If only awkwardly, all gots is words and crying: new work by Zachary Rawe and Avril Thurman
May 7th - 30th
Opening reception: Saturday, May 7th, 7:00 - 11:00 pm
Cincinnati OH-Live(in) gallery announces its May show, if only awkwardly, all gots is words and crying: new works by Zachary Rawe and Avril Thurman. Both these artists, pulling language from poetry and critical theory, produce artworks that indulge their passivity and play with romantic notions of crying. For his part, in this exhibition, Rawe is pulling language from Eve Sedgwick’s A Dialogue on Love and collaging his own words amongst it, then placing the end textual result on custom objects designed on the internet. This results in corky, comical objects, such as doormats and pie dishes, that are inscribed with text that that exudes longing and loss. For example, one pie dish reads:
I’m not the type of person who does things
more likely, life leaves its own marks
on me… still limp beauty
pleasure within that grim surround
of public lives and public space
For her part, Thurman is creating site-responsive sculptures and works on paper that transcribe bits and pieces of her own investigations in poetry. Often these works utilize a singular phrase or word transcribed on mundane found objects. Deadpanly, these works take the notion of a poetic artwork literally, flatfootedley speaking to the desire to push a poetic mindset into the physical and seeing what can be reaped. For example, an older work she made, Have a Bandit Day, is a white pushpin board with the work’s title stenciled across the top. The work’s linguistic suggestion moves into objectness tinged with the aura of self-help, placing the assertion into the stance of a daily reminder.
In conjunction with the exhibition’s opening night there will be two performances at 8:30. Thurman will read a selection of new poetry she has been working on for the past year, that playfully uses description as means of imbuing empathy into mundane materials and all-to-ordinary situations. Rawe will be presenting a script based on different passages from A Dialogue on Love to be read by two willing participants, which sets the stage for role-playing theory and thinking, enacting borrowed words alongside borrowed time. Generally, between the artworks and the events, this exhibition looks towards catharsis and crying as starting ground, while simultaneously trying to maintain an imaginary. Or, put another way by, Justin Vivian Bond recounts a conversation with Antony from Antony and the Johnsons and Tilda Swinton:
“we were talking about how so much of the art in the nineties was apocalyptic. Kiki was very apocalyptic: Everyone was dying, our world was ending. Now everyone knows the world is ending-to do apocalyptic art just seems a little redundant. So Antony said the idea is to do art where we acknowledge that we’re standing on the precipice of hope.”
Zachary Rawe is an artist, writer, and curator based in Philadelphia, PA. Rawe creates anxious objects and texts invested in affective responses generated from the dissolved relationship between work and leisure. Occasionally, he tracks his interests on his Tumblr at runonsentencereview.
Avril Thurman was born in a log cabin in Brown County, Indiana. Trained as a printmaker and poet at the Art Academy of Cincinnati, she has shown visual work in Brooklyn, Memphis, Reims, and many beloved Cincinnati galleries. Her poems have been published in the Madcap Poetry Review, and in Forklift, Ohio: A Journal of Poetry, Cooking, and Light Industrial Safety. She lives in Northside.