The Voyage of The Sable Venus / Rescuing Water-Damaged Textiles during the Los Angeles Riots


Sable Venus / Rescuing Water-Damaged Textiles during the Los Angeles Riots

Selected by Paige Laino

Last meeting, we discussed what I’m sure everyone else getting this email was also talking about that Friday. I don’t see the necessity in naming names, nor is it my intent to fan flames that, hopefully by next meeting, will have been reduced to embers or engulfed the whole house. But I do feel that, rather than continuing the arduous process of parsing the intent of individual actors, the dialogue must be expanded outward. 

The weeks of silence from any party that could provide actions, answers, or even simply acknowledgement has demonstrated, to me, the uniquely sequestered position that institutions, and those with institutional backing, can enjoy. Throughout the discussions that this silence has let fester and foment, a refrain as emerged: “we’ve been here before.”

Have we been here before? Who has been here before–the art, the resistance, or the institution? To address these questions I’ve selected two texts that address both specific and broad examples of institutional isolation. 

  • The Voyage of The Sable Venus by Robin Coste Lewis, Prologue (attached)
    Full text here:
  • Rescuing Water-Damaged Textiles during the Los Angeles Riots by Dubravka Turkovic-Kiseljev from the Journal of the American Institute for Conservation, Vol. 34, No. 1 (Spring 1995) (attached)

The meeting will be Friday, April 7th, 6:30PM
at the Skowhegan office, 136 W. 22nd Street

For this meeting, please have prepared a response, either a (min 100 word) text or image. 

And snacks, if you’re so inclined.