What is the end goal for you? When it is all said and done what is the legacy you hope to leave behind?
I just want to be a really good writer.
I don’t know if that is a legacy, but my interest is in language. (Laughs) First and foremost. And then after that being able to understand the world around me through art. That is the lens or frame that has been the most exciting to me to think about and to talk about with other people. Like, when you are able to come together and talk about art, the way things look, the way people do things. The way they move through the world. The way they repurpose what they see and do; I think that those conversations are always the most generative. So my end goal, or what I hope for, is to find space of ease and comfort with writing, but also with putting it out there, because that still feels like a struggle sometimes.
I am figuring out what I want to say and how I want to say it. It’s a constant process and I don’t know if there will be a day when I know exactly how to say what I want to say. I always trying to get better at refining my thinking and translating that into language. And I want the distance between those two, between thought and language, to get closer and closer. That is the end goal.
The thing that you want to say, is that clear right now? Or are you thinking about other things?
I am thinking about so many other things all the time. When I started writing about art in Montreal, I was writing for free for weeklys and blogs, and I was excited about art at the time. Over time I realized, “wait these are mostly white, mostly male artists that I am talking about.” There were women, and there were things that were cool. But most of the time the people that looked like me, or reflected the cultures that I [knew] from growing up as the daughter of black, feminist lesbians were not in the art spaces I was being sent to write about.
Trying to understand the ecology of an art world that would feel so comfortable leaving those voices, practices and people out was a big part of what I became interested in. That’s what fueled me. At that point it wasn’t even about writing all the time. It was like, “What the hell is going on? What is the art world? How do these things fit together?” Because I wanted to understand the larger context so that I can talk about the thing. The thing being the art or the practise. And I think over time that has shifted, because I figured out what I like and what I don’t like in certain artists’ practises.
I developed friendships with some arists and through our ongoing conversations where I learn and grow with them as they think through their sense of the world. They do it through material practice and I am doing that with writing. So I get to continue to think in conversation with people, which manifests as me doing a lot of interviews, and being involved with a lot of collaborations. So I write, but right now I’m also in a collective called Emilia-Amalia.
And I’m doing a couple things on the side. As long as I have been writing I have been involved with some kind of collective or collaboration at the same time and that has been just as important to me as doing my individual writing.