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Inside Out: A year of failure


I go to the gym to watch TV. Today while watching a VH1 countdown of this year’s something or another I realized that I only had two more days of 2012 and probably one more BR&S post in me. I cannot reflect on 2012 without mentioning the influence of failure on my art practice in and out of the studio. This has been a year of applications, which is a diplomatic way of calling it for what it really was -- a year of rejections, a surprising amount of paperwork and images of my face.

For example here are some of my best headshots, taken by a friend, to be included in some of my applications. The working titles are as follows: Greetings from your local women’s correctional facility, Could you please aid in the changing of my diaper? and How about a reading from my autobiography — JR Uretsky: Memoirs from the Inside of My Van.

Waning hope in long-sent applications and documentation of how I cannot control my own face isn’t the stuff of failure that interests me. Judith Halberstam cornered the market (and my heart) on the interesting kind of failure — the kind that refuses to be a result of something when it can be a conduit, or even a structure for a transformative way of making.

Bling! Bling! sculptural works by J.R. Uretsky. On exhibition through January 2013 at the dirt palace, Providence, RI.

And so, BR&S I will leave you with some images of my installation at the dirt palace in Providence, RI. Thanks for reading and I hope 2013 is full of epic fails for one and all!

Being taken seriously means missing out on the chance to be frivolous, promiscuous, and irrelevant. The desire to be taken seriously is precisely what compels people to follow the tried and true paths of knowledge production around which I would like to map a few detours. Indeed terms like serious and rigorous tend to be code words, in academia as well as other contexts, for disciplinary correctness; they signal a form of training and learning that confirms what is already known according to approved methods of knowing, but they do not allow for visionary insights or flights of fancy. — Halberstam



Halberstam, Judith. The Queer Art of Failure. Durham: Duke UP, 2011. Print.


About Author

JR Uretsky is December's artist in residence on Big Red & Shiny's blog series, Inside Out.

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