How does inspiration work? Really, this question lies at the heart of what we do at Broadsided. Every month, we wait to see what an artist will create in response to the writing we choose. As editors, the mystery is both more clear and deeper during a Switcheroo. We ask ourselves, "what would I have done in response?" and "how did the writer see that?"
Lisa Allen Ortiz's poignant calculations were the perfect counterpoint to the graphic and strange world of Cheryl Gross's art. She gets at the sucker punch to the gut that loss can be (and which might be at the core of the boy in "Best Friends"). Together, the poem and art make strangeness, friendship, and tattered remnants speak of our lives. They make us familiar in a stranger's eyes, strange again to ourselves, and they open us to new envisionings. It's what we hope art will do.
As with every Broadsided publication, you can read what the artist and author thought of the whole process in our Collaborators' Q&A.
Our thanks go out to writers who submitted work to this Switcheroo and to Ira Joel Haber, who chose the art that we offered up as inspiration. Read below for Ira's curatorial statement.
We can't wait to see what happens next year!
Liz Bradfield, Sean Hill, and Alexandra Teague
Notes on Process
All Broadsided artists were invited to submit up to three pieces of work for the Switcheroo. We then asked Ira Joel Haber, Broadsided artist and the April, 2011 Switcheroo artist, to review the submissions, choosing one that he thought would be open to literary response and would work in the Broadsided format. He selected Cheryl Gross's piece.
Of his decision, Haber had this to say:
I picked it because it was what I thought the most complex of the images submitted and the one that lends itself best to a written interpretation. There are a lot of separate images going on in the piece that might also appeal to writers.
Ira Joel Haber