Call and Response: Collaboration at a Distance Round 4
“Call and Response” is a project organized by Kristine Schomaker, Sheli Silverio, S. Vollie Osborn, Emily Wiseman and Susan T. Kurland of Shoebox PR/Art and Cake.
Drawing on the tradition of Jazz and Exquisite Corpse, this project is meant as a way for us to stay connected, to check in with each other and to support each other. This is collaboration at a distance.
Please join us for the opening reception of the online exhibition via zoom Saturday July 5th, 3-5pm.
Featured Artists: Aazam Irilian/Meaghan Miller Lopez, Ada Pullini Brown/Joy Ray, Alyssa Ravenwood/RT Livingston, Amanda Moser?Ciara Heatherman, Angela Brooks/Laura Henneforth, Anita Sinclair/Courtney Colgan, Ann Storc/Corinne Lightweaver, Bibi Davidson/Catherine W Singer, Brenda Oelbaum/Adrienne Cole, Candace Compton Pappas/Alex Smith, Cathy Immordino/Michele Mekel, Coleman Griffith/Kazmier Maslanka, Conchi Sanford/Pascha Goodwin, Dellis Frank/Monica Rickler Marks, Elisabeth Lafolye-Acogny/Rocio G Montiel, Ellen Friedlander/Faina Kumpan, Eva-Marie, Amiya/Kimberlee Koym-Murteira, Fred Miller/Robert Soffian, Genie Davis/Liliana Hueso, Hannah, Lansburgh/Rain Lucien Matheke, Ibuki Kuramochi/Pau Gold, Joe Price/Nurit Avesar, julia hays/Yvonne Jongeling, June Stoddard/Muskaan Chaudhary, Kerrie Smith/Jason Jenn, Kerry Kugelman/britta k, Kristine Augustyn/Anne M Bray, Kristine Schomaker/Steve Dilley, Leslie Pierce/Adeola Davies-Aiyeloja, Lina Kogan/Dwora Fried, Lorraine Bubar/Jacqueline Bell Johnson, Maria Sathaliya/Maria Bjorkdahl, Marta Feinstein/Madeline Arnault, Martin Cox/Francisco Alvarado, Mary Sherwood Brock/Galina Kovshilovsky,
Natasha Rudenko/Jen Snoeyink, Rachel Finkelstein/T. Chick McClure, Rachel Gibas/Jody Zellen, Sarah D. Haskell/Bonnie Blake, Shelley Heffler/julia gruberg, Susan Karhroody/Sarah Lofthouse, Tamara Tolkin/Natalia Kyriakopoulos
Aazam Irilian and Meaghan Miller Lopez
Alyssa Ravenwood and RT Livingston
5 Alyssa Ravenwood
Ce n’est pas de l’art
This is not art. Art is subtle. Art has grace.
Sometimes grace is not what I need.
Sometimes I need a sledgehammer.
We Are One = Erasure
We Are One is an erasure of marginalized people’s experiences in America
It is a convenient phrase. Colorblind racism is subtle. It seems to be non-racial.
Here is the reveal. In my experience, the only people who say We Are One are white.
We Are One is the white liberal’s version of All Lives Matter
I am white. My model Rebecca is black.
Her American experience is not the same as my American experience.
She has to deal with shit every day that I will never have to deal with.
We Are One is an easy thing to say.
It makes you feel like you have addressed the whole racism thing.
It makes you feel like you know what you believe.
That you don’t have to listen and learn.
What is not easy to say is, I am a racist. I am racist because I am a white American.
I have benefited my whole life from living in a society that prioritizes and rewards
From cradle to grave, white people will benefit from living in a racist society.
Which makes us racist.
Own it. Don’t get defensive.
I can support black lives matter. I can have black friends.
It does not change the fact that I cannot know how many times a day
black people have to deal with racism and what that feels like.
Lose the image you have that the only racists are tiki-torch wielding, red hat, neo-nazis.
There is no black person in America who thinks those people are the only racists here.
People who are allies and friends can be blind to their own racist actions. We Are One appears on the surface to be a statement that promotes a colorblind, equal society. We Are One is a damaging statement because it ignores the structural racism in America that white people benefit from. Even white people who are trying not to be racist benefit from racism. We Are One is a damaging statement because it ignores the experiences of black people.
Listen to the stories of marginalized people and believe them.
Then work hard to make our country less biased.
Take the responsibility to educate yourself and do better.
Our friends with melanin are sick and tired of trying to explain racism to us.
- Alyssa Ravenwood, 2020
In response to a work that responded to my photograph of a black dancer, “Strong Woman” by erasing her face and saying, “We are black, we are white, we are red, we are yellow, we are red, we are blue, cuz we can’t see we are one.”
6 RT Livingston
DIALECTIC about THE PHRASE WE ARE ONE
call & response 4
A response to my videos being called racist:
None of us can escape the deep roots that racism has inflicted upon us. I was born into a racist society. I own that. To say that I am not a part of systemic racism would be folly. If we don’t own it we will not overcome it.
I weep each day reading and watching the terrifying accounts of how innocent African-Americans are forced to negotiate their lives in order to remain safe in our society. The marginalization of any person, regardless of race, creed or gender keeps us in a holding pattern of distrust and suspicion.
The phrase ‘we are one’ is not hate speech. I ask that you open your mind to the words themselves: we are one. We are one human race and unless we can own that we are in serious trouble. It is imperative that we honor and respect every human being. This does not denigrate African-Americans or anyone with melanin in their skin. If anything it’s a wake up call to white America to face the scourge of racism straight on: to own our part in its perpetuation. To end it.
Words matter. Our first amendments rights are at stake. Once we start telling people what we can and cannot say, because of the listener’s specific ideology, whatever that may be, then we put ourselves in a downward spiral, one that leads to yet another form of intolerance and unintended consequences.
Translating sincere intentions and innocent words into shaming one another does not advance the cause. It only
serves to put a wedge between allies. Let’s not call good words bad.
From my point of view, the larger issue here has to do with
humanity and freedom. None of us is free as long as our societies harbor racist feelings.
I am an environmentalist. Climate change is an existential threat to the survival of the human race. Racism or the existential threat of climate change will not be solved until we come together. Coming together as one is painful because we must acknowledge the deep-rooted racism that exists within our cultures and ourselves.
Let’s keep our minds open.
My first video WE ARE BLUE uses the old tropes of color to make a poetic point about being sad that we can’t see we are one.
In my second video, NO MORE, the original tag line
WE ARE ONE has been replaced by the word SOLIDARITY.
Amanda Moser and Ciara Heatherman
Angela Brooks and Laura Henneforth
Ann Storc and Corinne Lightweaver
Bibi Davidson and Cathy Singer
Brenda Oelbaum and Adrienne Cole
Candace Comptom Pappas and Kelsey Smith
Coleman Griffith and Kaz Maslanka
Kaz Maslanska – A Cognitive View of Poetic Metaphor in Pandemic Meditations