Episode 29: A Haunting of Geography (w/ Shannon Tamara Lewis)

Photo credit: Min Wei Ting

Hey everyone. I hope everyone is enjoying the end of summer. Things are going well in China. There is a lot to learn about the Chinese bureaucratic system as I try to get things done. There’s always a sense of community over individuality, which is interesting in the context of art and creativity and trying to be an individual. I am still trying to find my routine after the first two weeks of classes, but it is becoming more clear how to schedule my time. I have two videos I am currently editing from my time in Berlin. I hope to finish both by the end of the year. Fingers crossed!

For today’s episode, I get to talk and laugh with Shannon Tamara Lewis. I first met Shannon through the The Berlin Diaspora Society, a group founded by Indrani Ashe. The purpose of the group is to set up studio visits with artists working from a non-European perspective. At the time, Shannon and I were visiting another artist’s studio and we hit it off. We exchanged visits and I got to go to Shannon’s studio, which happens to be in the same space as Chiharu Shiota, one of my favorite artist. and I had one of the most refreshing conversations with Shannon about the Berlin art scene and really looked forward to being able to record our interactions.

Shannon got her BFA from the Ontario College of Art & Design and an MFA at Goldsmiths in London. Shannon’s practice is about demanding a pleasure space that plays with primping and polishing not as an assimilation to the fashion-beauty complex; but a space of satisfying self-care and artistry. Her work hovers between wanting to desperately participate in the trappings of privilege and wanting to tear down the structures that provide them. We talk about all these topics, as well as the ghost of representation, the scrambling of identity, and putting specificity in one’s work.

Shannon has quite a few shows lined up this fall, so if you are in any of these places, go check them out. Shannon has as a pop up show in London on September 26, an exhibition at the Projektraum in Kunstquartier Bethanien in Berlin on October 3rd, another exhibition at Alice Yard in Trinidad and Tobago on November 13th, a group show at the Les Urbaines Festival in Lausanne, Switzerland on December 6th, and finally, a pop up exhibition at BUTCH Cut in Berlin on January 18th.

I’ll also add more information in the show notes and on social media as I get more information. In any case, I hope you enjoy our conversation.

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