“Language, any language, has a dual character: it is both a means of communication and a carrier of culture.”
I usually can lead into one of Kari-Lise’s show announcements by inviting locals to come out to an opening wherever it happens to be. But since America is still reeling from the pandemic and in-person events are still a long way off, I get to invite all y’all to the fancy virtual opening celebrating Kari-Lise’s latest series Night Garden coming this Thursday, July 9th at Roq La Rue Gallery here in Seattle.
This new series displays a substantial shift toward the new-contemporary movement while still retaining elements of Kari-Lise’s roots in lowbrow and pop-surrealism. Night Garden is fraught with wisps of gothic romance intertwining with introspective observations on the artistic journey with a nod towards growth, hardship, and one’s learned experiences. Realism remains a major aspect, but there’s a seeing a shift towards something else. It’s exciting to see. Her lavish colors, deep shadows, and the way she plays with shifting depth still amazes me. Yeah, I might be biased, but I find this new series enthralling, and I think you will too.
I’ve included a few of my favorite pieces below. Or just head on over to Roq La Rue’s website and see the full show! Be amazed with me!
While there isn’t going to be a traditional opening, the show can be viewed in person at Roq La Rue between 12-4 PM on Saturdays (masks are required, and no more than four people will be allowed in the gallery at a time.) If you live here in Seattle and are bored at home and looking for something safe to do, you really gotta see these pieces in person. Be sure to contact the gallery with inquiries about any particular piece.
Finally, follow Kari-Lise over on Instagram she shares a lot of amazing things and often documents her process. You can see her past work over on her website. If you’re interested in getting the insider scoop on what she’s doing before anyone else, I recommend you sign up for her newsletter. It’s an excellent way to stay up to date on what she’s doing.
🎬 Watch Overlooked Details
If you haven’t taken the time, make sure to watch the short documentary about Kari-Lise’s work: Overlooked Details, An Artist’s Journey, directed, edited, and filmed by Scott R. Wilson. (It partially documents her work on Inflorescence in 2013/14.) It’s fifteen minutes long and very much worth your time. It’s a raw, heartfelt, open, and vulnerable glimpse into her journey. I’ve embedded it below, and I recommend watching it full screen. You can view the full credits here.
🖼 Kari-Lise’s Previous Series
Interested in seeing Kari-Lise’s previous shows? I’ve written about them before, and I’d encourage you to check them out. Her work has always been incredible, but it’s also amazing to see her shift as an artist documented through the years:
- 2019 – The Vision of Graces (with Laurie Lee Brom and Syd Bee)
- 2018 – The Poisoned Garden Pt. 2
- 2018 – The Poisoned Garden Pt. 1
- 2017 – WAKE & WAKE Update
- 2015 – A Lovelorn Theft
- 2014 – Inflorescence
“Agitate! Agitate! Agitate!”
“Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground.”
“Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.”
I’m featuring three quotes today, and I could have featured a lot more. Douglass was prolific, wise, and arguably one of the greatest minds in America’s history. (Read up on him.) Over the last few weeks, I’ve been thinking a lot about Douglass’ words. I kept coming back to how poignant his speeches and writing remain over a century later. The work ain’t over. Racism, bigotry, and prejudice still plague our culture. The fight goes on. Lip service, phrases, quotes, and black squares on social media mean nothing without action. All lives won’t matter until Black Lives Matter, too.
Raunch Reviews is a series about profanity. Not real profanity, but speculative swearing. Authors often try to incorporate original, innovative forms of profanity into our own fantastical works as a way to expand the worlds we build. Sometimes we’re successful. Often we’re not. In this series, I examine the faux-profanity from various works of sci-fi and fantasy, judge their effectiveness, and rate them on an unscientific and purely subjective scale. This is Raunch Reviews, welcome.
The Author: David Gaider & BioWare
Work in Question: The Dragon Age Series
The Profanity: “Andreste’s Flaming Knickers”
Oaths have a long and sordid history. Often they emerge as a response to blasphemy laws/rules handed down by church leaders or, in many cases, the state. They’re a bit of rebellion by the laity, and they come in many forms. During the middle ages (especially 14th and 15th centuries), swearing by a deity’s body parts, excrement, or secretions were in fashion. And, as often happens with profanity, we see the minced variants show up later.
