by Katie Cercone
These days I’m sheltering-in my rainbow-making cocoon, birthing art, being a mother and spending unstructured time at the East River Park surrendering in full to the birth of spring. I’m not a scientist, nor do I watch the news. That being said I don’t support the corporate medical-industrial complex on principle but I’m respectful of others’ belief systems. I think it’s a mistake to think we can solve this problem the same way we got into it – by privileging white male authority, western scientific reason, top-down, authoritarian and militaristic mechanisms of control. If I’m afraid of anything right now it’s not an invisible virus it’s how we’re being handled by our leadership in this country, and the implications for power-grabbing amidst all this hysteria. Although the truth evades us, something’s funky with the neoliberal takeover of the human body, 5G, surveillance and privacy issues. These masks feel like muzzles. Our health is our wealth, and this crisis only highlights how so many human beings put their health on the back burner until it was too late, catalyzed of course by misinformation, workaholism as the norm, the splintered family relations of late-capitalism, and a medical model that obscures the basic interconnectivity of the body-mind-spirit to profit off of disease and mental illness. As a yogi of over twenty-years, I still stand in my belief that a strong aura repels disease, viruses and bad energy. I also understand we each reincarnate with unique karma and crises (!) that wake us back up to our divine origin. That being said, I think sheltering-in can be done out of respect with and for the larger collective – for the protection of the most vulnerable members of society. So I’ve been crying and sewing to music even more than usual. I’m getting used to teaching yoga on zoom. In terms of social media, when I can traverse through my own muddled emotions, I use it as an opportunity to share what works for me – yoga, mantra, meditation, art! I also feel there are so many blessings here in disguise, the earth is resting and regenerating, as are all of we. In fifteen years of living in New York City I’ve never slowed down to this degree. I’ve been worried about money most of the time and this was the first time I ever just said oh hell… there’s nothing to chase.
Let me spend that quality time with my son at the river drinking in the unique scent of each daffodil, tracing its outline with my eyes, watching the way the current of the river flows a little bit different each day, feet in the moist soil.
My three year old son Kali has me rolling in flowers, playing, climbing trees and exploring tiny crevices of the park I never noticed when I was always two steps ahead of myself, obliterating the preciousness of the moment in my urgent need to get everything done! Maybe it’s time to change our definition of success. I’ve thought about love a lot, and how that’s the only thing I really care about, how speaking about anything else feels inauthentic at times and I never never wanted to market or sell myself, not to mention these ancient teachings anyways. I just want us all to be happy, healthy and free. The Mother Earth speaks, and now it’s our duty to listen. Overall, once I submitted to the simplicity life was mandating after shelter-in, I realized I loved that simplicity. And I’m deeply grateful for my position during a pandemic in which many folks are without food, shelter, water or basic support systems. I settled into a sweet rhythm enjoying the art of motherhood, the whispers of nature and recommitting fully to self-love in all my ratchet grace. My creative output distilled down in this amazing way to what I felt most passionate about, and from there I continued to weave new heartfelt realities with my words, thoughts, and creations.
Katie Cercone *High Prieztezz Or Nah* is a visionary artist, scribe,prieztezz and spiritual gangsta hailing from the blessed coast. Cerconehas performed or shown work in exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum,Bronx Museum, Dallas Contemporary, Momenta Art, C24 Gallery,Changjiang Museum China, Dodge Gallery and Aljira Center forContemporary Art. She has published critical writing in ART PAPERS,White Hot, Posture, Brooklyn Rail, Hysteria, Bitch Magazine, UtneReader and N.Paradoxa. As co-leader of the radical, queer, transnationalfeminist collective Go! Push Pops, Cercone spearheaded a 400-womenstrong takeover of the Whitney Museum in 2014 known as “The ClitneyPerennial,” and was awarded the Culture Push Fellowship for UtopianPractice the same year. In 2015 she was a distinguished NationalEndowment for the Arts Fellow for the U.S.-Japan Exchange Program inTokyo (JUSFC). Her work has been featured in Dazed, MILK, Interview,Japan Times, Huffington Post, ART 21, Hyperallergic, PAPER, Art FagCity, Washington Post, and Art Net TV among others. Cercone hascurated shows for Momenta Art, KARST (UK), Cue Art Foundation, LocalProject and NurtureArt. Cercone is adjunct faculty at the School of VisualArts where she teaches GENDER TROUBLE in the Visual & CriticalStudies Department. Follow her on Instagram @0r__nah_spiriturlgangsta
Learn more at KatieCercone.com