I was invited to the opening night performance of Frankenstein, the Dallas Theater Center production. I’ve been having a moment of self reflection. That saying of your chickens coming home to roost sums up how I feel. Frankenstein was a good play to reflect on this. In front of me before the play started the audience went back and forth about what kind of Frankenstein was going to be staged. The play remained faithful to Mary Shelly’s telling of the story of the doctor and his creation/s. I can’t remember the last time I read the book and I’ve never seen a staging, but it was brilliantly acted. The first act is difficult as you watch the Creature brought to life and find its legs in the face of a society that sees it as pure monster, the climax of the act coming in the Creature’s killing of the family of a blind man that taught him kindness.

I sat for most of the intermission, last week was exhausting and I feel like I’m just recovering. Part of me feels lazy even though my calendar is packed and I’ve yet to miss an appointment, its more of a feeling. I don’t feel prideful and I mostly want to stay inside. I watched a spider crawl into Gen Ligon’s America and wave goodbye, or move on, or nothing that I can hold in words or vision or spirit because I am not a spider. I think I’ve come to using poetry as a crutch. Maybe I should eat more spiders, ha.

The second act of the play is full of death, the death of a young boy, the death of another newly born creature, the death of a love ignored. The circling of Frankenstein and his Creature like binary stars burning all around them to the cold. There are no flickers of that bright spark that animated both the Creature and Frankenstein in that moment, just the wind howling as they together walk into the unknown, as knowing is an end and in his act of creation, Frankenstein is endless.

 

I’ve been updating my statement over the past few days. I noticed part 2 had a bunch of typos with my bad at phone typing. Anyways, more words. A neatly typed artist statement for you.

Enjoy

Xx

The focus of my work is cultural memory. In the spaces of memory, in contested territories, in collective spaces, in forgetting, in remembering, and all the objects around those acts, the images, and other senses that allow us to craft our reality, we create ourselves. My interest is in black liberation, spirituality, nature, technology, performance, and architecture. What I am drawn to is how people interact with one another through these mediums and the pressure that bring inequity on the working class worldwide. Poetry is a large component of my visual world, I see it as a guiding element in my work, using text as a spring board to give the audience an easy access point into the more difficult parts of my work.
Juxtaposition and patterns and our relationship to the things that we see as significant help me create. The act of camouflage and the way images recede and expose themselves in the visual plane characterize my work speak to a level of production in my work. I explore the history of luxury goods and movements of people and the economic repercussions of these movements as a way of entering conversation with how society expresses value. The conflicts around globalization, specifically the proliferations of oppression and how traumatic experiences are manifested and exercised are very important to me. I see the spirit as a way of engaging into this history in a way that goes beyond the cosmetic analysis of much of western philosophies take on the other in this regard.
The natural world is of special interest to me. The regenerative aspects of the planet and the cycles that are inherent in the seasons reflect themselves on our bodies and I try and embody this change in my process. I live and work in an urban environment that is heavily constructed with layers of meaning that stratify themselves through the social structure. To comment on this, I see the performance aspects of my practice as a way creating of ritual to the means of transferring the power that is built into our cultural narratives, altering the spaces we are bound to. As a way of mapping out territory and changes that happens in nature I explore the evolving urban landscape, finding ways to balance the development that is key to mankind now and a future of self determination for all people and an eventual decay of all things.
My current works center on the book as a means of conveyance for information and the epic poem as a tool for revolution. The forms that come out of this book are the visual representations interpreted through a loose definition of instructions gleaned from the book. A large ceramic vessel with a wooden body topped with a mirror, a painstakingly detailed drawing completed predominately in ballpoint pen, the detritus from two years of institutionalization, bottles of napalm, the reliquary of a tree, a vignette performance of the poem, all are representations made object from words on the page. The book itself exists in a digital format speaking to the proliferation and reproduction of ideas from the intimate to the communal. My objective is to bring to life another world where the book is equal record of time as creative product with the poem being the vessel for moving that work between spaces.
This work is not confined to the forms represented they are illustrations of an idea in progress. The words captured in the poem are sourced and limited to one experience and in that are imbued with a singular life, the kind of idea of blood, not a concrete existence, or even general form, a fluid understanding of humanity existing not just as bodies. This work does not seek to dominate the concepts it converses with, rather in its representations works more simply as holds for the audience on a moving surface. It would be easier to fix a meaning to this work as some kind of everlasting or totemic space of blackness by blackness, that would limit the experiences of the initiated in blackness, instead many voices speak through this work as a way to bring the chorus of life to song.
“So, la, ti, do, in joy and sorrow.”

