have too many feelings to function, helping me figure out who I am and how I got here. Having me hold your hair back while you lose your lunch in the New River while you slur something about loving me. Sleeping in the sand on the riverbed under a clear, full sky of stars. Making hangover breakfasts at the old apartment after all of our accidental parties, letting me handle the cops every time the neighbors called in noise complaints, or only telling me how much I really mean to you in drunk texts in the middle of the night.
Come September I’ll be leaving D.C., my home in every sense of the word. I have no concrete plans, but I’m certain that it’s time to go. Geographically breaking up with the only things you truly know is going to be rough, and I’m going to miss a handful of people in the way that’s probably going to keep me up at night. But I am looking forward to our futures, separately, and excited to see how we manage to come back together (because I know we will).
GPGC forever, y’all. <3
Four years ago & today.
Graduating college in a few hours. It’s raining.
Don Usner’s Chimayo, New Mexico
Chimayó is one of the most mythologized, misunderstood—and, some would say, maligned—places in New Mexico. On one hand, it holds a place in popular imagination as the Lourdes of America, a reference to the annual Good Friday pilgrimage to the Santuario de Chimayó, a nineteenth-century church. New Mexicans and visitors from afar also celebrate Chimayó’s weaving tradition, the potently flavorful chile grown there, and the local restaurant, where margaritas compete with the church’s holy dirt as a tourist draw. Travel writers are wont to gush about Chimayó in worn-out terms, but at the same time, the media often sensationalize the plight of Chimayó as a haven for crime, violence, and drug abuse. Lurid tales make headlines and serve up self-fulfilling prophecy about a dark downward spiral of family and community breakdown. Often repeated is the myth that Chimayó was founded as a penal colony in Spanish Colonial times, and pundits feed on data that show that Chimayó is at the center of a region with the highest drug overdose rate in the United States—a country to which New Mexico has belonged for a scant 166 years, compared to some 404 years as an outpost of Spain and Mexico. Because of these contradictions, the ethos of this small, unincorporated “town” of 6,000 plays out as a stark juxtaposition of good and evil, a Janus-faced caricature of a place that is at once a touchstone for spiritual enlightenment and an epicenter of poverty and social dysfunction. This view of Chimayó only scratches the surface. The reality of the place is much more complex. A deep history resonates here, in the language, the buildings, the people, in the land itself.
Lakota Elder at the Treaty Council Meeting
Prarie Wind Casino | Pine Ridge, South Dakota
contact printed cyanotype
I met this woman when I traveled to South Dakota in September to photograph the Northern Plains. She is one of the oldest members of the Lakota nation. I offered her tobacco in exchange for taking her photograph, and left a black and white Polaroid of this same photo with her in hopes that she didn’t feel like I was just harvesting stories and images.
That whole day she referred to me as the “white woman.” The rhetoric of passing is so complicated, and the months that I’m pale enough to not be identifiable by other Natives feels strange and terrible in a lot of ways, but you can’t really tell a 96 year old fullblood Native American woman that she’s wrong for classifying you as “other.”
Golden Tea House | Philadelphia, PA
Look at this fucking romantic image of Will swigging champagne while rose petals fall from the balcony above. Best dude, best birthday show.