All notes with the topic Carrie McILwain | Notes on Looking

Carrie McIlwain “If I wear all the clothes I own, I might suffocate” recap

Carrie’s mom tended bar last Thursday at If I wear all the clothes I own, I might suffocate. For this casting off ceremony / potlatch Carrie McIlwain brought all the clothes she owns to JB Jurve with two suitcases and piled double mountains of clothing in the second floor space. “I was angry with those clothes for becoming such a burden. I was angry with myself for being tricked into finding my identity in objects – mere  coverings for my body! – that had turned into such monsters of responsibility. It was time to shed some skin.” Tequila from several donated bottles was poured for the gathering crowd with eager frequency into tiny, plastic shot glasses by our volunteer barkeep, as the heat grew sticky and electric. Windows open to Broadway let in air and the sounds of cars, speeding and honking. Outside were neon and flashing lights, while inside, under cool white fluorescent tubes, Carrie – at first easily and with grace, then later struggling, stumbling and sweating – donned each tank top, sweater, pair of shorts, leggings, each era of her past was represented, from her glass working days in North Carolina to her college days at Fullerton and all through her anarchic youth. Her face grew red with the burden of all this history represented, as it was, by clothing meant to be attractive, protective, flattering and/or rebellious. When she reached Bibendum stage and could no longer navigate the space around her, she stopped. As I recall her next move was to carry – again stumbling and struggling – a shirt to her young friend Bodie,...

Artist Non Talk Event: If I wear all the clothes I own, I might suffocate. A performance by Carrie McIlwain

“In preparation for my flight of the following morning, I am proposing to pack my suitcase in the gallery. I will bring my entire wardrobe to JB Jurve and attempt to wear every item, adding layer upon layer until it is impossible to proceed or all clothes are worn. The clothes I can wear I will keep and pack to take with me. Those which I can not wear will be offered to the audience as mementos. Any remaining garments will be donated. My impending move overseas has brought to my attention my desire to hold on and collect objects to excess. I want to investigate through conflict the physical weight of my possessions and the possible relief in letting go.” Carrie McIlwain – If I wear all the clothes I own, I might suffocate. Artist Non Talk for To the Lighthouse at JB Jurve. Thursday, May 24 at 8 PM Gallery is at 742 North Broadway, 2nd Floor, and will be open on Thursday from 12 to 6 PM and 7 to 10 PM “When I get settled in Berlin I’m going to walk across that city the way I just did Los Angeles,” Carrie McIlwain said to me at the Chimney Coffee House on North Main, “honestly, I partly did the walk last week to learn about this city. I grew up in SoCal, left for Europe, and have been back here for more than a year. When I tell friends that I’m moving to Berlin, they mostly ask me how I can leave the best city in the world.” With that we discussed the relative charms of...

“…almost hit by a car while legally crossing the street, with the smell of jasmine my anger wanes.” Carrie McIlwain’s Los Angeles, and yours

Almost two years ago I came to this city broken.  I am not alone in arriving here in such conditions, as Los Angeles is often titled the home of the homeless.  My return to this city marked the end of a period of transience in which I had crossed the European Continent by bicycle and hitchhiked across America.  I have always found a poetry between two of the defining characteristics of Los Angeles and their symbiosis.  Without the near constant sunshine, Southern California would not attract the fort architects who surreptitiously decorate the city.  The boon of this land is also the bane, the climate allows for year round outdoor occupation and a definitively visible transient population.   What remains unseen are the migrations made within this city by these citizens.  In my preparations for an indefinite movement east to Berlin, the most graceful way I could think of to say goodbye to Los Angeles, was to perform a continuous walk from the most western point of the city to the most eastern.  I have long been resistant to the climate and culture of Southern California as my place of birth.  Yet I have also longed to exist in the city in a way that brings me comfort or joy.  The cities I have fallen in love with in my travels, are the streets I have drifted through without expectation or ownership.  To meet a city from the position of outsider and in so doing I hope to generate a history of intimacy and acquire the evidence to grow and change.  To search for the vulnerability of the Other requires...