Speaking in Symbols: Cristine Brache chats cultural erasure, codified behaviours & inscribing new histories on AQNB’s Artist Statement podcast

, 22 July 2020

“If you’re not representing someone in media, you’re denying their existence, or denying their experience, and the denial of an experience is gaslighting,” says Cristine Brache about the culture of erasure imposed on a life lived on the margins. Talking with editor Steph Kretowicz for AQNB’s latest Artist Statement podcast, the Toronto and Miami-based artist describes her current Commit Me, Commit to Me (Cázame; Cásame) exhibition at New York’s Fierman Gallery—running to July 31—and its focus on the codification of behaviours as manifested through the forgotten women of the Surrealist movement. “[It’s] just because we have to code so much of our true intentions, our true wants and our true needs, because we’re so overly policed, we’re so limited.”

Working across sculpture, poetry and video, Brache often draws on personal experience, as an American-born queer woman of Puerto Rican and Cuban descent, and the colonial and patriarchal conditions these things imply. Her more recent work—which includes a recent digital commission from ICA Miami of video Morning Sickness in the USA—explores the survival of identity in oppressive environments, along with the “gaslighting, and the pathologization of female emotion and expression.”

Cristine Brache, ‘Gaslight (after Remedios Varo, Papilla Estelar, 1958’ (2020). Installation view. Image courtesy the artist + FIERMAN, New York.

‘Speaking in Symbols’ comes as a bonus episode from the bi-monthly conversation series to support this month’s Patreon subscription drive, aimed at keeping AQNB alive. It follows on from associate editor Jared Davis‘ chat with London-based artist Lawrence Lek, as well as earlier ones featuring Colin Self and Katja Novitskova. Future episodes include conversations with Joey Holder, among others, with a teaser for Cristine’s chat available to listen to above. The full episode is accessible to our subscribers right now on Patreon. Sign up now: www.patreon.com/aqnb.

The site will be rolling out a number of new incentives to join this community this month. This includes our latest Between two stars mini-compendium and New Scenario x AQNB—Bodyholes Green Ear Limited Edition t-shirt collaboration with Paul Barsch and Tilman Hornig. 

AQNB is a trusted editorial platform for artists resisting categorisation and responding to changes brought on by technology and communication, and we’ve built a strong community around us over the years. Our Patreon will be crucial to the site’s survival moving forward. With this new programme of content, we’re gearing toward engaging and working with you—our readers and subscribers—in building a stronger foundation for our scene into the future.**

The latest episode of AQNB’s Artist Statement podcast featuring Cristine Brache is available exclusively to our Patreon on July 22, 2020.