I haven’t had a dedicated exhibit in Atlanta since 1994, a group show at Nexus Contemporary Art Center. Outside of a couple of recent offers I haven’t seen fit to show my work there since.
I suppose off hand it has something to do with the closeness of the myths I’m trying to expose, exorcise, and engage with. Somehow the irony and darkness in my work is directly engaged with my memory and experience of the place in a way that leaves me vulnerable to bitterness -and my feeling is the work tends to be read as biography rather than critique.
I’m part of a continuum there, my dad has an artistic and family legacy there. When art folks want to engage with me professionally they (sometimes) call him first. It’s problematic, familial, innocently sexist, I have run away from it and run still.
I say all this to clarify some misquotes in a recent Guardian article about my current London show at Victoria Miro Gallery. What I intended to say is that I felt I needed to run all the way to London to speak directly to my foster hometown.
“The South” is too broad a swath of America to really grasp. And I only really mean Georgia when I use the term. I have had a major survey of my work in Texas (where I also spoke to a wildly diverse audience), and have shown in Tennessee and North Carolina and Missouri (is that the South?) to name a few states.
Maybe I am being defensive for no reason, I feel it’s important to make myself clear and I hate being in a muddle, although if you have taken a look at my work you might think otherwise.
Muddles, quagmires, conundrums, puns, riddles and rage figure prominently in the new work.