Take Care

GoggleWorks Center for the Arts

Reading, PA, 2018

 

In her 1988 collection of essays, A Burst of Light, Audre Lorde proclaims, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” With this powerful and still relevant statement in mind, White Toy Box is proud to present Take Care, an exhibition and zine featuring the artists Abby Ryder, Adam Pivirotto, Annie Elliot, Benjamin Demott, cam jacob, Camila Vela, Casey Clark, Courtney Surmanek, Dani Dimon, Daniel Gellai, Darena Georgieva, Delaney DeMott, Dillon Snyder, Dillon Stickle, Ellen Mitnik, Julia Kukkonen, Kei Ota, Maggie Gallen, Margaret Pendleton, Mary Boo Anderson, Matt Smith, Nora Normile, Oscar Lozano Pérez, Ruby Mora, Tyler Washington, Valentina Vela, Vanessa Castro, and Zachary Cincotta.

 

In a culture that often glorifies workaholics, Take Care is an exhibition that stresses the importance of slowing down, paying attention and looking carefully enough to recognize the things that nourish, restore and sustain us as individuals. “Self care” has increasingly become a buzzword often associated with luxury and consumption, yet the artists in the show challenge the notion that self care is a singular experience, instead demonstrating the multitude of approaches they take in staying connected to both themselves and to others. They explore how gestures like sharing the intimacy of a video call, carving out space for beauty in their daily routines or maintaining one’s native language can all become powerful rituals as important as drinking enough water in preserving both mental and physical health.

 

Take Care is a colloquial expression exchanged between friends and strangers alike, often said casually, in passing and as a farewell. In this context, we invite the viewer to think about what it truly means to “take care” and why such deliberateness is important and even radical. In a society that can continually make us feel like we are not enough, committing to our own worth and believing that we deserve to live healthy and wholesome lives can be their own forms of resistance. In learning to listen to, care for and to be gentle with ourselves, we better understand how to build empathy, open our ears and take care of our communities.

 

All photos by Ruby Mora

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