她用布料编织疼痛 | Taylor Simone 「艺术访谈」
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In the end, we choose to make peace with our grief rather than forget it. For the things that have made me sad are the things that I love the most. - ZhanQingYun
Sadness is a way to reinvent ourselves and the reason for being sad pushes everyone in a different direction. In the process we detach ourselves from our emotions, we begin to constantly reorganize our thinking, we understand the cause of our anger, and finally struggle to reconcile and accept ourselves. It's not a single process, it's repeated.
We invited Taylor Simone to join us in MUYA to talk about the lack of space to deal with grief and what comes out of it in a state of constant fragmentation and in a dominant culture.
Taylor Simone是来自底特律大都会的跨学科艺术家，居住在俄亥俄州托莱多市。2015年获得东密歇根大学平面设计专业学士学位，2019年获得弗吉尼亚联邦大学视觉传达专业硕士学位。她的实践集中在空间制造上。Taylor是出Exodus: School of expression的创始人，目前任教于鲍灵格林州立大学。
Taylor Simone is an interdisciplinary artist from Metro Detroit and resides in Toledo, Ohio. She received her BFA in Graphic Design from Eastern Michigan University in 2015 and her MFA in Visual Communication from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2019. Her practice centralizes around space making. Taylor is the found of Exodus: School of expression and currently teaches at Bowling Green State University.
Grief can be understood as a process of relearning one’s sense of self after a loss has occurred. Interpretations of grief often sit in relation to the passing of loved ones while denying the complexity of what can be lost. Within a society that relies heavily on domination, loss is positioned as an inherent constant that many navigate daily.
Within my current body of work, Gardens of Grief, I explore grief as a continuum. I lean into this constant fragmentation as a place of triumph, rebirth, and space for ancestral knowledge to pour through. Within these explorations, I investigate the lack of space to process grief in a culture of domination and the things that grow from it.
Each piece functions as a capsule that captures the many facades of loss. They hold paralyzing tides of pain, sadness, anger, and acceptance. The triumph of surrendering to the abstraction of self-ties back to visual abstraction traditions within the African-Diaspora. There is strength to pull our collective understanding of abstraction as a means of capturing both the representative and spiritual.
➤ 木牙MUYA: Taylor大部分作品都是由布制作而成。您能和我们分享下您的材料研究的相关经历吗？这个材料与您谈及的文化词汇 – 非裔（African-Diaspora）的相关性是怎样的？
Most of Taylor's works are produced by fabric. Could you share with us some of your material research experience? How does this material connected or related with the culture term you mentioned – African-Diaspora?
There’s a beauty I see in burlap. Its texture and the plant-like qualities it carries from its time before functioning as capital. It reflects back to me, through its gridded structure, a way that it's being suspended within capitalism. It also reflects back to me an aura of resilience. I began working with burlap because I had an affinity for it. In hindsight, I can now understand the ways that I saw myself in the material.
It rings truth into my experience of black womanhood and other interconnected facades of my experience. It currently functions as an extension of self in my practice. I’ve spent a lot of time unweaving and deconstructing. I find hope in pulling individual threads from the grid. My latest body of work has allowed me to push deconstruction into a space of disruption. When stiffening the burlap, I am working with, I am thinking of ripples and events, such as loss, that warp the planes of the grid.
➤ 木牙MUYA: 在你的实践中，你希望强调和讨论的关于非洲侨民文化的什么?
What do you wish to highlight and discuss about the culture - African-Diaspora in your practices?
In terms of my visual and writing practice, abstraction has always been at the core of my work, and just recently, I have been thinking about legacies of abstraction. The ways that abstraction, as a black tradition, has been used to capture both what we see and do not see. I am still at the start of tying these thoughts to research. The idea of capturing the unseen has always rung true to me but, in my past work, it was solely placed concerning trauma or that’s all that I was seeing in it. Now my lens is expanding to capture, interpret and decipher all the things coming through and I cannot disconnect that from tradition.
Space making/ Organizing is also a part of my practice. I am starting to understand abstraction’s role within the work of envisioning, restructuring, and speculation. This speaks more directly to marginalized communities as a whole.
➤ 木牙MUYA: Gardens of Grief 是一个非常美丽的项目。当您在布上绘制图案的时候，您是如何思考材料语言和您的绘画语言之间的相互演绎？
Gardens of Grief is a really pretty project. When you were drawing patterns on the fabric, how do you think about the interpretation between material language and your drawing?
Intuition is a big part of my practice. When I am in my studio and working with materials, it becomes a cathartic way of gaining understanding. Like I said earlier, I look at burlap as an extension of self. I think about what it can hold. An interesting thing about the fabric is that you don’t just paint on top of it, the paint in some ways binds with the threads.
This also is the same for the process of stiffening the fabric, the glue seals but, also is absorbed. When I am pulling threads from its grid, the individual fibers start to separate and shed. There’s something about the transformation that calls back to the hope I feel in deconstructing and disrupting. The figures I paint are in a state of transformation and the material itself has experienced it on some level. I believe there’s a beauty in this language. Things appear like they are coming together and falling apart. That’s a sweet spot. I deeply resonate that state of being and how it comes through visually.
