Nostalgia is a fraught place, dismissed as a sentimental headspace where we can fantasize about the past. It’s easy to forget that nostalgia is more than just the flowery place in our minds, however: it’s also a trigger for manipulation, even for galvanizing action.
I am attracted to nostalgia, but more so, I am compelled by the rhetoric that engrains it into peoples’ memories. Whether it be women authors writing about girls’ friendships or love, queer literature, or the state of a gallery or museum, words matter—they are the tools that push and pull, that soothe us, that create a sense of urgency, that permit us to be complicit with oppression. I mine books such as romance novels, art historical texts, and children’s fiction, sifting through found language, constructing fractured prose poems entirely from appropriated language. I am not interested in social or institutional critique, nor am I interested in romantic notions of the past; rather, I want to tease out the rhetoric that conjoins the two.
In addition to constructing fully appropriated poems, I am also a sculptor. I use my writings as jumping off points to work with materials. Employing grand shifts of scale, vertical thrusts, light, ambient noise, line, and other formal concerns, I materially translate my writings line by line.
Lately I’ve become engrossed in transcribing the phonebook. Meditative, generative, obliterative—I’ve been making works on paper that record name after name as if penning an intimate letter, drowning the names in water once finished.