OPEN STUDIO: ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE

AUG 11 to SEPT 14, 2019

ABOUT THE ARTISTS / GESIG ISAAC + JAMIE ROSS

Gesig Isaac is a multidisciplinary Mi’gmaq artist from Listuguj First Nation. Her work focuses on the themes of cultural reclamation through intergenerational transmission of traditional craft. She hopes to build an artist-centred community that is invested in passing on knowledge while also experimenting with contemporary mediums. Her work is centred around plants and the natural world. She has studied plant medicine both formally and informally and hopes to investigate further the narrative potential between her knowledge and plants and her artistic practice. Gesig lives in Fredericton.

Jamie Ross is a contemporary artist, diviner and witch. His award-winning video works have screened on four continents. He works as a professional card diviner, a consulting spellworker and as the chaplain for men incarcerated in federal prisons in Quebec. Creating and documenting queer community based on a sincere engagement with magic, grafting himself onto the rich artistic traditions of his cultural and biological ancestors is fundamental. He lives in Tiohtià:ke / Mooniyang (Montreal).

Jamieross.org

STUDIO VIEWS 

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WORK

TEXT / BY AISHA SASHA JOHN

2 Future Toxic
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WORKSHOP  

ARTIST TALK

Something about violets Jamie said, grief support

 

Bitter-tasting they were, and on brie, which today I do not

Even and picked from a cemetery 

And the sky was made of them

And all the stars 

Were just like              You should learn when to go

The One With Violets In Her Lap 

by Aisha Sasha John:

A manuscript 

I never published

& thought 

Was about sexual violence also I didn’t think—listen:

I am supposed to take the laptop into the bedroom and

The lemon-wedged shaped floor cushion 

From the living room Zoom studio back 

To its place beside my bed where the light 

Pours in salmon

For zazen

TO EXPERIENCE SADNESS AS ITSELF, I wrote 

 

FOUR A.M. ARUGULA

 

THIRTY TWO PERCENT TONIGHT

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In a famous episode from the history of psychoanalysis, Wilfred Bion took his analysand Samuel Beckett to a talk by Carl Jung. The latter referred to a woman patient of his who felt she had never been born. Beckett turned to Bion and exclaimed: “That’s me!” 

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Phytoremediation

 

Bracket huh

 

Toxic soil/ ok

 

And yeah

 

They were spicy

 

Like house fraught langue bear

 

Dappling 

 

Or what you would call the action of leaves

 

As the wind is known 

 

Lilac, dead and diminishing perfume

 

I have ripped them from their branches

 

The permission 

 

For me the question of curse is why 

 

A tangled, humping cedar and dry

 

And is that sage on velvet?

 

Peeling paint: are drawn people Dutch?

 

This is purple

 

 

And that is grey

 

This is lilac

 

And that is slate

 

Ultimately it is

 

It is separate

__

 

I was told you could right someone’s name on a piece of paper and put it in the freezer

 

We are talking about                 

 

And all the stars were just like little fish 

 

You should, yes, learn 

 

But how did they get crossed?

 

A person guides five trunks into the shape of persons roiling

 

Now let’s talk about that dog: “I eat Dutch children”

 

I told Alexa I refuse to learn a single other European language least of all the goofy ones

 

Okay, brine. Okay three stunts I mean stumps

 

Speaking of grief who cut them?

 

And why is the tree so dry?

__

 

Winnicott makes similar reference to a woman analysand “near to the end of a long analysis”: “She contains no true experiences,” he writes, “She has no past. She starts with 50 years of wasted life, but at last she feels real, and therefore she now wants to live.”

__

 

A teaching which Reb Zale translated into this image: “You think it is the bird which is free. Wrong:  it is the flower.” And Reb Elat into this motto: “Love your ties to their last splendor, and you will be free.”

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The last time I was flowered I got cut

 

I guess I have to find what is hidden pertaining to housekeeping and dance

And that I asked and asked and asked

That I went into the wilderness alone and both of you were seeing me there

And both of you were watching me in the wilderness

As a centaur it is painful to be witnessed feeding 

Or wanting to eat

Beeswax oozing   past an untended edge

To risk extra words in my aphorism

 

The anthropologist vs the ethnobotanist

Which white man is more annoying

 

Spelling ayahuasca

 

He purged purple phosphorous and scorpions

 

Imbibe ward provide protect 

There definitely has to be a drum

There has to be, there has to be, there has to be a drum

 

Like how you hold your carpet

Curled into itself in a turquoise tarp

I think you could go and

You could go and look 

At that 

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We decided against a curse.

 

In the bowl, it's Gesig's hands. With the seeds, it's my hands. 

 

We created a spell with plants for wakefulness and truthtelling -- things that were common like mint and coffee were some of the ingredients as well as things a little less common.

 

We stuffed little handfuls of our powder under carpets in his hotel.

 

That's an old cedar that was planted by William Cornelius van Horne on his cottage island which is now a bad museum to his "legacy."

 

Instead, we wanted to apply a wakefulness or a truth serum to the strange buildings so they would do the talking --

 

A British adage: "She who cannot curse, cannot cure; she who cannot hex, cannot heal."