MCBA Outlook Gallery
October 14, 2022–January 14, 2023
Free and open to the public
VIEWABLE FROM THE STREET (and from inside the shop during open hours)
When was the last time you felt cared for?
Who cared for you, and how?
This participatory performance in words and thread brings attention to the in/visibility of caring labors in our world. I invite participants to write stories about an act of care, large or small, that they have received; I then make publicly visible these remembered acts of care by embroidering some of their words into a fabric installation. Intensive periods of stitching compel me to listen to the stories, to care for the words and their writers, and to do justice to the accounts generously offered to me. The tea towels on which I embroider are pages in a book being publicly and privately written over time.
I will be in residence in the Outlook Gallery during the opening and closing weekends of the exhibition (October 14–15 and January 13–14), embroidering words of care on new pages as I seek to more fully listen to the stories and make them visible for viewers. I invite visitors and passersby to consider sharing a story for the project, either physically or digitally. When I am not in residence embroidering, the words will remain in the window as evidence of caring gestures, care-fully remembered.
Please consider sharing a story for this project either physically or digitally. Responses to the following prompt can be delivered in person at The Shop at MCBA, submitted via this Google Form, or mailed to:
Rachel Epp Buller c/o Minnesota Center for Book Arts / Outlook Gallery
1011 Washington Avenue S., Suite 100
Minneapolis MN 55415
This is an invitation to participate in a project of listening. My exhibition, In/Visible Care, highlights how we receive and remember acts of care, large and small. Can you remember a time when you felt genuinely cared for by another person? I invite you to write me a letter, recounting how you experienced this gesture of care. I will embroider your words as part of my listening, selecting particular phrases that evoke the giving and receiving of care, for this public installation. I feel it important to make these words visible in a concrete way—for we all know how often such caring labors remain unseen and undervalued.
As I receive your stories of care from the past, I will also offer you, in exchange, some words of care for the future (so please include your mailing address if you wish to receive these by post).
Thank you for your time in listening to me and caring for my words. I hope to reciprocate the labors.
Dr. Rachel Epp Buller is a visual artist, feminist art historian, professor, and mother of three. Her artistic, scholarly, and curatorial projects often address these intersections, focusing on the maternal body and feminist care in contemporary art contexts. Her current research-creation project concerns listening as artistic method in contemporary art. Her project of taking care and listening through words and embroidery launched in 2018 in Berlin and has since been exhibited in London, Rotterdam, and at Mass MoCA. She is a two-time Fulbright Scholar, first as a researcher at the Archiv der Akademie der Künste, Berlin, in 2011, and then as a Canada Research Chair in Arts and Humanities at the University of Alberta in 2022. She is a board member of the National Women’s Caucus for Art (US), a regional coordinator of The Feminist Art Project (international), Professor of Visual Arts and Design at Bethel College (KS/US), and a certified practitioner in Deep Listening.