Sharon Arnold

To: Shaun Kardinal

RE: FWD

September 28, 2018 at 12:15 PM

Dear reader, 

What follows is a kind of thwarting, a feedback loop, a bounceback, a mailer-daemon. 

When artist Sean M. Johnson forwarded an email about Shaun Kardinal's FWD to me without explanation, I replied back asking "are you just letting me know about this, or are you saying I should do this?" He said, "I think you should do this." So I did. Or rather, I am; but with a mischievous twist: the curator, not in the habit of making or altering objects, will instead alter the idea itself and build a show-within-a-show. The repercussions being, an expansion that forever morphs FWD into perpetuity. I've chosen three artists for your review: Alex Britt, Monyee Chau, and Iain Magnum. Further curatorial statements and images attached to this email in the thread below. I hope you enjoy this subversion, itself a forwarding of the kind of games, shenanigans, subversion, and wordplay enjoyed between me and the progenitor of FWD, Shaun Kardinal. 

-- 
Sharon Arnold
Founder \ Curator
Bridge Productions



On Friday September 28 2018 at 12:15 AM Mail Delivery Subsystem <mailer-daemon@googlemail.com> wrote:
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---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Sharon Arnold <sharon@bridge.productions>
To: "Shaun Kardinal, Forward" <shaun@forward.re>
Date: Friday, September 28 2018 12:15 Subject: Re: FWD

Photographer Alex Britt creates work through the lens of identity, heritage, queerness, and beauty. My invitation to participate in FWD was in reflection of their emphasis on memory, reclaiming narratives, and establishing decolonial practices. Britt's past work includes a performance piece in which they used a hand-crocheted quilted shawl as a method to express their mixed/Nansemond heritage through the meticulous labor of textile work. This shawl was then used in a performance, in which Britt used white paint in an attempt to “whitewash” the colors and patterns of the material, addressing issues around Native, white-passing identity. The paint never fully covered the patterning of the quilt, thus demonstrating Britt’s duality. In FWD, Britt employs traditional beading and quilting techniques to assert indigeneity, transforming the former piece into one that separates images of cityscapes from landscapes over which they have declared THIS IS INDIGENOUS LAND in hand-sewn beads and thread. The use of Native beadwork and patterning leaves the depictions of colonial architecture covered in the armature of the stitches themselves, semi-obscuring their imagery and thus reinscribing and establishing contemporary Indigenous presence and narratives.  



---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Sharon Arnold <sharon@bridge.productions>
To: "Shaun Kardinal, Forward" <shaun@forward.re>
Date: Friday, September 28 2018 12:15 -0700
Subject: Re: FWD

Chinese-American artist Monyee Chau connects ideas of identity, appropriation, fetishization, empowerment, and autonomy through her multifaceted interdisciplinary practice. Given the construct of FWD, Chau's work has a direct correlation through her perspective and methods. Working across media, she incorporates traditional methods of storytelling alongside social engagement. Whether through the use of collaborative photography, found and altered objects, or immersive installation and social practice, Chau’s work encourages the viewer to participate in these conversations. For FWD, she's invited people of color to stab the artwork with a blade prior to its exhibition, with the intent to release suppressed anger around reductive racial violence. The knives are then marked with a tag citing the name and location, ie, ethnicity; and placed within the wooden case in a ritualistic act of emotional release. In the exhibition itself, visitors participate in this ritual by providing their own knife and tag to be left with the others. This symbolic act both acknowledges the daily violence of white supremacy upon marginalized people, and creates space for cathartic healing through shared experiences.  



---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Sharon Arnold <sharon@bridge.productions>
To: "Shaun Kardinal, Forward" <shaun@forward.re>
Date: Friday, September 28 2018 12:15 -0700
Subject: Re: FWD

Photographer Iain Mangum’s process is one of catalyst and circumstance, combining analogue and digital processes to explore and invite the “failures” within them. Exploring ideas of preservation, degradation, and entropy, Mangum toys with our desire to preserve and protect our nostalgia through the precious nature of photos. Given the precious nature of postcards, which most often use photography as a way to convey a sense of longing or sentimentality, Mangum was clearly a candidate for FWD’s missive. For his piece, Mangum glued small sections of postcards to the surface of repurposed 35mm color film slides which he recovered from a house slated for demolition. He then sanded the pieces until they become transparent. This composite imagery, often incorporating the text of the piece, creates a sense of confusion and temporary displacement — the precise opposite of the purpose of a postcard, made for the express purpose of location. In thwarting our desire to avert loss through the use of a capture, Mangum provokes a sense of mystery to captivate the viewer instead; catapulting us away from familiar terrain to locate us in entirely new surroundings.