Robin Richardson is the author of two collections of poetry, including Sit How You Want forthcoming with Vehicule Press. She is also Editor-in-Chief at Minola Review. In this post, assistant blog editor, Madeleine Wattenberg, speaks with her about unsympathetic poetry, the value of ugliness, and the relationship between written and visual art.
Beyond imagination, I also firmly believe in magic as a tool for subversion, of imagining not only other worlds but other possibilities for our own world. Magic questions and destabilizes our sense of the real, and tells a different story from the one we’ve been told.
While not every show will be for or about women or “women’s issues” or for or about diversity and diverse expression, Olly Olly shows are more likely than most in Northern Virginia to include art that represents varied perspectives, a wide variety of cultures, a wide variety of mediums, and a multiplicity of backgrounds and experiences. We think that this diversity results in better shows, in better conversations, and ultimately in the creation of a better art scene and a better community.
My work is often concerned with the everyday, calling to mind the familiar artifacts and ephemera of the mundane and reimagining and transforming them into fantastical dreamlike elements of magical worlds that are just below, above, or somehow beyond our reach. I’m continuously building an ongoing narrative exploring the concept of being a stranger in a strange land. I put myself or a persona or avatar of myself into a variety of situations and environments in order to play with or question a variety of assumptions about embodiment, decolonization, race, sexuality, gender, identity, space, and place.
JCR: It’s really important for me to work not just with Feminist ideas, but within the structure of the arts community and art ecology. In DC I’m super lucky to be able to work almost exclusively with other people who also identify as women, non-binary, and queer people. I’m very very lucky I think. It’s not “cool” in this century to be militant, but I’m pretty militant—if I know a gallery is showing 80% cis male white men, I don’t want to go there, I don’t want to work with them. I’m trying to figure out professionally when or if it’s worth it to make those compromises.