Less Is Enough | Zoe Cinel

Less Is Enough | Zoe Cinel

Less is Enough is a solo exhibition of new artworks created during the year-long residency at Second Shift Studio. Through a multidisciplinary approach to art making, Zoe Cinel explores chronic illness, care, and softness from an individual and communal point of view.

Conversations about care: June 10, 10:30 am–12 pm *This is a small sized event, and registration is required. To register, email zoe.cinel@gmail.com by June 5 

In the Artist's Words:

Living with chronic pain is a multilayered experience that impacts one's sense of identity. To communicate some of these layers and to propose a holistic approach to healing, I work with a variety of media and processes: from digital photographs to interactive soft sculptures, and from community events to a mixed media installation. “Self-portrait with flare” uses fabric, lights, plastic, and video to represent the red, burning swell of my body during a flare. In mainstream Western culture, pain is commonly scrutinized through the lens of science and data collection, or extractively reported through a tokenizing gaze to evoke empathy from the “not-sick”. By rejecting such ways of looking at the body, I appropriated medical imagery and writing to reconcile myself to biographical disruption, while practicing other healing strategies such as self-representation and community building.

Society teaches us that illness is a naturally isolating event and not suited for public conversations, but I believe that shared knowledge around illness and healing can strengthen individuals and networks and reconcile ill with well. Inspired by the words of activists, crips, and queers, during the residency I prioritized self-care, intentionality, and responsiveness. I started unlearning colonial/patriarchal myths of productivity and spectacle and developed a more sustainable approach to making. Projects like the community events “Conversations about care” or the soft sculptures “Rest with me”, reflect this journey: they create opportunities for learning, interacting, and finding one's place within the disability discourse.

The title of this exhibition is a play on the modernist design concept “Less is More” and reframes it within the context of disability justice, healing practices, and anti-capitalism. Instead of striving for seemingly-effortless perfection and abstraction, Less is Enough embraces the unknown process, gesture, and immediacy.

About The Artist:

Zoe Cinel (@zcinel) is a Curator and Interdisciplinary Artist from a Mediterranean culture. Through art she builds community around human experiences that are isolating and complex to navigate, such as immigration and chronic pain. Starting from a personal journey as a migrant and a patient, she collaborates with other artists and community members to produce social change. She is part of CarryOn Homes, an artist collective dedicated to telling stories of migration to Minnesota that was awarded the 2018 Creative City Challenge and the 2022 Forecast Public Art Mid-Career Project Artist Grant, among others. Her curatorial and artistic work has been featured at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Rochester Art Center, Mana Contemporary, Soo Visual Arts Center, among others. She is the recipient of several awards including a 2022-2023 Second Shift Studio Residency and the 2023 Arts Impact for Individuals grant.

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