Letter from the Artist
I wanted to do a project about friendships, between women and queer people, especially. i want to help people tell their stories to unflatten the narrow narratives of what these relationships are like.
While I think a lot of us would say that the platonic relationships we have with other women influences us along without work, familial, and romantic lives, their place and representation in culture is shallow and inadequate. We don’t acknowledge the power that these relationships have over us, as individuals and collectively.
We don’t celebrate unions between friends and we don’t allow for the mourning of the dissolution of a friendship. There aren’t advice columns or conventions or language to talk about this kind of loss.
Friendship between women is only allowed to be a few things — perfect and pure or tense and brought. Only a couple emotions to choose form — envy, admiration, adoration, and resentment. We are meant to understand that conflicts can be resolved simply by applying more love and sticking together, unconditionally. We aren’t meant to be critical, only supportive, or risk being labelled as a woman hating woman.
Relationships between women friends must be chaste, with stark lines drawn. I want to complicate “platonic”, as a queer girl, and make room for eroticism and romance, abstractly in our friendships. Queerness colors every relationship we have.
We don’t have rituals that commit friends to each other. We don’t agree to take care of each other and establish rules for how to do so. We don’t start families and we don’t build homes and lives together.
The practices of friendship take place in secret, in quiet and in dark places where we can confide. They’re temporary places we create for the moment and take down in the daylight. The nostalgia of friendship is associated with sleepovers and secreting under trees, when we were young enough to prioritize these relationships and learn about ourselves in the reflection of other girls.
I wanted to call together a physical space to enter and dedicate to reflection on our relationships and the people we care about.
Materials: PVC pipe and connectors, spray paint, tracing paper, colored string lights, fake flowers, colored tapes, yarn, crepe paper, nylon cord, shower curtain, acrylic paint, laserjet printing on copy paper, lamp and light bulb, colored pencils, flashlights
The piece was installed and exhibited for the Yeah, That's What She Said 2016: Body of Work Pop-Up Show from October 21 to October 23, 2016 in Brooklyn, NY.