featured gallery for June 2018

[Instructions from Chloe]

(Note: you may click images to enlarge)

BE A SMART PLAYER WORK IN SYSTEMS WHEN ABLE PLUS DON'T FORGET GENDER NON-CONFORMING OR INTERSEX PEOPLE, HIPPIES HIPPIES TRANS HIPPIE 'THE DSM 4' IN 20 YRS THIS WILL ALL BE COMMONPLACE WATCH TAKE NOTES POLITICAL CORRECTNESS CAN KILL, BRUISE, GASH, HURT TO THE BONE, SUCH A GAME THAT'S PLAYED. THE PERFORMANCE OF THE POLITICALLY CORRECT. THE ATROCITIES OF THE OPPRESSION OF THE GENDERQUEER. TIRED. OMISSION. POLITE LIES. THE WAY TO DO BIZ. JUST THE WAY IT IS. WILL THE CHRISTIANS BURY ME (WOMAN) AS A MAN + WOMAN? OR THE TRANSPERSON? I HAD TO STOP MY LIFE TO EDUCATE THEM. NO PROGRESS. ACCESS TO PRIVILEDGE. ACCESS TO THE STREET. ACCESS TO CULTURE. ACCESS HOLLYWOOD. IN TWENTY YEARS. NO PROGRESS. ...may your heart stay warm in winter/may your soul flow up from the ground in spring... INSPIRE CHANGE EVEN IF YOU THINK YOU MAY NOT PULL THRU THE LATEST HEALTH CARE SURPRISES/HELL. NADA IN VAIN. WORK IT TO SURVIVE KEEP JOURNALS. ONE MAY NOT SEE ALL THE SUBTLE BULLSHIT UNTIL MANY YEARS PASSED. PRIVATE ROOM. HOPE.

((All words verbatim from about a dozen art works from Dzubilo's archive. Phrases have not been altered, but were pasted together//alongside each other, scrambling syntax and imag(in)ing several tones/textures/sentiments that I found reaching across and through Dzubilo's work.))

Upon my first visit to the archival materials of Chloe Dzubilo at the Visual AIDS office—where they were stored temporarily enroute to the Fales Library and Special Collections at New York University— I was surprised by the texture/s of my own affective response/s to holding Chloe's work and seeing it up close. I had spent some time pulling my face closer to my computer screen, attempting to read every word of a given art work through this website's online archive. Too, as is common place when trying to track down a queer/ed or trans/political artist and her work, I had a lot of difficulty finding even traces of Chloe in the ether of the internet, even with the resources of a well-connected university whose population is largely made up of art and design students (a university that also happens to be Dzubilo's alma mater).

And so, upon interacting with her work, I was struck by how clearly I could hear Chloe. Her work's commentary on the systems that constitute our surround and fuck with our abilities to access the things that we need (while simultaneously condoning the socio-political actors who seek to annihilate us on the daily) struck so many nerves in my young, broke, trans/queer, not-quite-white but not-quite-brown-either, Brooklyn-Based bodymind. (Too, the work is just punk as fuck.)

Newly able to see/read/decipher the text/s that work dialogically (that is, the words are working largely to be communicative, and to be read and understood, rather than observed in some other way) in much of Dzubilo's recent work, the framework "Instructions from Chloe" manifest almost immediately (following my quiet awe at the sheer volume and proximity of her work in front of me).

Dzubilo's work gestures toward, moves through, and bumps up against José Esteban Muñoz's work on "the live" and the "burden of liveness" (in Disidentification: Queer of Color and the Performance of Politics). The formal aspects of the works curated into this gallery—largely renderings in ink on notebook paper—indicate and activate the temporal landscape of the minoritarian subject who must leave behind notes, because she will be targeted for annihilation whether she leaves traces of herself and her surroundings or not.

She makes these notes quickly—they're scrawled in cursive and crammed into boxes and thought bubbles. The writing often goes awry. We have to tilt the page or crane our necks to read these field-note-like asides.

The cursive is rapid. It moves. There is no time for a more careful hand. This shit is urgent. And we need it.

With a polyvalent praxis and multiple practices, Dzubilo instigates new conversations --as she pokes holes at the fuckery of the current discourses-- regarding advocacy by and for trans people and positive people (especially trans women and positive women), femmes, gender non-conforming people, sex workers, people of color, sexual assault survivors, and others who face unwanted, heightened contact with and intervention into their lives by the police state. She tackles the medico/psychological/prison industrial complex and all of its satellite appendages.

The women in her work, depicted most often in ink on notebook paper (and frequently autobiographically inclined), watch, they take notes, they advocate for themselves, and they (radically) demand the same forcibly compelled disclosure and transparency of the systems of the gatekeepers. The politics of disclosure and being forcibly interpellated through violent(/ly reductive) readings are familiar territories for the abject bodies who are never given the opportunity to choose disclosure and transparency over withholding and refusal.

AIN'T NOTHING LIKE KNOWIN' WHAT IT FEELS LIKE... WHEN YOU SLIP THRU THE CRACKS OF SOCIETY, POLITICAL NICETIES, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS, HEALTH CARE, CORRUPT DRS. HOUSING, EMPLOYMENT, WEALTH, SHOE STORES, SUBWAYS, FAMILY OUTINGS, HOLIDAYS, SYSTEMS, SYSTEMS SYSTEMS AIN'T NOTHING LIKE KNOWING THESE FACTS DEEP IN ONES BONES. WHEN YOUR A TRANSEXUAL. AIN'T NOTHING LIKE KNOWING TRIUMPH OVER ALL OF THESE ADVERSITIES. (Chloe 2008)