 

This trip to the Bay Area was eventful. Along with a successful performance andengaging interviews, i was able to see some old friends, make new friends, and find a potential collaborator on a Goldfish Dreams project. My calendar looks like a rainbow. Generally speakimg this is anxiety producing, my second mind sees excitement, i know there is a lot of work to be done in the coming weeks. I’m also looking for a new roommate for March. I think things will work out, i have to make more money so more hustling. I didnt break my no drinking or caffine resolution this entire trip, even after staying up 24 plus hours in the lead up to my performance on Sunday. I did go over budget however with a trip to the dentist, I don’t have any cavities anymore. I didn’t know this but it was my dentist’s wedding anniversary today. I only know this because I went to the hairdresser with her on her wedding day. Interesting story. It would be nice to not have to spend money on the ride home from the airport. Maybe I’ll get lucky.

Just landed in San Francisco.

Here is the second partbof my artist statement. It focus on my current works and has a bit more poetic flare.

Bests,

Xxavier Edward Carter

My current works center on the book as a means of conveyance for information and the epic poem as a tool for revolution. The forms that come out of this book are the visual representations interpreted through a loose definition of instructions gleaned from the book form. A large ceramic vessle with a wooden body topped with a mirror, a painstakingly detailed drawing completed predominately in ballpoint pen, the detritus from two years of institutionalization, bottles of napalm, the relequary of a tree, a vinetted perdormance of the poem, all are representations made object from words on the page. The book itself exists in a digital format speaking to the proliferation and reproduction of ideas from the intimate to the communal. My objective if to bring to life another world where the book is equal record of time as creative product with the poem being the vessle for moving that work between spaces.

This work is not confined to the forms represented they are illustrations of an idea of progress. The words captured in the poem are sourced and limited to one experience and in that are imbued with a singular life, the kind of idea of blood, not a concrete existance, or even general form, a fluid understanding that at a time the humors of humans existed as a body alone created from what was like water in a color that bound us all together. This work does not seek to dominate the concepts it converses with, rather in its representations works more simply as holds for the audience on a moving surface. It would be easier to fix a meaning to this work as some kind of everlasting or totemic space of blackness by blackness, that would limit the experiences of the initiated in blackness, instead many voices speak through this work as a way to bring the chorus of life to song.

“So, la, ti, do, in joy and sorrow.”

In the lead up to this semester I submitted work to a number of conferences and festivals. With two announcements gone I’ve received one rejection and am expecting another. I’m taking it in stride. My personal life has been a good teacher. In the face of disappointment I generally get over things quickly, getting on with things. If I’ve learned anything I’m not one to be tied down so the idea of being bound to a bad feeling while at once seems absurd all too usual is the err of sentiment for being let down, a gentle reminder of our humanity.

I have a trip lined up for Friday. I spent my morning framing works I will be delivering on that trip plus one for a new collector in Dallas. I want to be more active this semester, not necessarily in the art scene, maybe just go out to some more shows. This past Friday was the first meeting of the DFW Grad Consortium. I’ve gathered that I am one of two black male identifying persons in an MFA program in the area. I want to meet this other. I also want to find out in the state what the numbers are. Whatever this time is I’d like to make a few friends. I’m thinking of my next stop already. Wanna go for a ride?

Tuesdays I lead an acting class for senior citizens in Pleasant Grove in preperation for an upcoming production by the Dallas Public Works Theater. Thursdays I assist an artist that is doing the same thing in Oak Cliff. In February the Oak Cliff group will be performing a showcase for Black History Month. Poetry and monologues. A few weeks in February I led that group through some previously prepared poems, mostly stuff from the Harlem Renaissance and some Maya Angelou. I still haven’t met the courses instructor, maybe today will be that day. As for my class, I’ve given monologues from Titus Andronicus, the deep end approach. The first day went well. A few asked if there was a place they could see the production for notes, like on youtube, I’ve directed them to the Julie Taymor 1999. It’s an interesting group. There’s a reverend, a Vietnam Vet, black liberationists, former business women, mothers, and grandparents.

