In this collage, visual artist, poet and performer Julie Patton shows a literal “world view” of the primordial mermaid who also sees the bones of Black people in the depths of the Atlantic.
“This work is so pertinent to historically tied fins, souls tangled up in hocus poke hook line and sink…Beautiful fish eyes such as Abdel Wahab Yousif & continental relatives…cruel citizen ship…staring black at us…shelved morrows, captive sorrow… Capsized by eyesberg where hearts should be… Titanic grief. Can’t look away. . . I look and I look and I look fish eyes forward.”—Julie Patton
Julie Patton is a poet of paper as a form of connecting infinite thought planes and her inner pulpiness. The Best American Experimental Writing 2016 (Wesleyan University Press) and What I Say: Innovative Poetry by Black Writers in America (University of Alabama Press, 2015) shows Julie at her inky best. Her site & time specific performances and collaborations with instrumentalists, dancers, bird sounds and other natural and man-made sources underscores the shape-shifting tendencies of paper dolls. Julie is the founder of Let it Bee Ark Hives, an interspecies experimental housing project based in her former childhood neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio. Julie is a 2017 Tamaas READ Translation Seminars in Paris invitee; a 2017 Maelstrom Festival (Brussels, Belgium) guest artist; a recipient of a Foundation for Contemporary Art 2015 Grants to Artists Award and Doan Brook Association 2012 Watershed Hero among other honors; and teaches at Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics Summer Writing Program on occasion.
Photograph by Harald Rumpf.
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