Diana Cage wrote an amazing article for SFMOMA Open Space that talks about our favorite topics: bodies, desire, caretaking. Give it a read!
Diana Cage took this photo of me in her bathroom in February 2020.
In December I installed "The bathroom is the place I go to cry. An astrologer told me I would never run out of toilet paper" at Hair and Nails Gallery. It consisted of 200 rolls of toilet paper suspended from the ceiling to create a soft toilet paper drop ceiling that made the bathroom feel like a sound deafening room. I de-installed the piece in early March, bringing home bags and bags of toilet paper that I distributed to friends and family. To say that it is surreal to make this work right before the mad dash for toilet paper is to put it lightly. And how quickly the reading and meaning of the work changes! Wow.
In February I made the piece "It's Okay," a used tissue paper mound atop a golden pedestal. Even when it opened it was a somewhat intense piece to be showing because the tissues were used, but that was February and now it is April and the work is quarantined in the gallery along with all the other works from the show until we can go pick them up again.
Usually on blog posts I don't get reflective, but it is an interesting time to be an artist making work with paper products dealing with emotion, places of refuge, containment of fluids and intimacy. The ethics class I teach at UMN spent time debating whether I should give away all my toilet paper or keep it as an "art material." We decided that I should save what I "need" and give the rest away. How much do I need? What about about the 250 boxes of tissues from "Do you have a tissue" that are installed in my studio? When the time comes they too will be distributed. And the bucket of soap nubs from "After You", those too may come in handy. And that will be a new life for the work, all of it.
After Hours is an exhibition of artwork from current lecturers in the Department of Art at the University of Minnesota. Showcasing artwork made outside the institutional workday, this exhibition asks: What is work? If art bleeds into all aspects of your life is there an after-hours?
Accessibility note: Quarter Gallery is wheel chair accessible. The bathrooms in Regis East and West are all gender segregated. The closest single stall wheel chair accessible bathroom is on the second floor of Barbara Barker Center for Dance across the street.
Come see my newest sculpture if you are in Minneapolis for the night! Spoiler alert: Lots of used tissues. Thank you Natalie Bell for selecting me as an artist.
Soo Visual Arts Center is wheel chair accessible and has two single stall wheel chair accessible bathrooms that will have homemade signs for the opening to make them gender neutral. However, the bathrooms are sex segregated during non-opening show hours.
Sunday Feb 9th will be full of fun! Join me in darning on ice and then talking about toilet paper. Quite the combo!
Sunday is the final day of the Art Shanty Projects on Lake Harriet. I am honored to be collaborating with the Holding Shanty and hosting sock darning from 10am-noon. Bring a holey sock and darn it up on the ice with me!
At 3pm is the artist talk at Hair and Nails for the exhibition Future Future. Join curators Ryan Fontaine and Kristin VanLoon and fellow artists to talk about the excellent exhibition!
HOLDING SHANTY INFO:
The Holding Shanty is about finding ways to hold each other better. Better Futures Minnesota, our partner, trains men in the deconstruction of buildings and the reconstruction of their dreams after incarceration. The Holding Shanty’s design was developed in Better Futures’ Makers Space out of recycled materials from their Reuse Warehouse, with input from the Better Futures Men. The Holding Shanty offers experiences of holding as an action of reframing, rebuilding, and creating space for care. Artists: Molly Balcom Raleigh, Jason Burbul, Valentine Cadieux, David Marsh-Pitman, Scott Raleigh, Nik Ranpura, Peter Schulze, Emily Stover, Rachel Swearingen
Accessibility Notes: There are free bus passes available for download on the Art Shanties website. There are wheelchair accessible gender segregated bathrooms in the park building near the Art Shanties. And I *think* there are gender neutral porto-potties on site too (but I didn't see where). It is worth checking the weather and ice conditions for accessibility to the shanties. It can range from slippery to slushy to snow packed and is only variably shoveled. Kicksleds are available to transport folks with limited mobility onto the ice and throughout the village. Two are equipped to accommodate a wheelchair. Most shanties have one step to enter them. The Holding Shanty is not wheelchair accessible. It has two doors, the "front door" is up a series of steep steps and then down a precarious ramp. The "back door" has one large step to enter a relatively packed lower floor where there are 3 benches. This is where the darning will take place.
Because it is cold, I have been looking back to spring. Here is an image from my installation "Escape to the Country too" from Herkimer in Brooklyn in May. The work was part of the show Hair and Nails so lovingly brought from Minneapolis to Brooklyn. It was a fantastic show and I am so grateful to have been a part of it from a distance.
If you haven't yet visited Franconia Sculpture Park to see my latest work, make a visit! If you can't make it this month, no pressure, it will be up until September 2020 at least!
photo by Jaffa Aharonov
For those on the East Coast, I will be giving a talk on Weds Feb 20th at 6:30 at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown.
Ramstad’s talk considers the intimate collectivity of public bathrooms, domestic grooming implements, and archives of the body. He will discuss his work in the context of considering what it means to care, be cared for, and provide care and how institutions exhibit tenderness towards their public.
All readings and artist talks will be held in the Stanley Kunitz Common Room, and all exhibitions will be in the Hudson D. Walker Gallery unless otherwise noted. Both venues are located at 24 Pearl Street in Provincetown.
The Stanley Kunitz Common Room and the Hudson D. Walker Gallery are handicapped accessible. If you need assistance, please call the Fine Arts Work Center at 508-487-9960 ext. 101 in advance.
Juried by Nicole Soukup, this group show at Rosalux looks great. It is open from Dec 7th-Dec 30th. Come and see some art if you are in Minneapolis!
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