December 2020: May 2020 take all its grief and anguish with it...

End note for a surreal year.....

Here we are- the end of a year - of trauma and loss, hope and courage, reflection and discovery. Tasked with an accountability to our own interiority, we smash up against aspirations and limitations. We grieve the loss of so many things, travel to visit loved ones, singing together, shaking a hand, the touch of skin, the closeness of breath- hugs. Laughing over food lovingly prepared, fork reaching over plate to share a mouthful. We now tend to the fraught-ness in the daily-ness.

To make art reflects an interiority incapable of being contained, an inescapable desire that spills over from within us. The tears of the joy and the anger and the loss, the sweat of the grief, the fury of living - are too big for our insides and pour out of us as objects. It can be thrilling, this porousness, and also frightening, close to a dissolving of the space between an us and a them, between my interiority and yours. Artworks are expressions of our particularity, objects of mourning and celebration, of thinking and contemplation and of unadulterated feeling. They are ours and not ours, they are relational, set afloat into a world of their own making. Standing in front of a work of art, I am bound to another’s interiority, an intimacy embodied in an object. The separation between us and another, between us and the world, becomes fungible, even as we remain physically separate. An encounter with an artwork is an act of empathy - for the artist, the viewer, and for the artwork.

The theme of the first Crit Lab AltMFA was radical listening - as a choice and a stance, one that remains present in that excess of interiority. As 2020 rounds, this listening speaks to a yearning and a hope for our objects and for our communities. I have been humbled and honored by the generous spirit of the artists I've worked with this year, and hope to expand a practice of radical listening in the new year.

May you and yours be safe and healthy, and your holidays filled with love, through the people and the art that feed your soul.

patricia miranda, 2020

image: my interiority facing the street. 

Lamentations for a Reasoned History, Main Window DUMBO