NYC & Embassy of the United States 2012
La Petite Mort Gallery presents
DEVIN ELIJAH / POLAROIDS
A Chronicle of Love & Loss in Sickness & in Health
April 13 – 29, 2012
Vernissage Friday April 13 / 7 -m 10pm
Tunes by Big Mac Daddy
There will also be an artist talk on Saturday April 14 / 2pm @ La Petite Mort Gallery.
This project is funded in part through a U.S. Department of State, U.S. Embassy-Ottawa Public Affairs Section Grant.
Proudly sponsored by CKCU 93.1FM & OVERKILL Lounge
The artist will present from New York City on opening night.
Janet Rochelle Schwartz died of AIDS on April 16th, 1990, the day before her husbands 39th birthday. A nurse, living and working in San Francisco through the 70’s and early 80’s, she was one of the first documented cases of women with HIV/AIDS during that era, when AIDS had a prevalent & increasingly, excruciatingly volatile face, but was still without a name, unbiased, no ties to true humanity, bound to all yet unbound from every, equally cryptic in nature as elementary in its aim for destruction. She was just 38, I was 6 years old at the time and the youngest of her three children.
General ideas IMAGEVIRUS series was establishing itself in both SF and NY in the very years that my mother’s physical self was disengaging from the world. Twenty two years later, the magnetic-duality of two souls are journeying on a course parallel to the others, and in unison begin to adhere to the shear force of instinctual pull, the two of us brought together to forge a friendship that would help propel forward the other’s story, 38 years between us, at this present day, the exact duration of my mother’s worldly sojourn. I wrote this when I was 21 years old:
“Put the beard on my face and put the hair on my chest
Tie the shoe on my lace and lick the wounds of my flesh
There was a time when in mothers womb I would rest
Until the reaper said “There’s no more room in her nest
They say the good one’s perish younger then most
And their children end up trapped under their ghost
The worlds a cracked Kaleidoscope if you look at it close
Most days I choose not to look at it close”
I met AA around 2008, initially a portrait subject, and eventually becoming both a friend and occasional career advisor beyond that. I believe that perhaps he sees in me, much of what I recognize in myself- clear evidence of the potentiality for profundity, but still searching that intangible illusiveness of ones deepest self. AA, seeing through my eyes where he’s been but can’t quite remember, as much as my capacity to go where the circumstance of age may never fully allow him. I in turn seeing in AA the parallel but opposite- where I can’t be afforded the luxury of forgetting that I’m to go.
The overall series is a story about my New York, the one in which I came of age, and capturing it as a manifesto to my truth. That we, my subjects, and myself might harness those moments in time. Soon enough New York City will change once more, altering itself within our hands & beyond present recognition, it’s landscape & many of the faces that line the pages of this series will become swept away in it’s ever metamorphosing tide. This collection of Polaroids, a continual work in progress will be our anchor, albeit the remembrance of our albatross all at once. Two Beacons, representing the faded beauty of the past, and the already fleeting yet unforeseen promise of the future, together are we the epitome of the bittersweet constant of time? Perhaps our lives were fated to intersect, here in New York City, the ever- universal crossroads, that at once holds a mirror to our glory and our grief, inevitably dividing the savage from the saint inside.