MANDEM (the artist conglomerate fronted by FSU Art MFA ’15 Maize Arendsee) is a featured artist in the August, 2017 issue of “Up the Staircase Quarterly,” a journal of poetry and art. Working with the publication’s themes of protest/resistance and being seen/heard, MANDEM discussed their “Hypermobility” series that portrays models with connective tissue disorders.
“‘Dislocation as a Form of Creation’ explores the poetics of disability through text, paint, and pain,” MANDEM writes. “The text and paint movement on the canvas carries competing voices about disability… It was a long and drawn-out process as the piece evolved and changed in a seemingly endless work, with texts written, erased, re-written, painted over, scratched out, and finally left as a palimpsest of chaotic noise.”
The editors of “Up the Staircase Quarterly” seek to publish unique and groundbreaking work that is vivid in imagery and idea. “We seek the difference-makers, writers and artists going in new directions, originals,” they explain.
The photos shared by “Up the Staircase Quarterly” give a behind-the-scenes look into MANDEM’s studio practice and the process of creating the project that premiered at Cleveland’s “Rooms to Let” exhibit this past May, an event where artists create works in vacant homes.
MANDEM’s accompanying artist statement explains that “these images look to find a moment of (self) creation in the embrace of a disabled body and in the transformation of labor/pain into beauty. As art objects, though, their larger goal is to reinsert disabled bodies into the often-inaccessible homes of art and mythology and to reassert our agency and right to exist.”
Up the Staircase Quarterly is found online at http://www.upthestaircase.org.