As we begin to gather in person, many people are asking: How can we meet, slowly, tenderly, with care?
A Stone Holds Water is an exhibition at Onomatopee that offers a practice space for individuals and groups to engage in sound-based healing, critical introspection, and an investigation of the role of air and water in gatherings now, as our most basic relationships to these elements are threatened and transformed by the political and ecological developments of this moment. Artists and designers Aisha Jandosova, Jeffrey Yoo Warren, and Caroline Woolard have transformed materials long associated with solidity and permanence -- brick and stone -- into hollow vessels that can hold and release water. These objects are inspired by a medieval watering can, the chantepleure. An object with a single hole on top that can be submerged in water, capped with a thumb, and then released at will, the literal translation from the french is “to sing and to weep.”
Submerged in water on a sculptural table in the gallery, the exhibition invites visitors to consider what they are holding, and what they can release at this moment. To that end, the team has collaborated with somatic educator, musician, and political theorist Anita Chari to create a spatial audio soundtrack of “politicized somatic healing.” Chari guides visitors through sound and sensory practices, guided by the question: “How can we create conditions of embodied safety during this time so that we can unfold what is unknown in us, what needs and wants to emerge collectively?” Suggesting that subtle therapeutic sound and movement practices may engage the fluid systems in the body and offer emotional, relational, and energetic transformation, the combination of the affective and the material in this collection continues a vision for the power of groups.
Caroline Woolard (b.1984) is an American artist who, in making her art, becomes an economic critic, social justice facilitator, media maker, and sculptor. Since the financial crisis of 2007-8, Woolard has catalyzed barter communities, minted local currencies, founded an arts-policy think tank, and created sculptural interventions in office spaces. Woolard has inspired a generation of artists who wish to create self-organized, collaborative, online platforms alongside sculptural objects and installations. Her work has been commissioned by and exhibited in major national and international museums including MoMA, the Whitney Museum, and Creative Time. Woolard’s work has been featured twice on New York Close Up (2014, 2016), a digital film series produced by Art21 and broadcast on PBS. She is the 2018–20 inaugural Walentas Fellow at Moore College of Art and Design, the inaugural 2019–20 Artist in Residence for INDEX at the Rose Museum, and a 2020-2021 Fellow at the Center for Cultural Innovation.