So, while it might sound silly, there’s a bit of “historical” accuracy at play here. Much of the faux-profanity in Dragon Age fits within a 15th-century theme. Andreste, in this case, is a prophet who has risen to deity status. Some consider her the bride of The Maker—the lone deity of Thedas—and according to the lore, she was burned alive by the Imperial Archon.
It’s from that “historical” event which the world pulls the oath, “Andreste’s Flaming Knickers.” It’s occasionally said by the mage Anders as the player moves around. It’s a bit morbid, but it works rather well in an in-game historical context, and it fits within a period-specific styling for faux-profanity. (It could be argued that “knickers” isn’t period-accurate since that term didn’t come into vogue until the 18th century, but this is fantasy, and I won’t ride them too hard.) “Flaming Knickers” is a bit of a mouthful. It doesn’t exactly roll smoothly off the tongue. In a thousand years, I’d assume there would be some linguistic drift or at least a simplified version. As it stands, the oath comes across as more of a silly colloquialism than anything a normal Thedaian would use in everyday speech. Plausible, but not common.
🤬 Previous Raunch Reviews
- “Fangbanger” from Alan Ball’s True Blood
- “Mit’ka” from Brad Wright & Jonathan Glassner’s Stargate SG-1
- “Merlin’s Beard” from J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series
- “Drokk” from John Wagner & Carlos Ezquerra’s Judge Dredd
- “Skin Job” from Hampton Fancher & David Peoples’ Blade Runner
- “Frag” from J. Michael Straczynski’s Babylon 5
- “Gorram” from Joss Whedon’s Firefly
- “Prawn” from Neill Blomkamp & Terri Tatchell’s District 9
- “By the Firsts” from K. M. Alexander’s Bell Forging Cycle
- “Smurf” from Raja Gosnell & Jordan Kerner’s The Smurfs (2011)
- “Dren” from Rockne S. O’Bannon’s Farscape
- “Quiznak” from J. Dos Santos & L. Montgomery’s Voltron: Legendary Defender
- “Smeg” from Rob Grant and Doug Naylor’s Red Dwarf
- “Burn Me” from Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time
- “Slitch” from Robert A. Heinlein’s Friday
- “Yarbles” from Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange
- “Cuss” from Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox
- “Feth” from Dan Abnett’s Gaunt’s Ghosts from Warhammer 40k
- “Shazbot” from Garry Marshall’s Mork & Mindy and Dynamix’s Starsiege: Tribes
- “Seven Hells” from George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice & Fire/Game of Thrones
- “Mudblood” from J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series
- “Frak” from Glen A. Larson’s, Ronald D. Moore’s, & David Eick’s Battlestar Galactica
- “Jabber” from China Miéville’s Bas-Lag series
- “Storm it”/”Storms”/”Storming” from Brandon Sanderson’s The Stormlight Archives
Have a suggestion for Raunch Reviews? It can be any made-up slang word from a book, television show, or movie. You can email me directly with your recommendation or leave a comment below. I’ll need to spend time with the property before I’ll feel confident reviewing it, so give me a little time. I have a lot of books to read.
I remember it happened twice. I was pulled over by the same Idaho State Patrol officer for speeding on the same quiet country road. I was 17/18 at the time; this was 1998/1999—I was easily doing twenty over the posted speed limit in both instances. My front bumper was sagging and broken in one car. (I later wrecked it.) The other was a rust bucket with a sour interior smell and only had one headlight. (I later sold it.) Both cars were a mess at the best of times. The first instance happened in the morning on the way to school. The latter late on a foggy night after a breakup. Same officer. Same infraction. Same road.
He let me go both times.
Why? Well, I could make a pretty solid guess. I’m white, and I’m male, and he was an occasional parishioner in my dad’s church. That’s privilege. I recognize this. Maybe not at the time but assuredly now as an adult. I never had a conversation with my parents like those in the video above. Sure I got the standard “respect cops” speech every kid receives, but nothing that compares. I never had the worry. I never had the fear. Never had the tears. I never faced that prejudice. That didn’t—it couldn’t—happen to me.
My skin color protects me. My gender protects me. My sexual orientation protects me. My status as a pastor’s kid protected me in both moments. That’s privilege. I didn’t have to worry about a broken headlight, reckless speeding, or a frumpy bumper being the sort of issue that could lead to my murder by the hands of police. I never worried about abuse. I never worried about spending the night in jail for doing next to nothing. Even now, the idea remains an alien concept. I’ve never had to fear police. I still don’t.