➤ 木牙MUYA: Taylor作品中只用到了黄，橙，红，黑。可以详细的解释一下为什么使用这几个颜色的原因吗？
In Taylor's work only use yellow, orange, red, and black. Could you explain in detail why these colors?
I recently came out of a period of using a limited color pallet of red, black, and white. In a way, this color palette paralleled a period of nihilism and limited scope of trauma. All I saw was the pain and the vast nature of the system of domination I was researching.
Within my new work, I wanted to make sure that a sense of triumph came through because grief and trauma don’t just house pain. So, yellow, orange, and red are my way of addressing that. They represent the things not so easily seen during the metamorphosis of grief like ancestral knowledge, triumph, the strength of legacy, and time. When choosing these colors, I wanted to just expand upon the red. There’s something fleshy about red, so orange and yellow function as a gradient from the psychical to meta psychical.
➤ 木牙MUYA: 部分作品被钉在墙上展示。在您布置和展示过程中，您是如何思考通过展示的方式转化或反应Gardens of Grief 的作品概念的呢？
Some of the pieces are pinned on the wall. How do you consider the way of installation shifts or reflects the concept of Gardens of Grief?
When I am in my studio surrounded by work, each piece feels like its living or like its holding energy. I think often about the ways the gallery deactivates work. I’ve created somewhat of a ritual for installation. I use three nails for each piece (past, present, future). I wrap them in threads that have been pulled from the pieces. I think it’s mostly for me but, it’s an act of magic, protection, and activation of the space. Shadows are important in the same ways. They illuminate the grid from a perspective that usually is unseen. I am not sure haunting is the best word to describe the tone of the shadows but, it’s what comes to mind. They are like bridges similar to the gradients of color.
➤ 木牙MUYA: 悲伤、痛苦、愤怒和接受的麻痹浪潮都是一种情绪，Taylor如何理解作品和情感之间的关系呢？这种情感是来自于作品本身还是创作者？
Sadness, pain, anger, and the paralyzing wave of acceptance they are emotions. How does Taylor understand the relationship between works and emotions? Does emotions from work itself or from the creator?
I used to run from the ways that my emotions showed up in the work. ‘Gardens of Grief’ has marked a timescape, that I am still in, of making space for those feelings. I am not sure why I thought I had to separate my individual experience from the ways I was trying to explore larger systems. I think I saw my work as an escape. Now I see it as a path through. Before there were gaps in my work and it's starting to feel whole. The emotions come from me but, they are a product of the sociopolitical. So, by holding space for my grief, I am also creating space to critique. I still want to push that intersection and I hope it shines through.
➤ 木牙MUYA: 我们听说Taylor正在创始一所艺术学校 – Exodus School of expression。这是一个令人兴奋的工程。您能和我们分享下推动您或启发您来创建学校的初衷是怎样的呢？
We heard Taylor is currently funding Exodus School of expression. That’s really an exciting project. Could you share with us some experience about what inspires or push you to work on this?
It is exciting! This idea came to me a year ago out of frustration and has grown into something beautiful. I have a lot of thoughts and things pushing me but, I think at the core of it is impatience. Within my educational experiences from student to educator, I have found a lack of safety in the overall structure.
A lot of universities are having conversations around diversity and at the end of my first year of teaching, I found myself asking how long I will be willing to wait. I was also hearing similar sentiments from others. Then the question became if it’s not academia, then where? So, I’ve been motivated to think about the where and about how to decentralize that power. It’s not a new idea. Its unique, in ways to my prospective, but there’s a history of alternative schools in United States. Especially in the African American community. I feel it’s important to say that.
➤ 木牙MUYA: 作为艺术家，你最想告诉普通公众什么？除了工作之外，Taylor 平时是如何规划自己的工作时间的？
As an artist, what do you wish to tell / show to the public? In addition to work, how does Taylor plan your daily schedule especially in balancing the work and art creation?
That is a big question, and I am not sure if I have the answer to it right now. I hope that the way I move can show someone else an alternative way of navigating. I would love to inspire people the same way, one of my mentors, Wesley Taylor inspired me. A part of that way of navigating is feeling the pressure to constantly be producing or grinding but not giving in to that pressure. My daily schedule shift but, I try to keep taking care of myself at the core. On a perfect day, I have a slow morning. I usually teach a class or two but, carve out space for passion projects. That means an hour or two for Exodus and/or an hour of something creative. I don’t work or take calls after 8:00 p.m.. I may draw to help with processing and letting go of information. Anxiety is a thing so I try to meditate once to three times a day. On a not-so-perfect day, I am all over the place.
✯ Which inspire your works most ✯
“Round and round I seem to go / always had the antidote / looking for the Holy Ghost / Found him in the missing note / sinking in a holy boat / Round and round” - Erykah Badu’s song Out My Mind Just In Time
✤ Taylor Simone网站（Taylor Simone Website)
✤ INS(instagram): @taytay.simone
✤ 邮箱（Contact Email): Taylorssign@gmail.com