Issue 6: Not a Memoir, romance scam, Busy Signal

"How much do you love me? Will you eat sashimi with me? Are you adventurous?"

Welcome to Khôra, a dynamic online arts space produced in collaboration with Lidia Yuknavitch’s Corporeal Writing. Visit our Archive to read previous issues. Subscribe for full access to Khôra’s monthly newsletter and publication highlights. 

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For Issue 6, it was a treat to collaborate with this month’s featured writer Lilly Dancyger, whose highly-anticipated memoir Negative Space will be released on May 1, 2021. Khôra’s current cover image was considered for the cover of Lilly’s memoir, a book that blends journalism, memoir, and criticism to examine her memories of her father, who was part of the iconic 1980s East Village art scene. This issue’s gritty, affectionate piece Not a Memoir was not included in the final version of Negative Space, and we’re thrilled to give it new life here.

In his day-to-day work life, this month’s featured artist Anthony Grant creates commercial design work for the masses. While his professional work strives for perfection and/or “solutions,” his personal artwork aims to be disruptive, while drawing on the familiar, using certain visual cues and symbols often found in advertising to question identity and cultural norms/expectations. The viewer is meant to question the meaning of the piece, and the meaning of the cultural icons and symbols Anthony has appropriated.

In Anthony’s words:

Busy Signal is part of an ongoing body of work which combines my interests in symbols both graphic and personal, representation of African Americans in media, textures, and recycling in both literal and figurative terms.

Before you dive into Issue 6, I want to mention the recent controversy over Substack’s decision to publish writers who have been vicious in their opinions of the trans community. We have written to Substack to advocate for justice, equity, inclusion, and diversity, and demanded that they remove these writers from the platform. If you know us, you know we take this seriously, and we’re not going to let this go.

In the meantime, if you love what you’re seeing here, please share, tweet, retweet, and post, and Khôra will be back next month.

Yours,

Leigh Hopkins
and the Corporeal/Khôra squad

“How much do you love me? Will you eat sashimi with me? Are you adventurous?”

— from romance scam, Nay Saysourinho


Issue 6 Highlights

Not a Memoir by Featured Writer Lilly Dancyger / artwork by Joe Schactman

“Three years into the process, I was having trouble adjusting to the idea that I was writing a memoir. I didn’t want to write about myself, I wanted to write about my father. But I couldn’t seem to do one without the other. I wanted to make a book of his art, immortalized images printed cleanly next to the story of his life, a canonization. But every piece of his story I uncovered led me back to my grief over his death, my anger at his addiction, the splintered relationship with my mother I’d been left with when he died. I kept saying the book I was writing was an artist monograph, but every day the words stared back at me, so clearly, defiantly, a memoir…”

Read Not a Memoir.


romance scam by Nay Saysourinho / artwork by Saskia Jordá

“Dear Mark, I don’t understand how the money still hasn’t reached you. Are you sure you gave me the right account number? It’s so strange! But don’t worry. I will sort out the matter…”

Read romance scam.


Busy Signal by Featured Artist: Anthony Grant

“In his day to day work life, Anthony Grant creates commercial design work for the masses. He spends his days crafting user interfaces as well as other digital and or printed media relying on acquired knowledge of the graphic arts. Balancing those “rules” of design with his own intuition and style. While his professional work strives for perfection and or “solutions”, his personal art work aims to be disruptive, while drawing on the familiar, using certain visual cues and symbols often found in advertising to question identity and cultural norms/expectations…”

Read Busy Signal.


Your Future Self Is a Stranger by Kat Lewis / Artwork by Lynne Harlow

“When I was twenty-three, I promised my best friend I would carry her child. The year after we graduated from college, doctors needed to do a hysterectomy to save her life—a surgery she was considering forgoing. “If I can’t be a mother, I should just die,” Bora had told me in the black of our San Francisco apartment as we watched Where the Wild Things Are. We sat on our secondhand sofa, sharing my childhood blanket, and I tried to imagine life without her…”

Read Your Future Self Is a Stranger.


Somewhere to Carry This by Eva Recinos / artwork by Samira Abbassy

“I’ve always felt so small in museums. Not just literally, as I craned my neck up to gaze at sculptures and paintings and installations. Conceptually, too. Like the decades or, even, centuries represented by each piece expanded around me. And I was a small speck on this timeline, one small speck…”

Read Somewhere to Carry This.


Horizon Line by Roe McDermott / artwork by Christina McPhee

“I can’t see the sea from where I live. But it’s there. I remember.

I read once that people who grow up on islands often experience a very specific form of anxiety when they move to landlocked places. There is no word for this specific fear. The closest is cleithrophobia, the fear of being trapped…”

Read Horizon Line.


Khôra will be back next month.

As a reminder, when you subscribe to Khôra for free, you’ll receive issue highlights straight to your inboxSubscribers will also receive extra goodies like access to our Zoom Solidarity Hour, occasional speaker series, subscriber-only posts, virtual care packages, and more to come. No one will be turned away due to lack of funds. If you are able to pay for a subscription, we love you, and you help to build access for others. If you’re not able to pay for a subscription, we love you, and welcome to the revolution.

Swim around in Khôra.