Every morning I put on clothes. Every night I take the clothes off. The evidence of this process accumulates as piles in my living space—pants with socks nested inside them crumpled on the floor; shirts draped over my chair—about once a week I do my laundry, transforming the puddles of clothes on my floor into orderly stacks once again. My weekly routine as well as my artistic process are guided by repeating ritual maintenance. Sometimes this maintenance means reading queer theory, sometimes making paper out of my clothes, sometimes going to hear other artists talk about their work, sometimes making dinner with my friends. Although in my laundry routine I am able to restore order when putting my clothes away, I inevitably make a mess again out of days of wearing. My rituals sustain my well-being, but everything wears out. Through practices including wearing, walking, and washing; papermaking, sewing, and weaving, I am trying to bridge the disconnect I feel between process and documentation, present and memory. By documenting, I make a version of a fleeting moment that is inherently incomplete but becomes all I have to remember something that is over. Memory is rooted in repetition, and when I repeat stories they gradually change. This change is inevitable but still unsettling at times. My intimacy with the materials I work with and the people I spend time with leads to a more gentle transformation of what is worn out into new purposes for the present, increasing my sense of place amongst the relationships, objects, feelings, and experiences I have right now.
anne s. rogers