Exorcizing America: Water Safety Exercises
Video, edition 1/10
DescriptionMy work navigates the impacts of the body politic on living bodies, land, and culture. I work to contribute to an ending of violent tongues, knives and pens that cut apart land, culture, sex, and life. I work to expose oppressive ear and violence rooted in separation. My work celebrates the connection of land, water, and everything that depends on it. I weave, sew, cast, draw, sculpt, and perform tools for surviving current conditions and envisioning regenerative, intersectional, connected ways of being. The mixed materials and processes I create embody my mixed heritage; advocating for allegiance to land, water, and marginalized bodies in the face of continued state of violence and oppression. My works are containers for story, feeling, thought; images of what cannot be seen, and exercises for existence. "Learn to recognize when water is unsafe. Water is unsafe when it contains crude oil, refined petrochemicals, heavy metals, chemical fertilizer, chemical insecticides or any combination of organic or inorganic compounds that prevent water from supporting itself and everything that depends on it through the continuous processes of hydration, incubation, filtration, erosion, and evaporation. Unsafe water may exhibit signs of distress including but not limited to: color changes, thick or oily surface film, bad smells, bad taste, flammability, itchiness, burning sensations upon contact, animal death, plant death. Water safety exercises may not fully prevent or avert health complications from unsafe water, including but not limited to itchy skin, watery eyes, organ failure, reproductive complication, certain types of cancer, plant die off, animal die off, and weather pattern distortion. The best way to keep water safe is through protection from crude oil, refined petrochemicals, heavy metals, chemical fertilizer, chemical insecticides or any combination of organic or inorganic compounds that prevent water from supporting itself and everything that depends on it. No Dakota Access Pipeline. Support Standing Rock."
About this Artist
Merritt Johnson’s work is rooted in care and endurance; navigating periphery, division, connection and intersection. Her multidisciplinary works are signals and signifiers; containers for thought and feeling. For two decades she has worked to expose oppressive fear and violence rooted in separation, to end the oppression of bodies, land, sex, and culture; while envisioning regenerative, intersectional, connected possibilities centered in collective dependence on, and responsibility to Land and Water. Johnson is pan-sexual cis-gender woman of mixed descent, she is not claimed by, nor a citizen of any nation from which she descends. Her practice is a synthesis of necessity: refusing binaries, refusing fractions of division and control, she embraces the impossibility of disentanglement and the intersection of peripheral experiences. Johnson’s use of multiple materials and process is an affirmation of variance and a reflection of her insistence that a multiplicity of tools (and bodies to wield them) are needed to…View Full Artist Bio