Join us as Shellyne Rodriguez hosts the cHURCH OF MONIKA and discusses her work, which excavates personal and social history.

This is a free event. Bagels and coffee will be served.

“Hope is a crack high. I mean that in the way that Beckett might have proposed it. Of course this implies that one might know what a ‘crack high’ is. I will argue that one could know or at least have an idea. Lets strip it down to the core. A crack high is said to be so ecstatic, Saint Teresa De Avila’s thighs would quiver. But before you can seat yourself into its luscious euphoria, it is gone. The old adage, ‘there is no high like the first high’ rings true. And so the crack user becomes embroiled in a frenzied chase, trying to be consumed in that petit mort. Everything else is a purgatory. And what is purgatory? A quick Google search describes it as ‘a place or state of suffering inhabited by the souls of sinners who are atoning for their sins before going to heaven.’ What is purgatory if not the banal moments of drudgery, between happy hour, Netflix, or the escapism of one’s choice? Despair is the alternative. This ebb and flow from nothingness, to climax, to the bowels of despair might be accompanied by a gesture. How these sensations of waiting, hoping, and transcending each moment might translate into a mark, or a form, or an object is what I’m truly after.”

Shellyne Rodriguez is a Multidisciplinary Artist based in Harlem. Pulling from various sources such as street detritus, family photos, old album covers, bible storybooks, and medieval prints she creates multiple narratives that allow her to excavate personal and social history in order to then extract objects and images. Her drawings, collages, sculptures, and installations work together as a gesture rooted in Hip-Hop culture. She received her MFA at Hunter College and has presented works throughout the city including Immediate Female at Judith Charles gallery, and The Young Lords in New York at El Museo del Barrio.