November is usually the most threatening month of first semester. It is when the OCAD crazy begins to happen; feelings of inadequacy, lack of time, lack of food, brokeness, unmotivated, too motivated, super cold, constant tiredness, overwhelmed, constant stress; arise, all at once. Its an awful time of year. Learning how to time manage seems like a lovely thought in September but has been reduced to binge drinking in grungy dive bars to avoid the unavoidable. Needless to say, the semester is almost over, but if you are in thesis like I am, that means absolutely nothing considering the crazy continues for the next 6, oh shit, 5 months until thesis ends, and Grad Ex begins. Fuck. Time literally evaporates into nothingness.
And yet in the midst of all these deadlines, there are still plenty of opportunities being offered to students. For myself, I try to not pass up very much, and so despite everything I am feeling (stressed, isolated, hungy, hyper-stimulated), I have agreed to be apart of the Nomadic Residency with artist Pedro Reyes this week; A few selected students and myself will get to all collaborate with Reyes on a project that will be shown on Thursday at the Graduate Gallery. Reyes is from Mexico City, his work addresses individual and/or collective agency. Listening to him explain how he combines philosophy with art, it becomes evident that by associating these two methods of thought, activity and interworking, it is a necessity of community that agency is used for social and political change. While researching some of his previous projects, specifically Palas for Pistals it is really obvious that collectively, as a society, we are apathetic (i know, duh). Apathy does not facilitate change. In the 2008 project, Palas for Pistals, the community is invited to participate in a trade of firearms for vouchers and electronic appliances. Through this initiative less firearms are circulating through one of Mexico’s most heavily crime and drug areas; the ones collected are melted down to create shovels. The shovels are used to plant trees, which aids the Botanical Garden and has been described as “the ultimate act of recycling”. I am aware of the criticism of this piece, but I find the sentiment admirable and the content important. Feel free to comment / message me if you disagree. But anyway, through this collaboration I’m working with peers I have not gotten a chance to meet or work with, I get a chance to think and make work I do not usually make and not to mention a show at the end, which is a generous experience.
My time at OCAD has taught me that multitasking, handling money and deadlines can be extremely difficult. There are plenty of resources at this institution, ironically, I never really did take advantage until this year which was pretty dumb of me. There are some awesome people around that do actually want to help, just got to look for them.
Well in this cold season, I know its hard to attend as many art shows and support as most of us would like to, I am having trouble myself, having only went ot about two shows last week. I did really enjoy The Secret Garden show at Student Gallery that is up for a few more weeks and was curated by the talented Lido Piementa, featuring artists such as Benjamin McCarthy, Adrienne Crossman and Toni Darling. This show was interesting for its interactive qualities and it brings up issues of racism, post colonialism and sexism which is a successful juxtaposition . Colour, shape, video and ceramics come together in a really beautiful way to illustrate these ideas. Check it out if you can, and try your best to go to openings, there are usually free wine and food, which is a good incentive to attend if you ask me.
Well catch you guys later
~ luv & posi vibes ~
-jazmine v. k. carr