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You Do Not Disappear

Sanctuary Church Seattle
Event organized by Sanctuary Church Seattle

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A one night art show featuring the art of Naima Lowe, Serrah Russell, Barry Johnson, Anne de Marcken, and Hanita Schwartz.

(event image by Serrah Russell: "To grow into each other", 2015, photographic collage using Life magazine)

Every year, Good Friday invites observers to reflect on the experience of obstruction, obfuscation, covering over and covering up; the kind that happens to us, and the kind we do to ourselves. The kind that takes time, like the blurring along the edges of a memory, or the sudden, like a family member ripped away from us by violence. Good Friday invites observers to contemplate erasure, a word which came to life in the academy, referencing the tendency of ideologies or religions to dismiss inconvenient facts. It was then adopted by communities of color to highlight the systematic silencing of their lives and stories by white supremacist, patriarchal and capitalist power structures.* Later, the word was extended to other communities marginalized because of gender, sexual orientation, class, or body type.

Those who observe Good Friday as the central narrative of their religion face the inconvenient truth that the historical church has often not only contributed to the erasure and oppression of these groups but instigated it. Beautiful architecture centering around the image of a suffering Jesus has been used to bar those who bear the closest resemblance to that historical Jesus. One cannot truly listen then to the narrative of Good Friday without first listening well to the contemporary narratives of erasure around race, gender, sexual orientation, class or body-type.

These interlocking narratives beckon us to not only bring to light the act of erasure itself, but consider what comes after erasure; the remnants that remain, the hints of color, of memory, as light pouring through cracks. They call us to question the finality or potency of erasure, like the words of Alice Notley, imbedded in a poem called “City of Tingling”:

i couldn't break that much, what is can't be that broken. our imagination's often / full of lies. / has never been that broken dissolve into the dark ring and find that you / dont break / you dont even disappear. you are carried peacefully backwards to / the fact that you don't disappear.

*Fighting Erasure, “The New York Times Magazine”. Parul Sehgal. Feb 2, 2016.



B. 1979 Middletown, CT USA

Im a Black queer artist and educator born in Middletown, CT, raised in various parts of New England and reared as a working artist in Philadelphia, PA where I got my degree in Film and Media Arts from Temple University. My work has been exhibited at Anthology Film Archive, The Wing Luke Museum, MiX Experimental Film Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, National Queer Arts Festival, Judson Memorial Church and the Stella Elkins Tyler Gallery. In 2017 I was an artist in residence at The Millay Colony, and a fellowship recipient at the Vermont Studio Center.

I use performance, video, photo and text to explore abjection, mourning, dislocation, and the black body in relation to the natural world. I often use antiquated audio/visual technologies (VHS, 16mm film, slide film, cassette tape recordings) to create texture and interrogate nostalgia. I am also interested in the ways that the traditions of black utterance create space for emotional depth, code making (and breaking), and humor.

I currently live in Olympia, WA.


Serrah Russell (b. 1986) lives and works in Seattle, Washington. She graduated with a BFA in Photography from the University of Washington in 2009.

Russell's practice is a constant exploration of the photographic image and its ability to evoke memory, emotion and association. Intrigued by the malleability of photos, Russell crops and juxtaposes found images from magazine advertisements to understand the relationship between subject and surrounding, specifically the way in which our emotions become entwined with our physical environment.

Russell hopes for her work to encourage empathy, to evoke the feeling of being in the right place at the right time, to recall the déjà vu of a dream and to bring about a new way of seeing.

Russell enables artists and curates exhibitions with Vignettes.us and the soon-to-launch art space in Capitol Hill, FOUND (www.found-space.com).


Barry Johnson, architect of the awesome, is a self-taught multi-disciplinary artist working across all mediums known for constantly shifting the nature of his work and staging different pieces that reflect events that are happening across the world.


Anne de Marcken approaches creative work as an interdisciplinary process of critical inquiry, centering questions about impermanence, loss, invisibility and the abject. She works with time-based media, text, and various visual disciplines in response to the demands of a specific project. Her credits include poetry, short stories, hybrid narratives, short and feature-length films and videos, interactive web environments, and multi-disciplinary, site-specific installation work. She is known for the rigorous, process-based installations The Redaction Project and Invisible Ink, for the award-winning, gender-queer, experimental feature Group, and for her literary fiction, featured on NPRs Selected Shorts and in such publications as Best New American Voices, Glimmer Train, Hunger Mountain, and Southern Indiana Review. She has been awarded the Howard Frank Mosher Prize for Short Fiction, the Stella Kupferberg Memorial Prize, the Mary C. Mohr Short Fiction Award and has received grant and fellowship support from the Millay Colony for the Arts, Jentel Foundation, Centrum, Artist Trust and the Hafer Family Foundation.


Hanita Schwartz is an Israeli-born Seattle-based artist. Her work often involves processes that stem from ideas that hide beneath her daily experience as an outsider-woman-mother.

Hanita creates narratives that shift perspectives. A hybrid of impossible objects, performances, video work, photography and installations come together as a dysfunctional-whole. While her work stems from her immediate environment, it aims to challenge common views in the context of a shared body of knowledge. It probes the systems that lurk beneath what is perceived as natural or inevitable.

Hanita spent the last three years erasing a substantial survey of 19th -and 20th-century art. Spent hours, even days, working on a single image, such as Manets Déjeuner sur lHerbe or Van Goghs Portrait of Dr. Gachet. As she learned just how much pressure or moisture the pages could tolerate, details shifted and transformed. Many of the original subjects disappeared completely or dissolved into clouds of pale hues.

Although Hanita has been developing this project for the last three years, this quest seems all the more urgent given the current context of political dissembling and attempts to redefine truth itself.

Hanita earned her BA in art education from HaMidrasha Art College in Israel and MFA from University of Washington. She has taken part in solo and group exhibitions in U.S. and abroad. In 2013 Hanita launched Andralamusya, an indie home-based performance art space, showcasing over 50 local artists. She currently teaches Thesis at PCNW.


Jackie An is an accomplished violinist who creates live experimental art and soundscapes. She has played in multiple projects, including the now bi-coastal band Tenderfoot, and has partnered with different dance companies in Seattle for performances.


the chapel at First Presbyterian Church of Seattle
Sponsored by Sanctuary Church Seattle and First Presbyterian Church of Seattle.