This afternoon I’ve got a meeting with Barnaby Fitzgerald the painter. In prep for my book project I’ve got a great team of artists as advisors, Melanie Clemmons helping me with the digital book and Michael Corris in a general advisory role.

The first week of classes is almost done. I’ve got two recordings on the way to close out the month and start the next. Until then.

Happy new year. I’ve taken a much needed respite from the webs, not to be confused with the webs, or the web, or even W.E.B, I’m talking about social media which my accounts have been deleted, except for some non traditional ones, and youtube, but, I mean if you want to see me on youtube, you’ll be looking at someone else’s channel . I shall not return, you’ve heard it here first. This is where you get me. Enjoy it. You can still see me walking around, maybe driving some place, or on a plane or in a museum/ classroom/ studio/ library/ kitchen/ use your imagination.

To kick things off here is a new poem, A Short Trip Around The Sun.

 

A Short Trip Around The Sun Is a multi-faceted poem that incorporates video and performance with its text element. The themes of urbanization, capitalism, policing, racism, death, and the relationship between people and their environment take main stage in the reading of the poem while a projection of an accompanying film plays in the background. The main character of this piece is unknown, they are a city dweller in rapt as they read the manuscript of A Short Trip Around The Sun. The settings of street corners, abandoned buildings, dead malls, alley ways, early mornings, late nights, public transportation centers, parks, and the wilds of nature surrounding the city are reflected on in the scenes of the accompanying video.  

I see the poetry of this piece as a combination of the styles of Amiri Baraka and the Seoul based duo Young Hae Chang Heavy Industries. Baraka the poet, philosopher, in his blackness I find liberation and the cultural genealogy from which my words are born. In the same way I find a kin in the works of Young Hae Chang Heavy Industries, having worked with the artists. There is a concreteness and rhythm that is prevalent in both and can only be sighted as jazz in the way that the combination of elements creates feelings in the viewer. The technical aspects of YHCHI, their flash based animations, and installations, speak to the pairings of cultural sensibilities in the same way that Amiri Baraka’s poetic form is the political rhetoric in representation of black liberation and Marxist thought.  

I find myself in a middle ground with both feet planted in visually expressing through film the physical concrete of the urban landscape with the metaphysical debris of language. It is a territory in contest with popular media, fertile with the imagined and resolutely tangible. Built on a collective history this space is stratified with the layers of the gathered experiences of all the pass through it, this is the liminal space of a kind of dynamism, and increasingly becoming realized in virtual realities. I intend my work to bridge a digitization of organic forms and materials into a quantum state of existence in multiple dimensions at once, spreading across the temporal, cultural, social, and spiritual nature of realities.

Hello, this is actually the second post of 2018, the first one will pop up tomorrow, Tuesday, around 7AM depending on your time zone. Here is my artist statement for 2018. I’ll be sticking with this one. It doesn’t say everything, it starts the conversation.

Best,

X

The focus of my work is cultural memory. In the spaces of memory, in contested territories, in collective spaces, in forgetting, in remembering, and all the objects around those acts, the images, and other senses that allow is to craft our reality, we create ourselves. My interest is in black liberation, spirituality, nature, technology, performance, and architecture. What I’m drawn to is how people interact with one another through these mediums and the pressure of capitalism on the working class worldwide. Poetry is a large component of my visual world, I see it as a guiding element in my work, using text as a spring board to give the audience an easy access point into the more difficult parts of my work.

Juxtaposition and patterns and our relationship to the things that we see as significant helps me create. The act of camouflage and the way images recede and expose themselves in the picture plane characterize my work. I explore the history of luxury goods and movements of people and the economic repercussions of these movements as a way of entering conversation with how society expresses value. The conflicts around globalization, specifically the proliferations oppression and how traumatic experiences are manifested and exercised are very important to me. I see my work as a way of liberating myself from these hierarchies while voicing a reality obscured by imperialism.

The natural world as a place of commonality is of special interest to me. The regenerative aspects of the planet and the cycles that are inherent in the seasons reflect themselves on our bodies and I try and embody this change in my work. I live and work in an urban environment that is heavily constructed with layers of meaning that stratify themselves through the social structure. I see performance as a creating of ritual and a means of transferring the power that is built into cultural narratives. As a way of mapping out territory and change that happens in nature my work explores the evolving urban landscape, finding ways to balance the development that is key to mankind now and a future on a planet with finite resources.

