Funded! This project was successfully funded on August 26, 2011.

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A collaboration between artist Holly Pitre and her imprisoned brother, T-Roe. They build, write, draw and collect.

             Sorry I haven't written in so long,

                                    a long distance collaboration

Hi! Welcome to my Kickstarter page to help raise funds for my artist project at the Casa Tomada residency in São Paulo, Brazil. Please watch the video above to get a good idea of what it's all about. If you like the project, please help me fund it! Check the rewards on the right and pledge as much as you like.

The cost of the trip will be closer to $5,000. Please help me raise $3,000. In the event that we raise more than $3,000, I will be super pumped and it will make the project all the more sweet!

And if you want to know even more, below you'll find a description and thorough budget.

DESCRIPTION

I am so incredibly happy to tell you that I have been awarded a four-month artist residency in the Ateliê Aberto program at Casa Tomada in São Paulo, Brazil to continue working on Sorry I haven't written in so long, a collaboration between my imprisoned brother and I.

Casa Tomada defines itself as “an inter-media project space dedicated to the practice, research and discussion of artistic works.”

PROJECTS AT CASA TOMADA

During the residency, I will be working on a collaboration with my eldest brother, T-Roe (his nickname is a Cajun short form of “Petite Roe” or “Roe Jr”). He's serving a nine-year prison sentence in Louisiana. When T-Roe was sentenced, I started looking for new ways to activate our conversations. In 2010, we started a collaboration that involves writing, drawing, collecting, and making. 

This collaboration began with my desire to talk about art, its history and various practices with my brother. He lives a very different life than I do, and I want to engage him in the concepts I think about, mainly art practice and social relevance. By imitating his habits and hobbies while in prison, I relate to him and begin to understand his experience. Through our collaboration we are creating a special and magical reality for ourselves. 

Our collaboration, Sorry I haven't written in so long, consists of four projects:

DIY Objects are the instructions and production of do-it-yourself, ultra low-tech inmate-produced objects: a hot plate for cooking made from a footlocker and a roll of toilet paper or a tattoo gun and its ink created out of a radio and burned plastic. I reproduce these items using T-Roe's instructions. By doing this, I relate to him and begin to understand the powerfully liberating experience it is to provide yourself with options.

Counting Time is a way to represent the passing of time by collecting our discarded pieces of daily consumption and comparing them. He collects his artificial sweetener and dry cappuccino drink mix wrappers, and I keep my used green tea bags and Ricola cough drop wrappers. I make a display of these, like a social archaeologist, and contemplate whether we are any different.

Since T-Roe is without access to social technology platforms like Facebook or Twitter, we communicate frequently via postal mail, and I catalog our correspondence. The Archive is the collection of our handwritten letters to each other.

In the Baptism/Exorcism Drawings series, I meticulously draw an image of a dark or troubled situation. Once the image is perfectly drawn I then literally wash it, simultaneously baptizing and exorcising the represented burden. By this act I symbolically clean the image of all transgressions, often erasing most of the surface layer of the drawing. The result of this process is the ghost of an image and an artifact of ritual. Using T-Roe's descriptions of his physical environment, relationships and daily life as an inmate, I'll continue this series while in residency.

RESIDENCY

From September to December 2011, I'll join a small group of handpicked, international artists and academics to work at Casa Tomada, and we'll regularly discuss our projects. This will be four months of concentrated time to really focus on the work and the art-making process. A variety of established artists and specialists will visit, providing feedback on our projects and sharing their work with us. Many highly respected artists tell how certain residencies helped them form very meaningful professional relationships that have shaped their careers. Georgia O'Keeffe, for example, while working at Taos, met art patroness Mabel Dodge Luhan and went on to make some of her most celebrated work.

The residency at Casa Tomada will help my collaboration with T-Roe by providing a foreign location in which to reflect on what we have created so far and excite further production. Travel often stimulates a new way of thinking. With a new country can come a new point of view. I'll study Brazil's art, culture, and history and share what I am learning with my brother. As travel outside the grounds of the jail is rare for T-Roe, my stories and pictures of Brazil, its people, its culture, and its land will serve as an escape much like reading a novel or watching a movie.

The award of this residency is a dream come true for me: to travel abroad and show my work, making meaningful connections along the way. But it is also a dream for T-Roe as his daily hobbies and rituals are studied and celebrated, he will be teaching myself and others about his present world. This residency is a platform for him, bringing attention to his way of life and opening up possibilities to view it in a new light.

Casa Tomada provides generous studio space to work in and a library for research. They'll host gatherings for the residents and special invited artists, curators, and gallerists in order to facilitate discussions and help foster new professional relationships. These are fantastic resources and make a trip like this one incredibly valuable to the visibility of our collaboration.

BUT, it is up to me to fund the entire trip, so I'm asking you to check out a reward on the right and help me get to Casa Tomada to focus on our work!

FUNDING: 4 months at Casa Tomada

1. round trip ticket from NY to São Paulo--------------$1,200

2. international letter postage--------------$350 

    (for T-Roe in Louisiana & Holly in Brazil)

3. materials--------------$600-$1,000

4. visa extension--------------$50 

5. local transportation--------------$300 - $400 ($2.50 - $3.30 per day)

6. meals--------------$1,500-$2,000 ($10 - $17 per day) 

7. housing--------------is being donated by a kind Brazilian family. OBRIGADA!!!!!! THANK YOU!!!!!!                

TOTAL:    $4,000 - $5,000

FAQ

  • The residency at Casa Tomada is really great because it is located in the center of Sao Paulo, Brazil—a city and nation hotly debated in global politics and economics. Home to soccer greats and an incredible amount of natural resources, like oil, gas, and beef, Brazil reminds me of my home state, Louisiana, with it's Saints fever and a plethora of the similar natural treasures. Both locations are brimming with sticky politics, folklore, humidity and magic, yet, there are worlds apart. Still, I feel a kinship to the country and wanted to explore it.

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  • Pledge $10 or more
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    22 backers

    a one-of-a-kind treasure gleaned from my exploration of São Paulo (examples may include: a mixed tape of obscure brazilian music, discovered love notes in Portuguese, blessed relics, etc.) + so much love and gratitude!

  • Pledge $25 or more
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    30 backers

    a print of one completed "DIY Object" or a print of a letter from "The Archive" + the love and gratitude!

  • Pledge $50 or more
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    12 backers

    a print of one "DIY Object" + the exclusive story of its creation on archival paper, signed and dated + virtual hugs!

  • Pledge $100 or more
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    7 backers

    a personal letter from T-Roe, signed and dated + print of "DIY Object" + your name in list of donors to collaboration on all printed matter!

  • Pledge $250 or more
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    3 backers

    a book of "DIY Object" prints with fabrication instructions included, signed + letter from T-Roe + letter from Holly + name on all printed matter.

  • Pledge $500 or more
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    0 backers

    one original piece from "DIY Objects" + one small drawing from the "Baptisim/Exorcism Drawings" series + letter from T-Roe + letter from Holly + name on all printed matter.

Funding period

- (24 days)