Residency is a two-part journal entry brought to you by one of our favorite creatives.
This week, the Brooklyn-based blog collective THE LE SIGH—who are curating the installation for Living Spaces #1—will share two unique entries.
We’ll be honest—when starting THE LE SIGH, we didn’t have a clear view of what it was, but as we spoke more with female artists and musicians, it quickly became obvious that we wanted it to become an online platform for highlighting women in music and art, catapulting artists to a place where eyes previously unable can fall onto their work. Maybe it’s not even so much that we wanted our site to become this, but that it needed to become this, as sites of this kind were scarce. This worked for a while, and continues to do so, though as we became introduced to more and more talented artists, we found we might be missing a piece of the puzzle: tangibility. What’s the difference between staring at a screen and a physical piece of art? Sometimes in 2D instances, not much. But with things like sculptures, embroidery, paintings, photos, and music the physical atmosphere adds a hefty chunk to the experience. But there comes a time in which being online hits a certain plateau, when this platform demands to become tangible.
Though the Internet is a strange, wonderful and vast place, there is something curiously unique about seeping into the physical realm. Perhaps this is why we’ve seen an uptick in tapes and zines—people want to touch, they want to show. Wanting to take the platform to a new height, we’ve made a space in which that art we love speaking about is created. And though the power and creativity is in the artists’ hands, if we can facilitate that process, we’ve accomplished something the online world cannot. It’s exciting to cover so much ground (literally and figuratively) on the internet, but it’s important for us to also create physical spaces where art and music can exist as well. By helping others become tangible, we’ve become tangible.
Curating an installation for Portals’ Living Spaces event series (Molly, Arts Editor)
When Portals approached us to curate a show at the Silent Barn in Brooklyn as part of their new “Living Spaces” showcase series, it was a little nerve-wracking, as this would only be our second time venturing into real life. As Art Editor, did I know any artists that might fit with Portals’ killer line-up? Duh. It was clear we needed someone who could create a physically intriguing indoor and outdoor space. I thought back to the way I’d poured over India K’s Shared Landscapes and showed them to my friends, amidst exclamations of, “Isn’t this cool?” I’d also met her at THE LE SIGH’s first zine and tape launch, where I’d thrown my arms around her and introduced myself, and she smiled politely, even though I’m pretty sure she had no idea who I was. Maggie Dunlap also popped into my brain, and the way her installation Jungfrukällan and its powerful message had struck me. They were it—we had to have them both create something for this show. And luckily, both artists being both amazing in work and in personality, they agreed.
Together, with the help and direction of Portals, Maggie, India and I have been working together to create this exhibit (and when I say I’m involved, I mostly mean I tell them how fantastic their ideas are—I’d like to think it’s somewhat encouraging). They’ve been tasked with transforming the Silent Barn into a space that is cohesive with the bands and their own visions. After much listening to the music that’ll be played on July 11th, Maggie and India have created a space that will essentially become a dream itself, manifesting the visions in their heads into a place to be inhabited by audience members. A difficult task, but a creative one; one that will be executed beautifully (trust me, I’ve seen the plans).
Booking local shows (Emily, Music Editor)
Last fall, we put out a zine and tape through Brooklyn-based label Birdtapes and organized a showcase to celebrate its release. This was the first time any of us had done something like this—the most experience I had before this was booking shows at my school’s radio station. The process of putting together a zine and tape were so new to us and there were many frantic moments where it felt like nothing was going to come together. But in the end, we had a beautiful zine and tape to show for our work and the dreamiest launch party thanks to a lot of pink streamers and cupcakes.
We won’t be releasing our THE LE SIGH Vol. II until next fall, but in the meantime we’re throwing a show at Silent Barn at the end of July with Littler, Marge, Mannequin Pussy, and Tomboy. We’ve been itching to put together another show since last November and we once again wanted to focus on bands that had been covered on our site. It’s important for us to put together shows that are inclusive to female-centric acts because shows like this are scarce, even in major cities like Brooklyn. A couple of years ago after playing a show in Richmond, a girl came up to me and told me how cool it was to see more girls in bands coming through the city. At this time I had only been playing a bass for about a month and I was blown away that I could make an impact like this. So when booking shows, I like to keep in mind how we can inspire girls all over to pick up instruments and start bands. Our last show was a little more on the dreamy side, which was perfect for a Sunday in November, but this time we tried to book more punk and upbeat acts to fit with sweating it out in middle of July. I feel very #blessed that we’ve been able to meet so many incredible artists that want to be a part of our shows.