IMG_8154

The Royal Edward

November 10 & 17

7-9PM

Doolin Gallery

Owens Art Center

6101 Bishop Blvd

Dallas, Tx 75205

Pop up exhibition featuring multi channel video, installation, and performance works by first year MFA candidate, Xxavier Edward CarterXxavierIsMyName.com. Performance begins at 7:45PM, refreshments provided. Please click link for tickets or to make donations.

Video installation for this work includes a three channel video loop of footage from the NASA AMES Research Facility in Mountainview, California and SMU Taos Campus. The video installation is set to a musical playlist curated by the artist. At 7:45 PM, the installation transitions into a still projection from Joshua Tree National Park where the artist has arranged a blood ritual for protection in movements. The artist will perform and endurance reading of the 83 page poem, The Royal Edward. The poem is a contemporary epic about imprisonment, passion, spirituality, death, politics, history, and American Cultures treatment of blackness.

This work is the first showing of the multidisciplinary work of Xxavier Edward Carter in Dallas, Texas. The installation deals with elemental magic, the written word, life cycles, and nature. The elements of fire, water, and earth are visualized by an array of reclaimed trees, ritual burning footage, and footage from an in ground pool in decay at a superfund site. The issue of humans in created environments is a central theme to the work and one that is navigated in the installation of The Royal Edward.

Xxavier Edward Carter is an artist from Dallas, Texas. Xxavier studied art practice at Stanford University with a focus on printmaking and new media and is currently in the first year of an MFA at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts. Xxavier as exhibited works in South Korea, Japan, Portugal, England, Morocco, and the United States. From 2016 to 2017, Xxavier was a fellow at The Yerba Buena Center for the arts in San Francisco. Xxavier was the 2011 recipient of the Kimbrough-Degoyer Grant from the Dallas Museum of Art. Xxavier Edward Carter is Represented by Goldfish Dreams//G-D|100 PERCENT FOR SURE.

For more information please contact Mr.Carter through his website, here.

 

I moved back to Dallas for graduate school, specifically to be a part of a changing landscape in the arts. I haven’t always been able to point to a particular influence in my artwork but I always see my work as a kind of place setting, in making works I sought to open doors and invite others into the story and as I have grown the table has expanded.

It happens often that people look at my resume and comment on the amount of travel I’ve done. I’ve been lucky enough to have been able to travel internationally, I also have a mother that was active in showing me a culture you couldn’t get without chasing it, something that has been impressed on me was just how far reaching blackness was and what it means to follow your goals.

What does it mean to want to connect people through creativity? What are the bonds that bring communities like but not the same into the center of a city trying to expand into an global market but still bound by the institutional underpinnings of a kind of cultural conservatism that keeps vision closed off to its inhabitants that live outside of the lines of poverty?

Dallas is a city of haves and have nots, a metropolitan area that boasts some of the best public education in the country but also has a history of redistricting that has driven out African Americans from its bound year after year. Urban renewal programs, redevelopment, whatever you want to call it is a kill switch for anyone below a living wage. Increasingly the wealth gap in cities has been allowed to grow out of control. The crisis of homelessness is being fueled by corporate influence driving people from their homes with promises of better employment coming in their wakes. These promises are never fufilled as prices rise and communities are gutted to make way for the progress of condominiums well above what is sustainable.

In the midst of this, Public Works Dallas has worked to renetwork the communities surrounding Downtown Dallas and create pathways for a richer public through community theater. In a recent talk at The Owens Art Center, the pilot year of Public Works Dallas was illuminated by speaker Shirley Brice Heath followed by a panel discussion between Ignite/Art Dallas director, Clyde Valentin, Dallas Theater Center Artistic Director, Kevin Moriarty, and Martha Rodriguez, Program Manager at Bachman Lake Together, one of the five community partners of Public Works Dallas.

The clarity of Public Works Dallas is public health in the realizations of the program. Participants in the program speak of it as being a life changing experience across the board. The formula is simple. Increasing the physical activity of the community, creating an environment for learning, and enabling members of the production to take responsibility for the success of the production, Public Works is setting out on a revolutionary path that is instilling a confidence in its members to build a better future for the city as a whole.