Saturday, November 29, 2014

Re living

Dearest Tereza,

                Now that has a nice ring. (Arrow points to the heading) It’s 5 syllables- like “dearest Jessica.” (Dearest Anitra) You two are immensely dear to me. When I imagine you, I feel whole – you (erased and rewritten) bring life force and unity (erased and rewritten) and harmony to my sometimes fragmented feeling mind + body.

                I took your advice, dearest. On a bench, in the park I write to you. It is clarifying to write letters to ones you love (arrow point to) + You have known this all along! With you I am most myself + can say anything. (Are all the pluses a red cross? A cry for help?) The flow is there. I thank you for this.

                It is grey. The rain is coming, “they” say. A few stragglers at the park. Those who did not want to stay in b/c in was too dark inside w/o light streaming in windows. (Back in Brooklyn we resided in a basement apartment. Much of the time, the light barely made it through the windows in the morning as a sign to get up. I had the feeling of a bear sleeping in. Even the baby seemed to slumber more soundly. However, although the space had ample light dimmers, the sun cannot be replaced. A bring sun-filled sky today below zero.) To get air. I like to think that those who venture out in grey days feel like I do, Moody and unable to do anything but sit. (It is so important for me to get out every day, regardless of weather. The baby needs it too. “There's no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing,” said Maria Montessori. What did you wear to meet death? Was it your layers of thrift-shop clothes? Lace underwear and leather coat? You must have been cold, sitting waiting for the train till two. What do you wear to die, Maria?) Be. To look around + to feel within.
But I can only do this because I am not a mother.  Alan was up early- he became a “soccer dad!” He was horrified that he’s now (written twice, layered) your run-of-the-mill American “soccer dad.” Sophie joined a soccer team for 5-yr-old girls and Alan was helping to coach. (Ali is taking karate at a dojo I knew growing up. A great space of learning where there is a three tier learning system- the sensei/gray-haired weathered black belt, two high schooled black belts/teens who have practiced for over 7 years, and young teens/preteens in training. Called, “Eye of the Tiger,” I have a feeling Ali tried it as she connected the place with the seventies song. She wants to try tap after our six month commitment is through.)

I thought I would draw some pictures of what is around me – Recall when we did that in the Bosco? It was one of my favorite activities and if I remember right, you liked to sit in the forest and listen + take notes as well. (The last time, I laid down feeling the earth under my skin, much like you at your mother’s grave. I looked at the sky listening to the rhythm of cicadas. I found one’s shell. It glistened like gold and drew me to it. We observed it in the group. One consciousness hung onto the branch while the other broke through its back. I can only imagine you flying leaving the rest behind.)

It is raining now full effect. I am indoors. I like reading your annotations to feminist texts- not just because I learn about the texts- but because a part of you I didn’t know before is revealed to me. It is special to be able to see your thoughts become articulate and to learn with you. With writing, comes the understanding, no? (This is my hope and aim. See and be with you again. See the flow of letters, the twists and turns and be with you again this very moment. Re-live.)
Writing to you today Tereza has been grounding. (For me as well, in the rewrite.) I did not do anything else. No ptg. No pressure to paint. (This is the art, nothing, just dialogue. I go to continue with the family now that Jonas's nap is over.) And not it is time to shower + get ready to have dinner with Alan + Martha Rosler!

I found head space, thanks to you and your brilliant idea of going to the park. Before the rains come. I love you with all my heart.

Yours, Anitra (the dot on the i circled.)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Red Library, proposal

The Red Library

In Cervena knihovna (or Red Library,) Angela Voulgarelis and Tereza Swanda create works side by side through mixed media. A dialogue of non-fiction, very personal, responses to abuse and empowerment, Swanda and Voulgarelis create a body of work that redefines an edition of books bound with a red cover in Europe at the turn of the century. Often misogynistic, these books centered on a love affair within a historical context: they were formulaic and specifically designed to shape the female psyche.

For the last seven years, artists Angela Rose Voulgarelis and Tereza Swanda have been writing and sharing imagery through their blog Art, Life (No Separation). Initially started as a way for the two women to speak out against and transform their personal experiences of sexual and domestic violence, their posts explore notions of art in the everyday as it relates to the creative process. Working from excerpts and images from our blog as a point of departure, we create visual analogies to re-lease, re-form, re-live, re-establish, re-visit, re-examine, re-capture our experiences that brought us together seven years ago and collapse a singular idea of a female anything.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

červená knihovna

Home from NY on the train, I remembered my grandmother, in a sly tone, showing me a red little book. She said I could read it when I was older.

