54 1/2 E. San Francisco St. #7
November 4- December 3, 2017
Opening Reception & Performance: Saturday, November 4, 6-9 pm
performances at 7 & 8 pm
Writing Workshop: Thursday, November 9, 6-9 pm
Reading: Saturday, November 11, 7 pm
From Minos to the modern day, every good labyrinth has held two types of challenges: those of the physical world, and those of the mind and soul. Ariana Lombardi’s installation at Strangers Collective’s No Land art space is no different. For the gallery’s first-ever artist residency, the writer, performer and visual artist will build an immersive display of art objects that links to a winding path of words she spun over several years of international travels. I Know That I Am opens on Saturday, November 4 from 6-9 pm, with a performance of the poetry that is the basis for the show’s visual components by Lombardi at 7 pm and 8pm. She will occupy the space from November 4-11, with a writing workshop on November 9 from 6-9 pm and a reading from her forthcoming travel memoir on November 11 at 7 pm. I Know That I Am will be on view through December 3, 2017.
“It strikes me that people think writers just sit and write, because language is everything,” says Lombardi. “If I’m out in the world, I’m writing. You’re not just writing when you’re sitting there typing.” This notion has guided Lombardi, who graduated from Santa Fe University of Art and Design in 2012, to develop a thoroughly mobile writing practice over the past several years. The pursuit has taken her across the United States, through Turkey and Europe, to Guangzhou, China where she has lived since 2015. Along the way, Lombardi has collected words and drawings in her notebooks and objects in her pockets. These elements converge in I Know That I Am, which will feature found object collections, visual art, installation art, poetry and non-fiction writing.
“Whatever medium I’m working with, the intent is the same. Each piece is a moment that captures a movement of the soul, of the self,” Lombardi says. “Here I am in this moment, and that moves me to the next one.” Lombardi has methodically collected meaningful objects since her childhood in New Jersey, when her mother gave her a special box to safeguard small treasures. When she enrolled at College of Santa Fe in 2008 to study writing, her conception of collecting expanded to encompass words and experiences. The school briefly closed and then reopened at the end of her freshman year, leaving Lombardi and a small group of classmates to rebuild the community. They held salons to share their work, mounted interactive art and writing projects, and collaborated on a digital publication for emerging creatives called KNACK Magazine.
In Lombardi’s junior year, she studied abroad in Turkey. After graduating she traveled across Europe with her sister Liv Lombardi, a musician who was in the midst of writing an album. These adventures were so fruitful for her writing and language practice that she ventured even farther, moving to China to teach English. Guangzhou became her home base for work and travels in Asia. “When I came to China, I started a new salon series and it blew up,” she says. She found herself at the forefront of yet another community of emerging artists and writers. “That’s the beautiful thing about China, you say you are and so you are,” Lombardi explains. This radical self-invention helped inspire the title of her residency at No Land.
Lombardi has big plans for her next artistic endeavor. She’s gearing up to move to Taipei where she will study Mandarin, launch a new iteration of The Salon, and put the finishing touches on her book. She aims to bridge far-flung creative communities through her projects, Home Is A Lonely Hunter and The Salon. At the moment, she’s busy consolidating her creative output since college for I Know That I Am. On the exhibition’s opening night, she will read a cycle of poems, or language meditations, titled Instructions. These works directly relate to the art objects and artistic journey on view. At the end of her week of engaging with the public, she’ll read from her recently completed manuscript, This Body of Water.
“I Know That I Am is a culmination of a universe of creative output,” says No Land co-director Kyle Farrell. “Visitors will discover common themes that carry them from one body of work to the next, but the experience is as intuitive as it is intellectual. Ari will inspire you to surrender to the moment, and get back in touch with your senses and emotions in visceral ways.”
Thursday, November 9, 6-9 pm
$10-$15 suggested donation
Lombardi will present a creative communication writing workshop called, "Hear It Is". She'll invite participants to work with the sonics of language in experimental ways in order to write a poem which reflects one's innate sense of sound. How do you create meaning from sound? The event challenges participants to investigate and experiment with the narratives we construct, emotionally and definitively, when we are stripped of the facility to understand the meaning of the words being spoken to us. Attendees will be led by Lombardi in a discussion about issues and considerations of translation. You'll walk away from this workshop with a more attuned sense of the texture that sound makes and how to approach writing in unique and creative ways.
Ariana Lombardi is a writer, artist and educator. She is a founder and the host of The Salon. She has hosted salons in Guangzhou, China and the States, as well as Salon-powered creative communication workshops. She is Co-founder and Executive Editor of KNACK Magazine and is member of Strangers Collective. She has interned at The Georgia O'Keeffe Research Center and SITE Santa Fe. Her writing has been published in That’s PRD, Strangers, Vol. 1, and The Laurel Review. She has been participant and performed in exhibitions in Guangzhou, China and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Some include, Embrace Ambition, (Arte Place Gallery at the Guangzhou Opera House), Fei Gallery’s, Pink Party Summer Festival (One Creative Community Art Park), and Art23 Contemporary Art Gallery. Ariana has been living in Asia since 2015.