Means for Collective Healing Solo Exhibition by Souther Salazar

It doesn’t matter what I call it. Choosing the right words, the right definitions…it’s not important. I’m a confused person. I can’t stick to the plans. I see visual languages, written languages, materials…so confusing, they’re all negotiable, they’re all open to interpretation.

I’ve never sought out a term for my confusion… just at odds with the structure of society is how I’ve always felt. It all feels the same to me, a confusion, a sadness of the way the world I see around me seems to be, when all of my favorite things don’t fit into that structure, and the one thing I do know, is that the best medicine is creativity.

It often feels like the answer to every single problem, it’s the medicine, it’s the superpower we all need to just forgive and forget ourselves while remembering and criticizing ourselves at the same time. Hope and despair. We need to examine ourselves and understand both, because within that search for understanding, we understand each other.  So i dip into that cabinet and heal the confusion by allowing it to exist, and being ok with it. That’s what creativity feels like. A confusing negotiation between yourself and others, that somehow ends up being kind of a beautiful and meaningful conversation in spite of it all.

“Being open to the possibilities”. That seems like a blurry enough theme for a confused person like me to get behind.

That’s the thing. We draw lines all over, wiggly lines, lines that can be erased and painted over and ones that will crumble, but also, hopefully, ones that will stay around for a long time. The lines we agree that we love together, the ones that protect us from our worst, as human animals floating in this universe together, away from our memories and off towards the unknown.

It’s moving, you can’t track a particle’s position and movement at the same time. It’s unknowable. There is no such thing as a closed system. That means, that to see the world like this: blurry, confusing, changing, unknowable, unpredictable, but a joy to examine and exist in every day… that is to see the world for what it is but also what it can be at the same time. To see possibilities, and to see it like a child. As something unfolding, beautifully and tragically in front of us. To witness it, ask questions, and play together in it, like fresh snow. A blanket of beautiful, non-identical parts…LIFE.

Try to draw a straight line.

You can’t do it.

Those deviations in the line are “style”.

Those are the little tremors that define us. We can measure the variations, but we can’t eliminate them.

Those little quivers we can’t control within us, as vibrating, dancing forms of energy in and within, those little billions of dancing pieces of universe that we forget we’re made of…those are us. Your little tremor is you, and my little tremor is me… and if we try to draw two straight lines on top of each other, they will quiver together, but not exactly the same.

You have to find the part of you that lets go of the idea that you already know. And then, right at that point, is when possibilities begin to exist.

(I’ve been thinking lately how strange it is to call an art show “my art show.” There are always so many friends and helpers involved. Monica Choy, my partner of 10 years, is a huge force in all my work since we’ve met. If she isn’t helping and guiding directly, hands on, helping me paint and glue and frame, her inspiration and sense of time management and social responsibility help me land in the right place with my art. And with my words. She helps me edit down some of my ramblings. She helps me meet the world in countless ways. So this art show is dedicated to her, for all the love she has taught me to feel, and for all the work she has done for free for me and for the universe in this curious soup of art making called life. I would like to also thank Eric Nakamura for believing in me over the years—this show marks 18 years of us working together.)


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