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September 2018

On Exhibit

· artmaking,connection,The Stay Project,resistance

Grace Yannotta

a list of things i cannot forget in the wake of the kavanaugh hearings

or: an ode to christine blasey-ford

  • i cannot forget the way my middle school counselor addressed the boys at my public school as the future heads of households while neglected to speak to the girls at all
  • their smiles were loose, and their eyes crinkled because they did not expect to hear anything less
  • i cannot forget the community of anger in these thirteen-year-old girls and how our fingers curled underneath our sweaters
  • it was wintertime, you see, and it was cold and there was no space for a male science teacher to tell my friend that her shorts were skanky, as he had before
  • we were thirteen
  • i was thirteen
  • upon meeting with said guidance counselor he asked me, ‘if your car broke down, would you expect your mother or your father to pull over and fix it?’
  • i said my mother, her father had taught her the intermediates when she was my age, so she would know
  • he smiled at me
  • i cannot forget the way his white teeth shone because i had not answered correctly and he expected nothing less his mind would not be changed
  • two years before on the school bus a boy grabbed his crotch and wiped it on my shirt
  • i had my earbuds in
  • i did not know what was going on
  • i cannot forget the way he called me a bitch and i cannot forget
  • how all i had done was sit there and exist
  • sit there and be a woman
  • a woman for the sake of their laughter
  • i cannot forget how i feel as if i am always a woman for the sake of someone else
  • my law teacher freshman year told us all he didn’t believe women should be able to serve in the military
  • “i could send my sons off any day, gladly. but if i had a daughter? i would never let her go. i couldn’t.”
  • i cannot forget the way they slaughtered hillary and the way they tore apart her pantsuits and her tight smiles and her age
  • i cannot forget the way she bore it
  • once again a woman for the sake of their laughter
  • with no choice otherwise i cannot forget it
  • the day before the 2016 election i asked a group of guy friends to stop using the c word around me because i didn’t like to hear it and i was effectively made the laughingstock and that was fine i didn’t have to be their friends anymore
  • i didn’t need to surround myself with that i have every right to my own comfort
  • i cannot forget the way one of them apologized, a smile tugging at the corner of his mouth
  • i did not believe it but somehow i managed to trust it
  • the day of the election i turned my phone on after lunch and
  • i cannot the way my phone vibrated in my hand, messages streaming in from a number i had never seen before, the way my heart crawled into my chest the way this number was telling me to kill myself for being a feminist that the way i am was because my father is not in my life that i am mentally challenged that i am a pawn to be laughed at that i am worth absolutely nothing
  • i remember calling my mother and begging her to pick me up from school because i could not continue to be here
  • i cannot forget his apology just twenty-four hours before
  • the boys told the administration later it was just meant to be a joke
  • something they could laugh at, i suppose
  • i cannot forget the way i justified it all to myself, that i would be able to walk into school the next morning and look them in the eyes knowing full-well there would be a female president-elect for the first time in history
  • i cannot forget the way hillary lost just hours later
  • i can never forget sometimes that i am a woman for the sake of their laughter
  •  “indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter”
  • “the uproarious laughter between the two and their having fun at my expense”

Christian Brown, Artist

In the spirit of resistance, The Stay Project is starting off (what for many) is the new school year with a large moment of procrastination. On the subject of process, it can be hard to begin, so sometimes we don't. Until we're ready. If we are. On the other hand, we can fancy ourselves disciplined practitioners of the processes that move us, as long as we get to define the terms. Stay also means to stop, to delay. Until we can get a grip, surely a luxury in our times.

Almost halfway in, we return to and pick up a conversation with artist Christian Brown, who is currently showing his work through September 29 at the Liberty Theater in Bend Oregon. Originally conceived as a readable interview, it is presented here in audio form--it's arguably too long, is accompanied by the clash and clang and buzz of a coffee shop, repeats at some point (for a minute), and reveals the interviewer's ingnorance of how to pronounce legendary actress and activist Cicely Tyson's name (Se-cily, not Sigh-slee). Conversation as process.

The Hidden Hypotenuse Interview

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