Where did it all begin? I've been working on it really hard all week, but its been in development for years. The pieces of this I am not too embarrassed to speak of... Firstly, Fear: I found another lump-like area, next-door neighbors with the unholy disaster that is my bodily downstairs trouble zone. And it hurts. I gave it a few days during which it decided to hurt more. Saw the Butcher today. And it was as I feared, a new infection. More antiobiotics, and tomorrow, another MRI and going back to the Butcher on Monday. This means again having to push up that Fix Date probably months more. He also said he might take me to the OR to put a new drain in that wouldn't randomly slice me. A fluffy rubber one. As in another trip to the hospital more before getting fixed. Remind me, if you would be so kind, how close were we to Better?
Not close enough.
ingress © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.
The second thing that happened we will just refer to as Rejection and not get into that any further. Oh it was fun, trust me. But it did have a sliver of silver lining after all was said and done.
box shaped heart © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.
And yesterday, came Loss. Back in November, I had planned to meet with the gallery director where I was to have my show in April, but had to cancel as I ended up at the hospital that day and got some bad news that put my mind elsewhere. Then my health, relationship and life in general started to slowly fall apart. And I neglected to make another appointment. So sometime back in December my slot was given away. And yesterday, I gave a shout out to the gallery only to find many months too late, I had forfeited my spot. It was the one thing I was looking forward to, despite the lack of funding and qualms I still had about presentation. There is a sliver of a sliver of a chance I could get a summer session show but I have to work up the nerve to actually face the director now that she thinks I am a deplorable slacker. I think this means the constructs are looking for a new venue. Possibly NYC.
Into this already fairly unpalatable mix let me toss the odd element. I was asked many months ago to judge a photography competition held by the Jewish Camera Club of Philadelphia. Last night was the magic night. Made my way into the bowels of the Jewish Community Center in Bustleton, with a woman from the club who first off noted I was the youngest judge they ever had... and asked if I was still in school? When we got to the meeting I realized I was the not just kinda young... but younger than anyone there by a solid 30-50 years. Everyone was pleasant despite the fact that most of them had just heard about the loss of one of the club members.
spectator © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.
The president informed me that I would be giving a short critique to each of the entries from all three categories, color, black and white, and slides. The categories alone made me feel like a babe in the woods. But handing a critique out to people I have never met and who likely have grandchildren older than me... yeah. At the very least it took my mind off the Ugly Other Things for a couple of hours. There weren't a great deal of entries, and it was certainly an eclectic mix. There were a few pieces that when asked to give critique truly made me panic...sending me to... what on earth can I say about this? Which mostly just produced a long uhhhhhhh sound until something popped out.
the reformation © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.
I've not given critique on anything since college, and it was never my favorite thing to do. At risk of sounds like a pompous-ass, I'm not even much interested in hearing most critiques, unless it is someone I trust and respect creatively giving the critique and I am more interested in hearing about editing a body of work for a specific purpose, rather than my technical skills or ability to compose a shot.
After the category competition results were given out, I announced best in show: a color slide of a very abstract shot of a flamingo... it looked a lot like this shot. I have a soft spot for flamingos, I couldn't resist. (closeted nature photographer). And quite a few people, including the president came up to me and told me I was probably the best judge they'd ever had, and how they were so thankful to get a good critique for once. It was so unexpected and rather nice... especially as an outsider... and as some kid they pulled off the street whose work they had never even seen. Some of them even hit me up for design work. They want me to come back next year. Nutty.
I've rewritten this blog post three times in as many days. The onslaught of stuff this week was just too endless to simply sweep so much under the carpet and jaw on about my daytrip to NYC with some friends and seeing an amazing show and not being able to move the next day. But I did that too.
backwords © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.
Shanners, her fiancé Josh, her coworker Susan and I all met up in Conshohocken in the morning mist last Saturday to drive up to Trenton to catch a train to Manhattan. The city met us with flurries and gray skies. The MOMA gave us shelter briefly... I had to see the Helvetica "show" which I must admit was hugely underwhelming, though the Philip Johnson Design & Architecture Gallery on the whole was probably my favorite part of the whole museum. Helvetica stuffed into a corner! This should not be! Before we got much further, the collective blood sugar started to drop and we went to our lunch destination, Serendipity 3. Now whatever you've heard or thought about the place... wild desire to have a Frozen Hot Chocolate... etc. Just don't do it. We were ignored for 15 minutes. We all had burgers... which took an hour to come out. Which were tiny. And then dessert took quite some time to materialize as well. Its hugeness took some time to consume. By which time two hours had passed. And the only really entertaining thing going for the place was the chance seating next to a woman who had massive unfettered breasts... who ordered for lunch the biggest hot dog I had ever seen in my life. Larger than my forearm. Pornographic. And talked about Celine Dion and how great it was that the Chinese can accomplish so much more work because they don't worry about human rights violations.
ripple © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.
After that display, I attempted to make a run for the more subtle land of Brooklyn to meet up with my long-time-no-see friend and phenomenal photographer, Bernie DeChant. Attempted as in directing me to his place, he took me 17 blocks out of my way... though I have to give him some credit, he had been barely sleeping for the past week in order to get his online store up and running to coincide with the printing of an interview in the NY Times and the final days of the show he had hanging in the Fall Cafe in Carroll Gardens.... he still can't read a map for shit.
water nymph © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.
We swapped framing and printing tales, checked said (beautiful) show and then our friend Ranjit and his tiny-faced puff Samson summoned us to Prospect Park for a subzero park stroll. Once Bernie lost all sensation in his feet, we parted way with Ranjit, puff and Brooklyn and headed to Union Square, racing against the clock to fit in a spot of dinner before we lost ourselves in Fuerzabruta.
release © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.
In his still-fresh nyc-naïvetè, Bernie thought I was taking him to some Broadway Musical. Though I am not sure why he would come willingly under that assumption, I will not question that. We arrived in the theater in near darkness, as it was when I saw De La Guarda... completely seatless. I thought it best not to divulge the secrets of the show to him and just let him get wrapped up in it. The performance and audience share the same space and it is in constant flux throughout the hour-long show. There is no stage per se. There is a massive conveyor belt, exploding walls, people on bungee cords, stairways to nowhere, massive, metallic vertically-rotating sails from which people were suspended, a 30-foot high curtain drawn around the audience with dancers throwing themselves at the wall it created, a tiny pool suspended from the ceiling to which a man was bolted while a dancer wriggled inside it, and of course, a massive 45-foot clear-bottom pool suspended over the audience filled with water into which dancers threw themselves, as though it were a massive slip and slide... grazing the heads of taller members of the audience... while dance-y world-y techno-y music throbbed on. It was every bit as thrilling, gutsy, and erotic as I had expected it to be and then some. And I think Bernie's mind was blown a little. As it should be.
skindiver © Laura Kicey. All Rights Reserved.
Made me miss nyc just a little, totally unexpected, bit. I can turn my back on that place, but I won't close my eyes to it entirely...
This weekend I'm going to do my best to a. not strain myself b. get out of the damn house c. avoid scheduling my disappointments back to back like I did this week. Fingers crossed that I 'pass' my MRI tomorrow. Nothing quite as much fun as sitting in the tiny deafening tube for your lunch hour. Oh and if you haven't already, go visit my etsy shop, sales are flagging and we can't have that!