Growing up, it wasn’t a conversation topic in my home.
It shouldn’t be a conversation in anyone’s.
The fact it needs to is a travesty. If America is going to ever be great, it needs to start by being great for everyone.
FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT: © 2016 PACIFIC PRESS
“Certain conditions continue to exist in our society, which must be condemned as vigorously as we condemn riots. But in the final analysis, a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it that America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the plight of the Negro poor has worsened over the last few years. It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice, equality and humanity. And so in a real sense our nation’s summers of riots are caused by our nation’s winters of delay. And as long as America postpones justice, we stand in the position of having these recurrences of violence and riots over and over again.”
Justice for Eric Garner. Justice for John Crawford III. Justice for Michael Brown. Justice for Ezell Ford. Justice for Dante Parker. Justice for Michelle Cusseaux. Justice for Laquan McDonald. Justice for Tanisha Anderson. Justice for Akai Gurley. Justice for Tami Rice. Justice for Rumain Brisbon. Justice for Jerame Reid. Justice for George Mann. Justice for Matthew Ajibade. Justice for Frank Smart. Justice for Natasha McKenna. Justice for Tony Robinson. Justice for Anthony Hill. Justice for Mya Hall. Justice for Phillip White. Justice for Eric Harris. Justice for Walter Scott. Justice for William Chapman II. Justice for Alexia Christian. Justice for Brendon Glenn. Justice for Victor Manuel Larosa. Justice for Jonathan Sanders. Justice for Freddie Blue. Justice for Joseph Mann. Justice for Salvado Ellswood. Justice for Sandra Bland. Justice for Albert Joseph Davis. Justice for Darrius Stewart. Justice for Billy Ray Davis. Justice for Samuel Dubose. Justice for Michael Sabbie. Justice for Brian Keith Day. Justice for Christian Taylor. Justice for Troy Robinson. Justice for Asshams Pharoah Manley. Justice for Felix Kumi. Justice for Keith Harrison McLeod. Justice for Junior Prosper. Justice for Lamontez Jones. Justice for Paterson Brown. Justice for Dominic Hutchinson. Justice for Anthony Ashford. Justice for Alonzo Smith. Justice for Tyree Crawford. Justice for India Kager. Justice for La’vante Biggs. Justice for Michael Lee Marshall. Justice for Jamar Clark. Justice for Richard Perkins. Justice for Nathaniel Harris Pickett. Justice for Benni Lee Tignor. Justice for Miguel Espinal. Justice for Michael Noel. Justice for Kevin Matthews. Justice for Bettie Jones. Justice for Quintonio Legrier. Justice for Keith Childress Junior. Justice for Janet Wilson. Justice for Randy Nelson. Justice for Antronie Scott. Justice for Wendell Celestine. Justice for David Joseph. Justice for Calin Roquemore. Justice for Dyzhawn Perkins. Justice for Christopher Davis. Justice for Marco Loud. Justice for Peter Gaines. Justice for Torrey Robinson. Justice for Darius Robinson. Justice for Kevin Hicks. Justice for Mary Truxillo. Justice for Demarcus Semer. Justice for Willie Tillman. Justice for Terrill Thomas. Justice for Sylville Smith. Justice for Alton Sterling. Justice for Philando Castile. Justice for Terence Crutcher. Justice for Paul O’Neal. Justice for Alteria Woods. Justice for Jordan Edwards. Justice for Aaron Bailey. Justice for Ronell Foster. Justice for Stephon Clark. Justice for Antwon Rose II. Justice for Botham Jean. Justice for Pamela Turner. Justice for Dominique Clayton. Justice for Atatiana Jefferson. Justice for Christopher Whitfield. Justice for Christopher McCorvey. Justice for Eric Reason. Justice for Michael Lorenzo Dean. Justice for Breonna Taylor. Justice for George Floyd. Justice for… Justice for… Justice for… Justice for… Justice for…
How long do we let this continue? How long do we allow society to choose tranquility over justice? How many people do you know, more outraged over property damage than they were over the murder of a black man? Racism has never gone away, we’re just able to record it now.
FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT: AP Photo/Julio Cortez