“We need to forgive ourselves for how we felt in the past,” Rebecca tells me. Like holographic paintings belonging on the walls of an art museum, her presentation of Solid Sight flickers across the screen. The images are puzzle pieces, the passages borrowed phrases from various sources. Earlier in the day we had lunch and she showed me her studio; the unobtrusive set-up in her bedroom, her two desks relatively neat. Her room was mild and dark. I wasn’t ready for the evening.
Rebecca Mock is the second reader in the Bergen Street Comics event on the night of January 18, 2014, curated by Annie Mok. Unfortunately I missed Annie’s presentation, but I saw her curatorial hand behind the artists she had asked to join her. This was the first event where I finally felt comics belonged, to have the work presented by the artists themselves.
How would I feel if I were a dog and I were to die? Laura Knetzger reads the premiere of Comics For Dogs 3. Laura reads her work with a fiery spirit burning beneath her skin, her words numbing my heart like ice water. She started the evening with a few short comics, bright colors with words like poetry. But the whites and blacks and inky-grays of the longer Comics For Dogs work should have been a warning to me that this wasn’t going to be an easy art experience.
I start to cry as Laura continues. She speaks of a deep pain, but letting go. Forgiveness directed towards the universe. I want her to read it again. It was a night of appreciation. The artists have pinpoint intent. They stand with valor in this crowd; they are proud artists who present their work with the confidence of people who have sat alone and thought deeply.
I wipe my tears as Annie introduces Rebecca. The shimmering blue and red 3D images of Solid Sight have an evanescence that I missed in the paper form, and I become engulfed.
Earlier in the night Sam and I had dinner and talked about what we want out of a community. I like Sam. We talk about books and art and relationships. “What do I want?” is a question I ask myself a lot when I’m with Sam. What do I want?
O Horvath takes the stage. I have read their comic Spurt Of Blood before. But my experience of it holds nothing to the resonance of their presentation. They read the stage directions for their purposeful misinterpretation of Artaud; panel by panel the play unfolds on the screen behind them. The wrist of God is bitten and I start to cry again, in awe of my friend. I cry more during their second story, a short work for the lit and image anthology Witch Fingers, edited by Xander Marro. I watch our dream burn. I have to leave for air and miss Annie’s work.
Notes: Unquenched vigor. Truth. Quietness and chaos. Stories. Filter of art, speaking to truths, creating their own ebbed reality, bending around words and drawings. Untouchable and tangible.
During the questions after the readings Annie speaks of collaboration, and I see the room as it is, humid with intelligence and creativity.
We are a community and I’m not concerned with development. The support and love and validation are evident, self-evident. What do I want? The present is great and the future is great, our struggle is alone while simultaneously in our community, surrounded and intelligent. We are individuals with understanding for one another that puts hope and joy and inspiration into each other as we separate, until we see each other again, hopefully with more art to share and validate. This is a good place to be. A supportive group in admiration of one another and themselves, a petri dish of growth, the inspiration of seeing each other and telling our art.
“We are not alone.”