Public Parking
A journal for storytelling, arguments, and discovery through tangential conversations.
Cycles of production and disruption: in conversation with Karen Kraven
Tuesday, March 23, 2021 | Beth Schellenberg
Karen Kraven and I shared a series of scattered connections over the course of several months, with COVID-19 creating setbacks and long pauses that stretched out our dialogue, punctuating a busy yet oppressively still fall. Over a zoom call in November we had an electric conversation about workism and productivity, themes present in Kraven’s work and, of course, in our own lives. Kraven’s work, which revolves around cycles of production and disruption, feels incredibly prescient in this interminable “moment” of isolation, societal disruption and the increasingly obvious malaise created by rampant materialism and capitalist ideology.  Drawing on fashion, sports, and industry, Kraven’s exhibitions delicately undo and recreate mutable impressions of bodies, highlighting their absence and instability. In Razzle Dazzle Sis Boom Bah (2014) a series of fanciful hats fit for the royal pate of Queen Elizabeth II herself rest jauntily on hat stands made of salt licks (the type strewn across pastures for grazing animals, large colourful blocks) and metal pipe. Dust Against Dust’s (2019) fabric sculptures gesture towards garments, and are rendered precisely in jewel-toned taffetas with carefully hemmed edges. Other exhibitions feature nets draped haphazardly and rough denim fraying, textile compositions that maintain a jagged harmony, falling just shy of cacophony. This work is not prescriptive, rather it is open, literally coming apart at the seams. 
Opinion: 2018 Flashbacks: “One More Time, With Feeling”
Monday, January 14, 2019 | Beth Schellenberg
Beginning a New Year on the prairies can be a somewhat discordant experience. Inhabitants attempt rebirth during the darkest, coldest days, reflecting on the past twelve months while ice gathers on windows, accompanied by radiators clanking hiss. 2018 felt long and utterly exhausting on a political and pop-cultural level and saw the two categories, previously somewhat separated (albeit by a barely visible line), begin to merge into a frightening, amorphous blob. On a personal level the year was both monumental and anticlimactic; a combination that seems liable to occur after significant life events take place or projects come to a close. In 2018 I survived Grad school, received a Research Fellowship to study in the UK for three months, and swam in the Atlantic Ocean, the Adriatic, Ionian, Mediterranean, North,...