PRE-ORDER | Wig Heavier Than a Boot by David Johnson + Philip Matthews

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PRE-ORDER | Wig Heavier Than a Boot by David Johnson + Philip Matthews

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Wig Heavier Than A Boot by David Johnson and Philip Matthews
*RELEASING OCTOBER 2019

Wig Heavier Than A Boot brings together photography by David Johnson and poetry by Philip Matthews. Revealing Petal—a drag consciousness as whom Philip manifests to write, and David photographs—the project crosses art-making rituals with isolated performances within domestic spaces and pastoral landscapes. Taken together, the resulting photographs and poems reveal dynamic relationships between author, character, and observer. By articulating a specific creative process in which one identity becomes two, the project in turn opens up a conversation about gender expression through an art-historical lens.

The photographs provide one record of author and character, blurring art-historical masculine and feminine postures. The poems provide another, which elaborate upon the lived experience of being, modeling, and sometimes, obscuring Petal. Subverting the ekphrastic literary tradition, Philip’s poems do not respond to David’s photographs, nor vice-versa. Both forms are made in the present: as David directs the shoot, Philip makes performance notes that give way to the poem. The photographs capture the blend or distinction between Philip and Petal, and the poems hybridize their perspectives, enacting a relationship that is surreal, empowering, and unbearable, as the project title suggests. What is constant is a sense of a person wanting to belong to the place that hosts them (i.e. farmland in rural Wisconsin, the coast of North Carolina, an art museum in St. Louis, a small church), even or especially when the social norms of that place are felt to ostracize them. Both photographs and poems balance narrative with fragmentation and invite multiple interpretations.

David Johnson is an artist, educator, and curator based in Iowa City, IA. He received an MFA in Visual Art from Washington University in St. Louis in 2007 and earned his BFA in Studio Art with an emphasis in Photography from Texas Christian University. In 2011, David was awarded the Great Rivers Visual Arts Award from the Gateway Foundation. This biennial award culminated with his 2012 exhibition institutional etiquette and strange overtones at the Contemporary Art Museum in Saint Louis.

His photographs have been exhibited internationally, including the Contemporary Art Museum Saint Louis, Mildred Lane Kemper Museum, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, National Building Museum in Washington D.C. and Rathaus in Stuttgart, Germany. His work can be found in the collection at The Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago. Don’t Take Pictures, the Humble Arts Foundation, Lenscratch, Photo-emphasis and Fraction Magazine have featured his work online. David has curated exhibitions for Center of Creative Arts, Paul Artspace and the International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum in St Louis. Currently, Johnson is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Photography at the University of Iowa.

Philip Matthews is a poet from eastern North Carolina and the author of Witch (Alice James Books, forthcoming April 2020). Individual poems have appeared in Poetry Northwest, Tusculum Review, Denver Quarterly, Connotation Press, Sonora Review, and elsewhere. Anchored by site-specific meditation and performance, his practice investigates spiritual, queer power, eco-consciousness, and questions of home. He is the recipient of fellowships and residencies from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Hemera Foundation, and Wormfarm Institute. He has lectured at Washington University in St. Louis and the Kansas City Art Institute, and from 2013-16, he organized public programs at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation, emphasizing cross-disciplinary collaboration, artist-driven thinking, and community-directed action. He received his MFA Writing from Washington University in St. Louis and BA English from Tulane University.

Book Design - Amy Thompson, Paper Boat Studios

8 x 10" vertical
softcover
96 pages, 39 plates
First Edition, limited to 300 copies

OPTION I - Book Only - $30
OPTION II - Book with Print 01, 11 x 14” archival pigment print and a handwritten poem, signed, limited to 20 copies - $150
OPTION III - Book with Print 02, 11 x 14” archival pigment print and a handwritten poem, signed, limited to 20 copies - $150

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