2016. / by Heather Kapplow

Ha! I couldn't think of a title for this blog post so I lazed out with "2016" which immediately made me feel as if I needed to launch into a list of resolutions.

I don't have any—except maybe to make sure my work this year has me sitting less and walking around more as, despite having not written here since October (!!), I feel like I spend way more time in front of a computer than I should. Anyway, happy 2016, and apologies for the long silence. 

Now that I've called this "2016" it's a bit awkward to look back on 2015, but I feel like I should at least summarize what happened in the time between my last posting and this one. Really, it was just that I completed and installed WATER and was exhausted but very happy, and then it was Thanksgiving, and then all of the other holidays piled into place, and now it's now.

  WATER  (Detail) [Photo Credit: Jerry Mann]

WATER (Detail) [Photo Credit: Jerry Mann]

I've used what down time I've had to kind of clean up and dig out of backlogged stuff that I lost track of when things were at their busiest, and have also been doing some writing... 

Art-wise, at the very tail end of 2015, I tried to replicate the performance/photography series Days After the Darkest Day (currently on view at the Mass Convention Center,) that I did at the end of 2014, but had a technical failure that I still have to figure out whether there's a possible way to recover from.

Next up is (very tentatively) a possible project focused on my anxieties around friendships for (maybe) inclusion in a very low key show in NYC later this month (but I'm still not sure whether this will happen. Need to figure this out tonight really.) And also (very tentatively) a possible performance-sound collaboration thing might be in the works. Oh, and I've also dragged a few large objects from the street into my studio that I want to do something with, but I'm not sure what yet. All of this is far too nebulous-feeling to bother talking about.

So 2016 is pretty much a blank slate. I'll let you know when that starts to change....

Actually, a little addendum.

If I learned anything from my time as an artist on hiatus last year, I learned this: art making happens in mysterious ways and you don't always know when you are and aren't making art or having something in progress. I'm trying hard these days to pay better attention to smaller art-making-related impulses. Towards that end, I'm adding one note to this posting.

Near the end of last year I had this recurring urge to paint my fingernails black. I tried to shake it off because nailpolish has always made me feel as if my fingernails were suffocating, and because it felt childish. But the urge never went away, and so finally, a few weeks ago, in a 99 cents store in Williamsburg, I gave in to the urge and bought some cheapo black nailpolish.

 Proof. (Also, can you believe this tiny hand is the hand of an adult person?! It's my hand but it shocks me anyway..)

Proof. (Also, can you believe this tiny hand is the hand of an adult person?! It's my hand but it shocks me anyway..)

I have the smallest most gnawed fingernails in the world, and can't keep polish on them for more than a day without it being destroyed by how I use my hands, but I've been dutifully repainting them once the polish completely disappears, and despite how often people tell me it looks ridiculous.

I can sense that by following this dictate (which I imagine is coming from some very adolescent part of myself!) I'm paying attention to something muse-like that may reveal itself later (or perhaps at least eventually choose a form other than black nailpolish for its expression.) So 2016 is actually not a 100% blank slate. It has a few scrappy little spots of black enamel on it...