Archive | 8:00 AM

Carrie Sieh Reveals Secrets

6 Sep

Carrie Sieh weaves secrets into art and art into secrets. I tried to get her to confess, but she wouldn’t confess. Because, she says, her secrets are already revealed. The viewer just needs to know where to look. When I look at Sieh’s art, I see the internal workings of a one, two and three track mind. A mind that cleverly and meticulously defines and executes an idea and brings that idea to fruition, which is nothing like a Fruit Loop. In the end, Sieh shows us, the reader, the viewer, that art is a process that takes time, yarn and lots of magnetic tape to develop. Enjoy my latest Potty Mouth Interview with the funtabulous artist Carrie Sieh.

not-yet-titled-(detail)

Almost Dorothy: Why can’t you stop thinking about it?

Carrie Sieh: I can’t stop thinking, in general.

AD: I didn’t know you were a general. On your website, you write, “All of us have secrets that we carry with us…and often our secrets are uncomfortable or embarrassing. I believe that one way we unconsciously alleviate this discomfort is by keeping around us objects that in some way symbolize or counteract our secrets.” Where do secrets come from?

CS: Well, a secret is a piece of information—usually very personal—that you don’t want to tell anyone else, or that you tell a very limited number of people. The reason we want to keep certain information private is usually because we anticipate that sharing it would result in feelings of vulnerability, shame, or guilt; that other people would think negatively of us; or that it would have some other uncomfortable social consequence. And the source of these kinds of feelings is almost always going to be cultural and familial mores.

AD: Your answer reminds of two TED.com videos I saw last week while riding my bicycle north on Biscayne Boulevard.

AD: Why do you create secret codes out of yarn, wire, raffia, plastic, cassette tape, river rocks, curtain rods and other materials?

CS: My interest in codes developed as a means to prevent my sisters from reading my journals as a kid. I was kind of a nerd, and spent a lot of time figuring out the best codes for my purposes. Artistically, I came back to the idea of codes because they’re relevant to both technology and psychology, which are two of my favorite themes to explore.

I choose the materials I do because I like thinking about the many subtle meanings of objects. So far yarn is the primary material in the “Secrets” project because it suggests domesticity, tradition, and protection—which I think are the most basic aspects of secret-keeping. The cassette tape and VHS tape relates to secrets because memory is a means of recording and encoding information. Also, thoughts and memories—especially difficult ones—can be fragmented and hard to untangle or interpret, like the information on the tape is once it’s taken out of its casing and knitted. The wire I’ve been using is jewelry wire, which has a much different meaning than, say, electrical wire. In “I Don’t Love You”, it’s alternated with fluffy but scratchy mohair yarn, to suggest the ambivalence often inherent in tokens of affection and motivations for personal adornment. In each piece Continue reading

Dr. Wasid

6 Sep
The blue circle symbol used to represent diabetes.

Image via Wikipedia

Mommy and daddy took me to a doctor today who knows a lot about Diabetes Type 1. Mommy says he’s a “specialist” and that means he knows how to make me better. I asked her if he’s going to take the diabetes away but she says, maybe one day, but not today. The office was in very tall building with many offices inside. I was nervous.

The doctor’s name was “Dr. Wasid” or something like that. He was tall, very tall, and his skin was brown.  His breath stunk real bad like eggs. He wasn’t very nice. He told me I was very fat and that because I’m fat my diabetes wasn’t going to get any better. He told mommy and daddy that I need to stop eating as much as I am eating right now. I wanted to tell him that I’m not eating as much as he thinks, at least not what I like to eat and that it was not fair. But I didn’t say anything because my parents were talking to him, and mommy says that I can’t interrupt grown ups when they’re talking because that’s bad manners.

Dr. Wasid held my arm, and grabbed the fatty part around my wrist “When this goes away, you may eat the candies you want,” he said. I just looked at him, and held my daddy’s hand very hard. He also told my parents about how much insulin I have to get every time I have breakfast and dinner and that they have to keep a log where they have to write down how much sugar I have. He told them a bunch of other things, but I didn’t pay attention, because I was to busy thinking about the ice-cream man who I saw downstairs. I don’t know why, but all I want to do is eat and eat and eat everything I can’t.

When we got out of the doctor’s office daddy asked me if I liked the doctor. I told him I didn’t because he called me fat and he needs to brush his teeth because his mouth smelled really gross. Daddy said he didn’t like him either, but doctors are like that. He says that even if he’s not nice, he will help me. I just have to listen and do what he says.

Mommy didn’t say anything on our way back home. I know she’s worried about me still. She hates needles as much as I do. That’s why daddy is the one who has to pinch me. Every time it is time for me to get my insulin, she goes away. I don’t now if it’s because she hates needles for real, or she just can’t see how much it hurts me ever time daddy stabs my shoulders. I wish I could be better. I feel that because of me, mommy cries every night. I told daddy I was very sorry for getting sick like this, but he says I didn’t do anything, that this happened because it was meant to be.

I really don’t know what “meant to be” means, but if daddy said so, I guessed it ws okay. I also told him that I’ve been praying to God, so that he will take away my diabetes and that way we will all be happy again. But daddy didn’t say anything back. He just hugged me and said “I love you”. I love you too daddy, I thought, I love you too.

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