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Patricia Reading


by Julia Thompson


Performed by Patricia Aranka Smith


The dregs are what Patricia has in front of her. The things she cannot see yet moves around and between, never through. It looks like a thing for your mouth when it's really a thing for your hands. The returns to past trauma. The wavering delivery of the then and now.

Now what is this eventless event bound to. Or is it just a stretching for care. A thirst for care.


An immovable slice of a feeling from a drunken half-memory,
that only seems to resurrect in this moment.
To live inside again. 
To smother from the outside-in, again.

“Don’t let this eat away at you” he said. Resisting this weight.
It’s hard to feel safe in my bones around him.
Picking up again.
Searching for the ground again a ground,

or a set of legs.

compulsively reaching, she stands up... she leans over the table and holds it up to the heat lamp. It absorbs and reflects. Is that its power? Histories she struggles to fill. The text is still smeared from the ground up. Keep reaching for that.

Inside the dormant water is the detritus of her life. 

Half-past relationships that have positioned themselves as
immovable. 

“Fill in the blank” but she doesn't want to make the words when they’ve dissipated, when they’ve bled inside the outside. The result of working with an unwitting participant. But that was the point.
How does the handling make up these betweens; the gaps and holes and slutters and stops.


These people whom the letters are addressed to are expired. Were they ever even, or is it just pure narcissism. Ah, that's always the sad question with these things.The words never had a grip.

What does this desperation want.
The repetition of lines and the uncertainty beneath.
The erasure the 'touchingness' and the uncertainty inside
What does it look like to then be with someone as witness
and to collapse the time of the with.

These things stick,
In the experience of trauma,
Time falls onto itself,
Self falls onto itself and all over.

So far forward there’s no way to see the whole of it no matter how far back she stands. The years of saved letters to the lost lovers, predators, and the never hads. Consuming the image and arresting any kind of totality,

The things that are so deeply wedged and lost, there are no words but the overuse and overkill of her repeat. A looping through the excess. Jammed in the cracks and sloshed in the cavities.

The going
ongoingess
going repeat.





Julia Thompson is from Toronto, ON and currently based in Los Angeles, CA. She works in sculpture, video, and installation, often employing materials that decay, harden, soften, move or transform. She reflects on the surprise of everyday experiences that conjure up a feeling once felt, of something distant yet familiar. At the crux of her work is the experience of time, investigating its qualities of freezing, stagnancy, and passing. Her work expresses conflicts with time as something in and out of her control, in the ways it provides possibility of escape or comes about as an abrupt, even subtle, interruption. How can material transformations communicate larger ideas, of loss, paranoia, trauma in and of the body? These materials are ways she communicates a collapsing of time, a resistance to any kind of “linearity.”

She is interested in the middle stage, or, the potential for something to happen. Through her investigations of materials that can change states - stick, melt, solidify - she questions if material forms can ever exhaust themselves.

These unstable moments stemming from her everyday experiences grounds her work; in response, her work serves as a testament to liminality.

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