Memorial as a genre is vital for its ability to hold the tension which grief creates inside crafted objects, spaces and rituals. Indira Allegra is re-imagining what a memorial can feel like, the scale on which it can exist and how it can function through the practice of performance, sculpture and installation. Deeply informed by the process of weaving, Allegra explores the repetitive crossing of forces held under tension be they material, social or emotional. Her work has been featured in exhibitions at The Arts Incubator in Chicago, John Michael Kholer Art Center, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Center for Craft Creativity and Design, Mills College Art Museum, Weinberg/Newton, 808 Gallery, The Alice Gallery and SOMArts among others. Her commissions include performances for SFMOMA, de Young Museum, The Wattis Institute, City of Oakland and SFJAZZ Poetry Festival. Allegra’s work has been featured by BBC Radio 4, Art Journal, KQED and Surface Design Magazine. She was the recipient of the Artadia Award, Tosa Studio Award, Windgate Craft Fellowship and Jackson Literary Award and has received support from the Mike Kelley Artist Project Grant, MAP Fund and Queer Cultural Center. Indira has been a visiting artist at Southern Denmark University, Mills College and is a former Tag Lecturer at East Carolina University, Shelly Osborne visiting artist at UC Berkeley and Lia Cook Jacquard artist in residence at the California College of the Arts.
Space is not passive.
There is no such thing as a ‘blank’ or ‘open’ space geographically, visually or ideologically.
Everything is animate.
You might be a visitor or newcomer in someone else’s territory or neighborhood. Find out who was there before you got there.
Build an altar to your creative and intellectual ancestors. Tend to it.
Support artists who are making work you can’t/wouldn’t/shouldn’t make.
Support artists you aren’t attracted to sexually.
Ask yourself if you can answer a question or impulse without an object before you make another object for the Earth to hold. Ask yourself if you can use used/biodegradable materials. Material production + storage = water and oil.
Identify where you need help or are lacking the proper expertise to make an idea come to life.
Compensate all workers contributing to your studio practice in a timely way.
Poaching creative ideas from studio assistants, students, lesser known or marginalized artists is an act of colonialism.
Sexual harassment, assault or emotional abuse of team members, collaborators, assistants, colleages or fellow artists is violence, it is not ‘how things are done’ or ‘how things get done’.
Consider if there are permissions you need to ask for to make a work.
Build your legacy through mentorship of other artists and collecting works by artists who are born and raised in the place(s) where you are currently working or you have been a visitor to.
An artist is worth more than their productivity - take time off every season from your studio and put your vacation responder on.
Identify moments where it is most ethical to self fund a project.
All artists have cultural, economic and gender experiences which influence, in part, their understanding and production of their work.
Artists are more than object and experience makers. We are thinkers and researchers also.