EXIT THROUGH THE SIDEWAYS DOOR:
(A COLLECTION OF) ECSTASIES & ESCAPE ROUTES
“They had to be reminded of the moving bodies they wore, so seductive were the live ones below”
- Toni Morrison
Welcome to the newest issue of The Loculus Journal! This issue contains fourteen international contributions. Ten were curated from an open call put forth last fall. Four were commissioned from guest editors. When we started LOCULUS almost six years ago, our print journals were curated entirely from within our local Western Mass community. Moving the journal online allowed for an expansion of contexts, practices, and places. Rather than the journals being centered around the dialogue happening within one community, the journal has grown to contain a multiplicity of perspectives.
As the scope of the journal has grown, we wanted to create more lasting ties with the communities we were interacting with and didn’t want to lose the intimate nature of collaboration. In an effort to maintain that, we invited three of the contributors from last year’s journal, map of slight askew, back as guest editors. Wezile Mgibe, Kendall Loyer, and Mauriah Donegan Kraker were each asked to contribute something that they made in collaboration with artists working within their own communities. Their projects were workshopped as a cohort over the course of several months. Wezile, based in South Africa, took the opportunity to explore the creative processes of three other South African dance makers resulting in a series of interviews and thoughts titled “A Work In Progress is a Performance.” Kendall continued her work exploring family histories and care, themes that were present in her submission to map of slight askew, by interviewing her mother Susan Loyer. “Home Love” is an offering of stories, photographs, and recipes. Mauriah also chose to continue expanding on the walking practice she shared in map of slight askew, inviting two additional practitioners. They engaged in these walking practices across distance through phone calls and email exchanges to develop “Scores for Listening.”
In this moment as the world is contending with white supremacy and unsettling power structures made extremely visible by the global pandemic, the Black Lives Matter uprising in the United States, and its echoes and reverberations internationally our priority is addressing these overlapping issues in how we create a journal. With that priority in mind we felt it was important to shift some of the curatorial power from ourselves and invited a third reader into our selection process. We were honored to work with k. funmilayo aileru in this capacity. Their work as a thinker and maker is at the intersection of embodiment, technology, and histor(ies) -- themes that were present in our open call. In addition to their curatorial efforts, they created “current,” a digital diptych for inclusion in SIDEWAYS DOOR.
The call for work that we put forth in the fall was intentionally non-linear and visual rather than literary. It contained a series of interconnected lists (cycles, if you will) -- lists of intersectional theories, forms, practices: (im)possible futures, traces, subversions. These lists, and the practice of conceptualizing work in this way, is central to the curation of SIDEWAYS DOOR.
These works oscillate between formal and abstract, they shift between forms, and intersect to illuminate each other's identity--whether that be the dissolution of identity or how identity is informed in a time of surveillance and increased technology. How do certain identities become refracted, the site of discourse and exaggeration--creating the need for intervention? Ellen French, in her writing about the “hyper-real Indian”, conceives of “the hyper-real body [as] a site of information, conquest, death, memory, and catharsis”. Hyper-reality, in her work, is linked to the traumatic absence of certain bodies, languages, and lands and the creation of hollow images and representations in their place. In that erasure, distortion, and exaggeration which bodies are absent from the archive? How can we build our own archive? A queer, futuristic one comprised of fragments of the past, dreams, re-imaginings. Fantasies, interruptions, and decay. Interruptions that challenge the limitations of the current landscape, that step outside of linear time. The body is a living archive always being choreographed by history and influence. The body works in ways that are spiralic--returning again and again: transformed, decomposed, reorganized. These works and our interaction/relation/encounter with them work much in the same way: “All that you touch you change, All that you change changes you” (Octavia Butler).
A couple of notes on how to find your way through EXIT THROUGH THE SIDEWAYS DOOR: (A COLLECTION OF) ECSTASIES & ESCAPE ROUTES
In order to have the intended experience with SIDEWAYS DOOR, we recommend viewing the journal on a desktop computer rather than a mobile device.
Below you will find a Table of Contents listing each artist’s name. You may click on any name to take you directly to that contributor’s work.
You may explore the journal in your own order by using the Table of Contents or you may follow the order we have created by using the purple right-pointing arrows at the bottom of each page. These arrows automatically take you to the next page of the journal.
Each artist/contributor has two pages dedicated to them. The first is an introductory, or interstitial page, which gives some context for the work through conceptual/theoretical lists and a few words from the artist. The second contains the artist’s work.
On the pages with the work you will also find a purple left-pointing arrow that will return you to this page and the Table of Contents.
A very special thank you to Kendall, Mauriah, and Wezile for their willingness and enthusiasm as guest curators; to funmi for their time and curatorial contributions as our third open call reader; and to our patreon supporters and to all of you who have donated to LOCULUS. This work would not be possible without any of you.
If you want to know more about LOCULUS Collective click here.
Table of Contents:
Butler, Octavia. Parable of the Sower. 1993
French, Ellen. Edible Indigeneity: Bones, Blood, and Dirt in Indian Country. Hampshire College, 2011.
Morrison, Toni. Paradise. 1997