Artwork for podcast Not Real Art
Artists Mary Sherwood Brock and Joshua Wattles On Hope and Aspiration for Indivisibility In America
Episode 9810th November 2020 • Not Real Art • Crewest Studio
00:00:00 01:30:00

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Continuing our conversation with Indivisible 2020 participating artists, today’s guests Mary Sherwood Brock and Joshua Wattle engage in a stimulating discussion filled with passion for the country. Show curator Karen Fiorito joins the two artists, who both have roots in Washington and have been on the frontlines for their whole lives — Mary as an activist, and Joshua as a lawyer and lobbyist for the anti-war movement. We get into what indivisibility means to our guests, where they both express the aspirational notion of it. While it is easy to dismiss aspirations, it is what keeps hope alive and gives us something worth fighting for. We hear about the work that Mary and Joshua submitted to the Indivisible exhibition and the rationale behind their creations. Participating in the exhibition aligns with much of the work that both Mary and Joshua have done in and outside of the arts, and we gain insights into their respective activism. We also talk about having hope, where Joshua references history and how America has overcome a lot worse, and why he feels confident the country will come out of this moment stronger. Mary expresses a less than optimistic outlook but still remains hopeful despite it all. The conversation also touches on the erosion of the idea of the collective, the importance of getting back to a place of civil discourse, and the sort-sightedness of American exceptionalism. This was an exciting, rich dialogue filled with many insights, so tune in today to hear more!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • The notion of indivisibility and what it means to Mary and Joshua.
  • Joshua’s interest in his American identity and America, having grown up abroad.
  • The pride Joshua felt when Obama was president and the strides made toward indivisibility.
  • Mary’s experience with protesting, having been raised in a politically active home.
  • Why Mary is so passionate about creating change locally.
  • Mary’s motivation for participating in Indivisible 2020 and other political work she has done.
  • Hear more about the work that Mary submitted to Indivisible.
  • The photograph that Josh has in the show and the meaning behind it.
  • Why Joshua feels we should have hope even though America is in a state of decline.
  • Mary’s apprehension and feeling of nervousness around the protection of the court system.
  • Joshua’s faith in the court system and why he feels this way.
  • The worry Mary feels about the fact that there is not a common source of legitimate news.
  • The deep sense of aspiration synonymous with America that Josh felt during his activist work.
  • Viewing the current moment with an understanding of historical context.
  • Mary’s take on the two-party system and how it makes people disillusioned with democracy.
  • What Mary thinks needs to happen in the Democratic Party for meaningful change to occur.
  • How capitalism has made the idea of the common good so politicized.
  • Mary’s experience of political conservatism in other countries compared to America.
  • Karen’s experience of having a Republican supporting father and stepmother.
  • Why Joshua–as a lawyer–is so concerned about what the Trump legal team is doing.
  • The duty we have to call people who work for or with Trump out as racist sympathizers.
  • America’s limited conception of reproductive rights and supporting women more comprehensively.
  • The US no longer holds collective activity up as an ideal.
  • How American exceptionalism has hurt the country in many ways.
  • Final words from Mary about hope and continuing to fight battles.

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