Cervena knihovna was an edition of books bound with a red cover that seemed to be trashy novels specifically for female audience at the turn of the century in CZ. Centered around a love affair, set within a historical background, the books were formulaic, romantic fiction usually having sexual, often misogynistic content throughout. example:

What is unusual is that my grandmother who also introduced us to prayer before bed, had a sparkle in her eye as she showed me the book.

Naturally, I connected this story to our little red books, especially the one with marks. A love affair of sorts, (I love them!) non-fiction, very personal, responses to abuse and empowerment, I am excited to continue writing our library!

Monday, November 24, 2014


Tereza was born Mazurova (implying paternal possession) in what was Czechoslovakia and resides both in CZ as well as the States. In her nomadic life, she questions familial and societal roles applied, engendering and classifying, bodies.
Swanda has an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and BFA in Painting and Sculpture from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Swanda has recently installed her soap at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She has exhibited her work at the Whitney Center for the Arts (Pittsfield, MA), University of Oregon (Eugene,OR), Berliner Kunstprojekt (Berlin), 450 Broadway Gallery (NY), Bakalar and Paine Galleries (Boston, MA), Chemeketa Community College Art Gallery (Salem, OR), and online in Storyscape Journal. Her series, To/From Mothering, shown at the Center on Contemporary Art (Seattle, WA), won first prize. She has been awarded residencies at VSC (Johnson, VT), at the Millay Colony (Austerlitz, NY), and has been attending workshops with Rose Shakinovsky and Claire Gavronsky in Italy and South Africa since 2000.
Swanda’s distinctions include the Wilhelmina Denning Jackson Art Award as well as scholarship for graduate work.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

revised art bio/statement

I was inspired by reading the artists bios and statements at the (after) The Ten Bulls show this weekend, I tweaked mine a little bit:

Angela Rose Voulgarelis lives and works in upstate New York.  Her work is informed by commonplace routines of domestic life, notions of interconnection, and impermanence and loss. Through painting, performance, and object making, she places two aspects of the same thing in the same space, drawing connections between seemingly unrelated ideas, images, and forms.

Angela has exhibited her work at the Berliner Kunstprojekt (Berlin), 450 Broadway Gallery (NY), Ampersand International Arts (San Francisco, CA), Belcher Studios Gallery  (San Francisco, CA), One Mile Gallery (Kingston, NY), Linksoul Lab (Oceanside, CA), Roos Arts (Rosendale, NY), AIR Gallery (NY), and the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art (New Paltz, NY). She has been a visiting artist at the Michaelis School of Art (Cape Town, South Africa), and her work has been featured online at Art:21, and

Angela received her BFA from the University of California at Santa Cruz. She also attended the Scoula Lorenzo De'Medici in Florence, Italy where she studied painting with Rose Shakinovsky and Claire Gavronsky (“rosenclaire”). Since 1995, she has continued to study with the collaborative duo, via workshops and private residencies, in the US, Italy, and South Africa.


spare change

cast soap

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Come see: (after the) Ten Bulls

Thirteen artists converge around the Ten Bulls, a Zen Buddhist story which they first encountered through a shared workshop experience over a decade ago. Each artist contributes a work in response to revisiting this text, re-considering its social implications and giving it new materiality. The story hovers in the room—not as an explicit or direct point of relation, but more as a point of refraction, slant connection, and review. Collectively, the works offer an evocation of the text that evades description, illustration, or faithfulness. The exhibition re-reads this old, sacred parable through contemporary gestures and contemplations on what it means to train a bullish mind.

Angela Rose Voulgarelis, Carla Repice, Haley Mellin, Holly Ann Brooks, Jessica Houston, Jessica Segall, Kiran Chandra, Maya Pindyck, Michael Miller, Michelle Prazak, Tereza Swanda, Todd Siegel and Tracie Lee.

Pairs (Above and Below)
Pairs (Angles)

Untitled (left), Capital Cleanse (right)

For Ten Bulls, I cast 48 bars of soap 2" in diameter, a box of George Washington's, a box of quarters in “Capital Cleanse.” I provide soap for the Temporary Agency bathroom for the duration of the show. $12 represent money exchanged for one girl sold in Nigeria, April 2014. In conjunction “Untitled,” Gauze, 3x roughly 4x3", unrolled 4'x3", is an object my grandmother uses to bandage and wrap her knees daily, a habit of forty some years. She curses my grandfather as she rolls, for making her ride his motorcycle in the cold Czech winters causing her aches and pains. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

testing...did not work

Back to the computer. Apparently the Blogger app for iPhone has gotten millions of negative reviews.
I'm not going to waste my time getting frustrated about it - the new phone is almost too much as it is.
I'm just glad I can take photos with a bit more ease.


From new phone. Does it work?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Skype crit notes

Skype crit notes
(lots more to understand and write about, but here is what I wrote yesterday)